WHAT IS CHRISTIAN MEDITATION?
Christian Meditation – what is it? It's NOT guided imagery, visualizations, out-of-body experiences, subconscious suggestion or mental manipulation.
Christian Meditation is very different from Eastern meditation. It requires a fully engaged mind, NOT an “empty mind.”
Christian Meditation is NOT an altered state of consciousness, “contemplative prayer” (Lectio Divina, “Centering Prayer” or “spiritual formation”) — these are NOT Biblical meditation. We do NOT enter a trance-like state.
While prayer (talking and listening to God) is a vital part of our relationship with Jesus Christ, meditation is a bit different — although it does involve our relationship with the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Guide.
In Hebrew, “haghah” is “to meditate” = “to murmur; to mutter; to sigh” – when done in the heart, this is considered “musing, or meditation.” According to Zodhiates' AMG Complete Word Study, “It is possible that the Scriptures were read audibly during the process of meditation.”
In Hebrew, meditation carries with it the unappealing, but descriptive picture of “a cow chewing the cud” – the idea being that we “chew” the Word, “swallow it,” and then bring it back up to chew it some more throughout our day as new truths and revelations are revealed.
Consider: “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 1:8); “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he MEDITATES day and night” (Psalm 1:2); “When I remember You on my bed,I MEDITATE on You in the night watches” (Psalm 63:6).
Meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.
ENJOY “Soaking in the Psalms” 3-piece Word & Music Christian Meditation program HERE.
The OLD ME
When I taught yoga classes in the 1980s, I would guide people on meditations and visualizations (not to meditate on the Word of God and fill and renew their mind with His Word, but guiding them to “listen to the sound of my voice and relax” as I used to say). I used guided imagery to lull them into a false sense of serenity — to go someplace else — even meeting their “spirit guide.” I'm grateful the Lord has forgiven me.
When I was a New Ager, I did not point people to the peace that the Word of God brings, but used mental manipulation and the soothing quality of my voice to operate my own agenda. I prided myself on it. Pride. People were relaxed after my yoga classes. They experienced stress relief, but not peace. They were not meditating on the Word as the Bible teaches – I knew nothing of that. I was not a follower of Jesus at that time. I was preaching “self-help” and “self-realization,” not Jesus.
See also: Psalm 77:6; Psalm 77:12; Psalm 119:15; Psalm 119:23; Psalm 119:27; Psalm 119:48; Psalm 119:78; Psalm 143:5; “I will MEDITATEon the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works” (Psalm 145:5); Isaiah 33:17-19; Malachi 3:15-17; Luke 21:13-15; “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—MEDITATE on these things” (Philippians 4:7-9); 1 Timothy 4:15.
These scriptures leave NO question about what we are to MEDITATE upon–with a fully engaged, alert mind.
Christian Meditation is focusing on the Word of God; being *transformed* by the renewing of our mind on the Word (NOT “emptying” our mind). Allowing deep revelation from the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Guide, to ignite our hearts and minds with the refreshing intimacy of the Presence and Wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ — our all in all.
Discover the Difference meditating on and “soaking” in the Word of God. ENJOY “Soaking in the Psalms” 3-piece Christian Meditation program HERE.