Meditation: Here's the Biblical Truth
As I've dug deeper into what it truly looks like to practice Christianity, one of the major concepts that keeps coming up is the art of meditation. In my life, meditating is one of those things that I've seen old-time-tradition-heavy churches continuously push against. In fact, from my experience, anything revolving around these terms are "of the devil," as far as they're concerned:
universal law, and
meditation, among others.
The irony of this is that those believers who are so anti-meditation in fear of it being some sort of devil-worshiping, self-centered belief system are the same people who I've seen live in constant bondage. Be it with their health, relationships, finances, or another aspect of life, they always seem to be experiencing some sort of lack.
Doesn't God want more for us? I mean, we are his kids after all.
That being said, I think it's important to also note that developing a practice that centers on the complete opposite end of the spectrum is just as dangerous. I'm talking about the "prosperity" Christians who think that having optimum wealth and health are indicators of a life aligned with God. On a surface level, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that God doesn't want us to live in total shambles, but He definitely isn't a genie waiting to fulfill every one of our wishes, either.
Circling back to the point, meditation is often demonized and associated with eastern religions. Yes, Buddhists and Hindus are known for practicing meditation as an intricate part of their religion, but Christianity is an eastern religion, too.
Besides, there are several scriptures that point to meditation as a tool to cultivate our well-being.
I believe Romans 12:2 is one:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. Here, we're literally being told that God's will for our lives will unfold when we begin to renew our minds. Once we transform our way of thinking, transforming our way of living naturally follows suit.
I believe this insight is one of the reasons why the apostle Paul who wrote this verse also says, "we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Paul knew that the enemy never really makes us sin. No, all he does is plant the seed of thought. We allow the thought to fester and before we even realize what's happening, we've sinned. It all starts in the mind.
Meditate: to think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
With this definition in mind (no pun intended), we meditate all the time rather we're conscious of it or not. On a subconscious level, we meditate simply by dwelling on thoughts that enter our mind. The art of meditation occurs when we're conscious of those thoughts and intentionally choose which ones we dwell on and which one we let pass by.
God's desire for us to is be conscious Christians. This couldn't be more clear than in Philippians 4:8, which says:
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.
The bible indisputably instructs us to meditate. What's the problem?
The problem is that the enemy can't have us living with our self-care in tact. So, he deceives us into thinking that what God meant for us isn't really for us at all. It's almost like a reverse of what he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Instead of telling us that what's off limits is really good for us, he manipulates us into believing the very principles God designed for our benefit weren't created by Him at all and are actually for our harm.
John 10:10 echoes this idea:
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
We believers are the "they" mentioned in this verse. And - unlike the other verses I've shared on this post - these aren't Paul's words. These words came from Jesus Christ himself.
Yo. It's time to break the chains, right?
Coming to this realization that meditation is of God and that it is for us is just the very beginning. Remember Romans 12:2. In other words, there's an entire life - an abundant life, according to Christ! - that comes with meditation. I'll write more on what's to follow in future posts. For now, let's just sit in this bliss and next we'll discover exactly how to meditate biblically.
You're invited! Ready to dive deeper into meditating as a believer? Join me for my 5-Week Coaching Experience: The Art of Meditation. This experience begins on May 4 and there are only 15 spots available. Learn more and sign up today!