Why Christians Can't Afford Not to Meditate!
by Rhonda Jones 5/23/2008 / Self Help
If you are like most believers you might be thinking, meditate! Isn't that for monks and Eastern religions? You might have been led to believe that meditation is limited to certain sects but I hope to change your mind. I believe that this silent prayer is essential to a genuine and fruitful walk with Christ. Let's first go to the scriptures. Joshua said in 1:8 that if we meditate on God day and night that we will have success and prosperity in life. But what does it really mean to meditate on God. First let's define the word meditation. The synonyms for meditate are: reflect, pray, ponder, muse, ruminate, cogitate, study, think, and contemplate.
Meditating defined means:
1. to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect
2. to engage in transcendental meditation, devout religious contemplation or quiescent spiritual introspection.
3. To train, calm, or empty the mind, often by achieving an altered state, as by focusing on a single object.
4. To engage in devotional contemplation, especially prayer.
5. To think or reflect, especially in a calm and deliberate manner.
Now I do see the word "transcendental meditation" listed in the definitions but based the collective meaning, how would you define Christ-centered meditation? Would you say that Christian meditation means to:
Reflect on Christ
Ponder the Word of God
Contemplate the Scriptures
Focus entirely on God
Alone with God in Solitude
Surrendering the Moment to God
Here is how I define Christian Meditation in one sentence. Christian meditation is a practice used to quiet our minds and usher us into a state of BEING and ONENESS with God.
So now we know what it means to meditate. The scripture even tells us that meditation leads to success in our Christian life, but how? Let's look at what you gain by regular meditation.
1. Greater Health- Studies show that 95% of all diseases are worsened by stress. Stress has become the underlying precursor of most illnesses. Meditation is one of the best methods to reduce or alleviate stress in your mind and body. Many doctors are now encouraging their patients to incorporate meditation in their lives.
2. Control Negative Thinking- What is the greatest battle of every believer? It is the battle of the mind. Jesus emphasizes throughout the scripture that we must RENEW our minds. Our minds are wicked, depraved, deceived, easy lead astray, worldly, sinful, and create constant inner conflict. For further study read the scriptures below:
If you are not in control of your thoughts, then they are in control of you. Many believers suffer from negative thoughts and compulsive thinking. That means they can't turn off the faucet of thoughts parading around in their heads. Their mind goes on and on like a broken record. It interferes with their sleep. It causes them to live in a state of worry, anger, need, and other toxic emotions. It robs them of God's peace. Practicing regular meditation teaches believers to quiet their minds, disidentify with their thoughts, and clear their mental path to God.
3. Maintain Peace of Mind- Have you ever turned your cares over to God only to take them back several hours or days later? You didn't want them back. You made an honest effort to let them go, but before long they crepted back in again stealing your peace. This was a vicious cycle for me. It was only through Christ-centered meditation that I got my mind back. Before that, I was a slave to worry, fear, and depression.
4. Are you living the life of your dreams? Most people would say "no, way." But I'm here to tell you that "Yes, you are!" Why, because "as a man thinks in his heart so is he." Your current thoughts and meditations (what you focus on) has created the very life you are living at this present moment. If this isn't the dream you had in mind, meditation will help you to recognize those thoughts that are keeping you stuck. Once you know what you're constantly thinking about, you can challenge, alter, and eliminate debilitating or destructive thinking.
6. Does God seem like a distant force in the universe? You have a personal relationship with Christ but maybe you're feeling a little disconnected from Him lately. That joy you felt when you were first saved is but a flickering light. Psalms 46:10 tells us to "Be still andknow God." The scripture also says, "in God's presence is fullness of joy." If you want to experience a deeper relationship with God, meditation can help you to enter into God's presence and abide in his love.
7. Has the voice of God become dull in your life? Throughout scripture when God had something to say to an individual, he spoke in a still, small voice. If your mind is filled with mental chatter, God's word is going to be drowned out most of the time. Getting still before the Lord in meditation will help you to clear out the mental clutter and create a greater sensitivity to God's voice.
8. Trying to overcome habits and other addictive behaviors? Most people are always gravitating to something to make them feel better. I call it self-medication. We have a problem being still with our own thoughts. We're afraid of where they might lead us, especially if we've buried years of hurt and pain. Regular meditation can help you to break the cycle of looking outside of God's spirit in you for happiness. It can help you to release the restlessness that causes you to seek fulfillment in all the wrong places: food, drinks, church (yes even church), relationships, recreation, power, things, money, and more.
If you need instructions on Biblical meditation consider purchasing a guided Christ-centered meditation CD. Be careful to select a CD that is Christian-based and will not compromise your Christian faith. If you are consistent with Christian meditation, you will find it to be one of the best investments you can make in your spiritual life.