Christian Meditation – What It is & What It’s Not
There is confusion in some areas of the Church concerning meditation from a Christian perspective – as opposed to what meditation is from the persepctive of eastern mysticism, the New Age & the occult. Although the mystical forms of meditation sound harmless and perhaps even spiritual, they are the antithesis of biblical meditation.
The most crucial difference between the type of meditation promoted by Eastern religions and meditation on the Bible is that Eastern meditation is practiced in order to empty the mind, and Biblical meditation is practiced with the goal of filling the believer’s spirit and soul with the Word of God. The goal of Christian meditation is to draw man closer to God & His Word. Instead of emptying the mind, believers pour-in God’s truth.
Eastern meditation, which also disguises itself as ‘Christian meditation,’ is founded in Eastern mysticism, New Age & the occult & it is an inward journey in which people empty themselves of all thoughts while searching for God without using any words, thereby also negating God’s own Word. That is a heathen practice, which should be utterly rejected. & which those involved should repent of with sincere repentance.
- Is chanting a single word over and over, to empty the mind of conscious thought.
- Implies that you are one with God and therefore can control your destiny.
- Is promoted as a means to get what you want simply by visualizing what you desire.
- Ultimately seeks the resources that lie within a person.
- Is a continual focus on God’s unchangeable truths.
- Recognizes that God alone possesses ultimate power.
- Acknowledges and rejoices in God’s sovereignty, love, and mercy.
- Gives you access to God’s wisdom and guides you to reject the wickedness that lies within you naturally.
Avoid the deception and destruction that Eastern meditation brings. Instead, be blessed by the rich blessing that comes from meditating on God & His Word… biblically! As you meditate on the Word of God and obey it, God will cause you to grow in relationship with Him & in knowledge of His ways & His Word..
God says to Joshua in Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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.”
The English word meditate in this scripture is the Hebrew word hagah. Thayer’s lexicon defines hagah as, “to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, or speak”. Strong’s lexicon definition of this Hebrew word hagah is “to [murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication, to ponder:-imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, or utter”.
To meditate on God’s Word you think about it over and over, filling your mind and even your mouth with it. Biblical meditation is about thinking, pondering, imagining, muttering, and speaking the Word of God.
Biblical prayers are spiritual thoughts, desires and petitions that are clearly expressed in words. The rational mind of the person praying must not be in a passive state, as true prayer requires a sober and active level of consciousness in which carefully considered words are spoken to God. It does not take the form of a vain repetition of words (mantras) or mystical thoughts that are foreign to the Bible. The Lord Jesus says: “But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do” (Matthew 6:7). The Bible does not equate prayer with mystical meditation, but explains meditation quite differently as the sober and conscious contemplation of God’s Word (Psalm 1:2). Quiet times of meditation are therefore not prayers without words but the contemplation of God’s Word. It is an interaction between the mind & faith of a believer in which Scriptures are thoughtfully examined, probed and considered. It is definitely not an activity in which we have to switch off our minds & think about nothing, nor is it about mindlessly repeating a word or phrase.
Bible study, meditating on the Word, prayer & faith in the Lord Jesus all play a vital role. Silence is not God’s way of communicating – He uses words to communicate with us: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). God is exalted far above human beings, but through His Word & His Spirit He speaks to our hearts.
One of the misquoted & misrepresented Scripture quotes used to promote the incorrect view of mediation in the Church is “be still and know that I am God.” Proponents of false Christian meditation use this verse to teach being still & silent before God in the manner & form that stillness & silence are practised in eastern mysticism. The context of “be still and know that I am God” is Psalm 46:8-10 which actually speaks about the opposite of emptying our minds & of stillness. Verse 8 says “behold (consider, think about) the works of God” & verse 10 which says “be still, and know that I am God” is in the context of considering God’s power & His sovereignty. It has nothing to do with silence & stillness as taught in false teaching concerning Christian meditation.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. (Romans 8:5-7)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
For more discussion, visit the page:
See also: Lighthouse Trails booklet: Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult? at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com
21 Apr 2016 / Peter Whitcombe / 0