Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A non-weird Guide to Biblical Meditation

Meditation is God’s original idea. Christians are encouraged to meditate from the Old to the New Testament. Today I want to share a few thoughts on meditating and I hope you grab some ideas on how to incorporate this spiritual discipline in your daily routine. 
Meditation is simpler than you think!

If you delight in something, you meditate on it 

I remember when a great looking piano player named Zeke Listenbee came into my life. I really "delighted" in him when I heard him singing at a gospel choir concert in Oxford, Mississippi. I liked everything about him: his looks, his personality, his voice. I think the deal was sealed for me when I heard him sing. I immediately started to think about him constantly. Whether I was with him or not, it didn't matter. I was meditating on Zeke. 

Each interaction I had with Zeke gave me more material for meditation. I remember that after the concert we became closer friends so we would talk often. After those conversations I tried to remember every word he said to me. I really treasured (and still do) everything about him. If you know how to fall in love, you know how to meditate. Now that we are married, I still find myself meditating on Zeke. I wonder how his day is going. I think about funny things he said and how that made me laugh. The quality times we spend together fill my love tank while leave me longing for more. If you know how to love, you know how to meditate. 

In the same way, when we delight in our Lord Jesus, we meditate on Him. We think about the words He said as we read them in the Bible. We long to hear from Him during our times in His presence and that gives us even more material for meditation. 

Joyce Meyer said that "if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate." I can't agree more! The outcome of both habits can be measured in results. The results of worrying are very negative and that's why JESUS continually tells us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). 

The Bible lists many benefits of mediating in the Word of God. Here are two of them:

Constant Nourishment • “He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalms 1:2, 3 NKJV

The first Psalm calls a person who meditates in the Word of God so blessed that they should be envied. Mediation brings constant nourishment as a tree planted by an ever-flowing river. It brings health for this tree's leaves do not wither. It also says that whatever he does shall prosper. The word of God really has the power to change the course of our lives. 

Success • “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:7-8 NKJV

If you delight in something, it will not depart from your mouth. I am surrounded by people who delight in running and we (I do it too) can find any situation to share our love of running. I used the same approach when I started dating Zeke. I would try to find any occasion to talk about him with someone. My love for him was something I could not keep to myself. I delight in him, I meditate and I share that which I meditate upon. Going back to God and Joshua, the Scriptures say that for then, and only then you will find success and prosperity as well as they courage you need to go where God is sending you. 

As I study this subject of meditation, I'm finding interesting that Biblical Meditation is not about being weird, looking odd and trying to achieve some mental high. Based in these passages I find it to be quite the foundational habit. It causes me to fall in love with my God and it leads me to the knowledge of the Holy One. It leads me to wisdom, prosperity and success. The more I meditate on God, the more material I receive to meditate on. I think that the way to meditate on God is by falling in love with Him. It is by being open and honest and saying "God I want to know you and love you more. Help me to mediate in your word." 

 Let's be a little bit more practical. I think that the simple way to start is to spend time with God and actually think about what you read when you are done with your devotional time. If you are having problems doing devotionals, I would talk to a friend who seems successful in this area and tell them exactly what's going on and ask for help. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn from your friends. I have learned a lot not only by watching people but asking how in the world they meet with God and how He speaks with them. I find that my mentors and friends have been incredibly open, which has encouraged me in my journey. I also hear the coolest stories that way. 

I pray that you are encouraged to give Biblical Meditation a try. If you fell out of the habit, jump in it again and God will help you to fall in love wit Him again as you apply the spiritual discipline of meditation.

2 comments:

Nylse Esahc said...

It's ironic that you wrote this today considering I had this conversation with a friend yesterday.

I like how you break this down.
Meditation is essential; If I read my bible constantly but never take the time to think, to reflect, to mull over what it says I am in essence short changing myself. I will never grow. Meditation is essential.

Cintia Listenbee said...

I agree! I gain more from Scripture when I meditate. Thanks for your comment and for always reading!