BIBLICAL MEDITATION Pastor A. W. Weckeman May 22, 2022
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Even though the word “meditate” or “meditation” is found 20 times in the Scriptures (18 of the 20 times in association with God’s Word), unfortunately, because it is commonly associated with Eastern religions and the New Age Movement”, many Christians consider it taboo. While the concern is valid, we should not neglect the crucial practice of meditation as defined in God’s Word.
What is the difference between Eastern and Christian Meditation?
The difference between Eastern Meditation and Christian Meditation is the goal behind each practice. Both disciplines seek increased awareness of the spiritual realm through concentration and a quieted state of mind. However, unbeknown to many, the spiritual realm comprises two opposing forces, good and evil, light and darkness. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (John 1:5b). Spiritual manifestations can emanate from two very different sources.
The opposing force is counterfeit light which originates from “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). “…the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12). “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
The goal of Eastern Meditation is to empty one’s mind through a self-induced trance that leads to an altered state of consciousness. Consider the danger of emptying or opening one’s mind to spirits, as revealed by Jesus in Luke 11:24-26, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
The devil’s imitations come in the form of Eastern meditative techniques such as contemplative prayer”, “contemplative spirituality,” and other forms of mysticism. These practices involve specific breathing techniques, repetition of words or phrases (mantra). The goal is the silence of all thought, which knowingly or unknowingly, opens the mind to “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1). Nowhere does the Bible encourage the emptying of the mind. On the contrary, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37). The danger lies in the inability to discern the critical, subtle similarities between the two types of meditation. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1).
To the contrary, Christian mediation aims to focus one’s mind on God’s Word to “Draw nigh to God” so He can draw nigh unto us; submissive silence that seeks to hear the inaudible voice of the immutable God while immersed in His transforming Word. Silence makes possible a heightened sense of perception; a quiet, searching concentration in a setting where nothing can disturb our thoughts while subjecting ourselves to the Lord’s illumination and conviction. Silence is a void full of wisdom that restores the soul and refreshes the spirit.
Jesus said: “…true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24).
The point, realize that God’s Spirit communicates with man’s spirit in a soundless language, a still small voice heard only by a quieted spirit. “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10).
“How rare to find a soul still enough to hear God speak.” Fenelon