One of the most fulfilling yet misunderstood disciplines of the Christian life is that of scriptural (Bible-Based) meditation. Thankfully the Christian believer is not left without knowledge or understanding on this subject because of the riches we find in God's Word, the Bible. This teaching will lay some foundations to define what Biblical Meditation is and some simple steps to enable you to enjoy this wonderful part of our walk with God.
Scripture Reference This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.
Meditating enables us not just to Know God's Word but to Do it.
(James 1:23-25) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does
It is obvious from the scriptures above that it will take a greater effort than merely sitting in church on Sunday and listening to a sermon if you truly desire to grow stronger in the things of God. The key mentioned here is not to merely look casually into the Word of God, but to continue in it.
The word 'continues' in the Greek language (parameinas) means:
To continue closely
To abide in
Learning the Biblical discipline of meditation will enable us not only to understand the scriptures but empower us to apply them in our lives. Mediating upon the word hugely increases the chances that it will bring about changes in not only our thinking but also in our daily behaviour, helping us bear fruit for God's Kingdom.
The more you read the Bible; and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it. - Charles Spurgeon
The Word of God must become a living reality in our lives
(John 1:14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth
As someone who has both preached and heard many sermons over the years, I personally know how easy it is to listen to a message in Church and then quickly forget most of what was spoken. The writer of James ensures us that we need, not only to hear God's Word, but also to receive it and allow it to change our heart and life.
We as Christ's disciples are meant to follow in our Lord's footsteps as closely as we possibly can in life. Just as Jesus Christ was God's Word become flesh, so now we must allow God's Word to become flesh in us and the most effective way to do this is through Biblical Meditation.
"Holding the Word of God in your heart until it has affected every phase of your life, this is meditation" - Andrew Murray
Paul The Apostle Admonishes Believers To Meditate
(Philippians 4:8) 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
Paul states that if we spend time filling our mind and heart with this list of heavenly virtues then the God of Peace will be with us in life. (Philippians 4:9) In a world that is filled with hatred and darkness these virtues/character traits are to shine forth in the lives of believers so that the world can clearly see the difference that Jesus makes.
(1 Timothy 4:13-15) Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all
Paul's letter to Timothy identifies meditation as a pathway to spiritual progress and maturity in the Lord. He also states that Reading the Scriptures, Encouraging other Believers and protecting and maintaining Biblical Doctrine in the Church is required daily for those who would serve as leaders in God's Church.
The amount of time we spend with Jesus - meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face - establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom. - Charles Stanley
The Psalmist Says That Meditation Gives Wisdom and Understanding
(Psalm 119:97-99) Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
(Psalm 49:3) My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding
Would you like to be wiser than your enemies, smarter than your teachers and have a heart of deep understanding? The Psalmist advises us that learning how to meditate biblically will bring these spiritual strengths into the life of every believer.
As you read, pause frequently to meditate on the meaning of what you are reading. Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you. - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Meditation as a Pathway Out Of Anguish
(Psalm 77:10-12) And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds
(Isaiah 26:3) You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You
Anguish is a sense of distress that comes when our focus is distracted from looking at and trusting in the things of God, and we become emotionally overwhelmed by the things we face in the world. It is at these times especially that we need to know how to overcome these negative feelings and replace them by stepping back into fully trusting God again.
Biblical Meditation becomes part of the daily lifestyle of the Christian believer that equips and empowers us mentally and emotionally to overcome life's challenges.
We can have the mind of Christ when we meditate on the Word of God. - Crystal McDowell
The Difference of Biblical Meditation
(John 6:63) It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life
God's desire for His children to walk in His ways is expressed many times throughout the pages of the Bible. To enable them to achieve this He has provided a way to fast track their growth in spiritual things and the way He has provided is through Biblical Meditation.
Biblical Meditation is totally different from other forms of meditation available in the world, because it involves filling your mind and heart up to overflowing with God's Word. Jesus Christ is revealed in scripture as the Word of God become flesh (John 1:14), so the more of God's Word you have inside you, the more of the life of Jesus you have inside you!
Therefore it is not surprising that God often encourages His children to meditate in His Word. Jesus came to give us life and life that is abundant!
Meditate on what you read (Psalm. 199:15). The Hebrew word for "meditate" means to be intense in the mind. Meditation without reading is wrong and bound to err; reading without meditation is barren and fruitless. - Thomas Watson
What Happens When We Meditate?
Reflections and Conceptions
(Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart
The above scripture tells us that God's Word has the ability to enter every part
of our lives and to enable us to truly become all that God desires us to be. When we give God's Word access to all areas of our life, we begin to experience the transforming power it carries in within.
The Word of God Pierces to the division of
Soul & Spirit
Joints & Marrow
The Word of God Discerns
Thoughts of the Heart (Reflections)
Intents of the Heart (Conceptions)
*When we reflect enough on a particular scripture, by filling up our mind and heart with it, it will become conceived within our spirit. When God's Word is conceived in our spirit in a certain area, (e.g. the area of divine healing) we will have faith to heal the sick.
Whatever we continually reflect upon will eventually be conceived within our heart, whether it's good or evil. The choice is ours!
This spiritual principle is at work in the world, in the lives of all mankind. We as believers in Jesus Christ must ensure that we are filling our minds and hearts with God's Word constantly if we are to receive His blessing over our lives.
(Matthew 6:22-23) “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
(Genesis 6:5-6) Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
“Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to reading of the word of God, and meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed; and thus, by means of the Word of God, while meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experiential communion with the Lord.”- George Muller
Preparing our Heart to Meditate
(Jeremiah 15:16) Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
Meditation (eating)= turning word of God into spiritual life and power
A Teacher once asked a classroom of students a question:
He said: How do you eat an Elephant?
The students all remembered how big an Elephant was, and replied that it couldn't be done!
But the Teacher just smiled, and said again..
How do you eat an Elephant?
Easy, just one bite at a time!
To meditate upon a scripture, you need to break it up into bite size chunks!
You might just continually ponder over one word or one small phrase in a scripture.
Remember, you can't eat an elephant all at once, you need to only take a small piece and chew it over.
(Psalm 143:5) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands
Muse = means to ponder, chew over
The Step by Step Process
1. Spend time in Prayer and Praise
Get yourself free of any worries or cares before you begin. Enter into God's Presence with thanksgiving.
2. Remember the Scripture
Memorise a particular Bible verse that stands out to you personally.
3. Meditate on it
Take the time to fill your mind and heart up with it continually.
4. Muse over it
Chew over individual words or phrases in the scripture until you feel them coming alive in your spirit. Enjoy and yield yourself to the Holy Spirit's work in your life.
Don't be in a rush, meditation takes time.
Relax and allow God's life giving Word to fill you up over and over.
"The time you spend meditating on God's Word may be the most effective spiritual growth that you experience in your entire life."
(Psalm 19:14) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer
For Further Study On This Subject
(Psalm 63:6) (Psalm 4:4) (Matthew 6:6) (Psalm 104:34) (Psalm 119:15,78,148) (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Other Forms of Meditation- Satan's Counterfeit
Having travelled through several Asian countries I have seen many Temples and many more monks dressed in their robes of office. We have probably all seen the Hollywood movies showing meditating monks levitating off the ground somewhere up in the Himalayan mountains as if they have found some secret power or revelation.
Many religions prescribe some form of meditation as a pathway to finding the perfect peace and enlightenment of 'Nirvana', however because they are man-made religions they are still living under the power of Satan ( the god of this world) and any spiritual actions they encourage are merely opportunities for demonic deception and potentially demonic possession.
*Satan often attempts to counterfeit the truth's of God's Word and twist them into something that will hurt rather than heal. Other forms of meditation often involve emptying your mind and leave those practicing it open to the influences of evil spirits.
Biblical Meditation is always done through filling our mind and heart with the life and power of God's Word.
This Months Free eBook Download
The Being Biblically Spiritual Series
You may also wish to access previous blogs in this series: