I have been a Christian now for almost 30 years and can tell you that my Christian walk prior to practicing meditation and being still before the Lord doesn't even compare to my life afterward.
Through the practice of meditation I have and continue to learn how to quiet my mind and free it from the mental distractions so prevalent today. I have gained greater authority over my thoughts and what I allow to penetrate my mind and heart. I also feel much more in tuned with God through the Holy Spirit. Through meditation, I have created a greater space for God in my heart and mind because it's not so bogged down with other stuff and a greater insight to the scriptures.
I don't meditate because it's a fad, in fact, on most mornings I'd prefer to do something else. Sitting in silence and meditating on the scriptures for 30 minutes in my natural mind seems unfruitful. It's no different than eating healthy or performing regular exercise. If I could just throw caution to the wind and live a life of self-indulgence with out consequences, I'd be the first in line.
I meditate, not because I want to, but because I have to if I want to maintain my peace of mind, deny myself, get closer to God, detach from worldly philosophies and renew my mind. For me, entering into God presences is much like in the Old Testament, when Moses entered the Tent of Meetings or the priests entered the Holy of Holies to dwell in the presence of God. It is said that when Moses left the Tent that his body was so illuminated that no one could look at him. When I leave the presence of God, I often feel the same. God's peace, joy, and love overtake me and I feel empowered.
Meditation is a tool that helps me to realize God in a more intimate and spiritual way. The Bible says that God is a Spirit. If we only try to understand God with our physical mind, we are missing out on so much of who God is because our mind is only one dimensional and of limited understanding. 1 Corinthains 2 tells us that The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of GodThis is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
Romans 8: 26-27 declares, In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through "wordless" groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God.
Meditating on God's word, being still before him, and dwelling in his presence provides us with a wonderful opportunity to connect with God on a level deeper than mere words or thoughts can suffice. Just like a bike can be an instrument for promoting physical fitness- meditation promotes mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness.
As Christians, we can get caught up in the logistics of meditation, but the logistics really aren't all that important. To meditate means to ponder, contemplate, reflect, and focus. Your objective for meditation will determine the method that you use. If you want to quiet your mind and eliminate toxic thinking, meditating on a mantra, sacred word, or passage of scripture is a good start. Meditation does not have to be a spiritual or religious experience. Many people meditate for stress relief and relaxation.
Jesus said that we must decrease so that God can increase in us. The Apostle said that we must die daily. God wants us to die to ourselves so that he can indwell us. However, if we are filled with self, it leaves little room for God to enter in. Through various methods of meditation, we can become a vessel that God can use.
Whether as Christians we meditate on a sacred word, inspirational text, the Word of God, or even just dwell in God's presence or even use a guided Christian meditation Cd or recording, we are fulfilling God's command to "be still and know that I am God" and to "wait upon him." It is when we are still before the Lord that our knowledge, intimacy, and relationship with Him can grow.
Rhonda Jones is the creator of over 25 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds and the author of the Christian makeover program, Help Me God Change My Life and A Date with God. Learn more at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com and http://www.holyandhealthyliving.com.
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