Many a time have we come across and often use the Word “meditation”.
Despite all its popularity, today very few of us truly know what meditation is. Some regard meditation as the mental concentration on something, others consider that we meditate when we imagine something that gives us peace or satisfaction. All these methods are being with one goal to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds. These exercises are not really meditation – they are substitutes for meditation because it is normally very difficult to stop our minds all-together.
In reality, meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness. It is not an act of doing – it is a state of awareness. We either in this state or we are not, regardless of what we are doing in life. Truly, a man can be in meditation while doing his day’s labors as another man can be very far from meditation while sitting in a lotus posture on the top of a mountain.
When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, another thing we often see is that meditation is defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder.
True meditation, however is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfill our true human potential. The problem, of course, is how to achieve this state.
The words of Scripture are living words. ( Hebrews 4:12.). They contain eternal wisdom held in the shell of human words. God wants us to “break open” these human words and begin to discover the rich wealth of personal application and understanding that they hold. This goal can be accomplished as you memorize and meditate on Scripture.
The Apostle Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you (live in you) richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). Meditation on Scripture will cause Scripture to “dwell in you” and become a source of wisdom in your mind, will, and emotions.
Remember, meditation cannot be done in a hurry. It takes time. Doing studies on the meaning of a passage and committing it to memory prepare you to meditate on it. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit will teach you the ways of God through His Word. ( John 16:13.)
The following keys are vital to meditation:
1. Worship God in Your Spirit:
Your times of meditation should be times of worship and fellowship with God. Worship God in your spirit as you quote God’s Word back to Him. Reverence God’s Word and purpose to “do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8).
2. Personalize the Passage
Turn the Scripture into a first-person prayer back to God. Personalize it by putting it in the first person, using I, me, and my. For example, Colossians 3:16 (quoted above) could be personalized by saying, “Let the word of Christ dwell in ME richly in all wisdom.” When you put Scripture in the first person, it becomes a living expression within your heart, which is one aspect of meditation.
3. Give Attention to Each Word of Each Verse:
Focusing on one verse at a time, quote it to the Lord, pondering each word. With each recitation of a verse, emphasize a different word.
Be attentive. This simple method of meditation will reveal new insights and give you greater understanding of phrases and sentences. As you hear the words of the passage, you will discern nuances and associations that are often overlooked when the passage is read silently.
“Martin Luther, one of the pivotal figures of church history, gave detailed instructions on how to meditate … . ‘You should meditate not only in your heart, but also externally, by actually repeating and comparing oral speech and literal words of the book, reading and rereading them with diligent attention and reflection, so you may see what the Holy Spirit means by them.’ ” (Doug McIntosh, God Up Close: How to Meditate on His Word, Moody Press, Chicago, Ill., 1998,65)
4. Illustrate the Main Concepts Found Within the Passage:
As you memorize and meditate on a passage, look for Biblical concepts and patterns. Sometimes drawing simple illustrations with stick figures and symbols can help you remember the main ideas of the passage. Not only will the actual creation of the illustration help you further meditate on the meaning of the passage, but your illustration can serve as a simple summary of what the Lord taught you through meditation on His Word.
Each illustration should represent your current understanding of the action being described in the verse or phrase. As your understanding of the verse deepens, your illustrations will expand.
5. Meditate on Scripture as You Go to Sleep at Night:
One of the most critical times to meditate on God’s Word is as you go to sleep each night. In Scripture, there are many references to meditating on Scripture at this time. (See Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, 63:6, and 119:148.)
The quiet moments of preparing for sleep offer an ideal setting for contemplation and fellowship with the Lord. The thoughts that are on your mind as you go to sleep will be in your subconscious mind all through the night. They will strongly influence your attitudes the next day, consciously or subconsciously.
6. Respond to God as He Teaches You:
As you meditate, don’t be discouraged if you have to go over the passage several times before insights begin to come to mind. As God reveals an insight to you, pray it back to Him and ask Him for the grace to apply that truth in your life. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin in your life, confess it to the Lord and be forgiven.
Apply to your life the insights you gain through meditation on Scripture. God bless you