Meditation…the Good Kind by Travis Evans
November 13, 2006, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Devotions

 by Jonathan Oldacre

Meditation. That’s a word that usually conjures up images of an aged Indian sage sitting cross-legged in a white robe. For me, I learned a special kind of meditation from an instructor here in Knoxville, Tennessee! I think I was in middle school at the time, the teacher was nice, he used a white board to teach us, and he even gave me a secret mantra to chant to myself in order to further peace and satisfaction in my practice of meditation. True story!

Check out this diagram to see what I learned (you can click it to enlarge)…
Thankfully, since that time God has radically saved me by the finished work of Jesus Christ, He’s changed my heart, and He’s put His Spirit within me. By His grace I’m able to discern the futility and falsehood of transcendental meditation, but I think the practice does reveal a lot about our sinful human nature, doesn’t it? Isn’t it interesting that this diagram maps out a path to “peace” that progressively focuses on you, on your-self! The goal is “pure, silent, transcendental consciousness” where all thought is eliminated. You transcend and transcend and descend and go deeper and deeper to find a capitalized “Self” sitting on the throne of your heart. And that’s supposed to be comforting? AHHHHHHH! If I’m the source of peace and satisfaction, we’re all in trouble!

We shouldn’t be surprised; we’re sinners to the core and we’re experts at loving ourselves. It was only a matter of time before someone slapped a really deep-sounding label on the restless evil known as self esteem! With an unchanged and unregenerate heart it only makes sense that the self is yet another member of our pantheon of false gods. Praise the true God for the gospel! Through the gospel of grace, God has changed us and our lives are very different now. We love God and we find our joy in Him. We read His Word and we love getting to know God better. Looking in the mirror isn’t as fun and as comforting as it used to be.

The diagram above represents a serious and fundamental difference between an ungodly, unbiblical, and destructive meditation and a meditation that pleases the true God of the Bible. Is there a meditation that is actually pleasing to God? Is it just mumbling God’s Words back to Him? What is the end of biblical meditation, and am I just looking for good feelings when I meditate on Scripture?

Here’s a sampling of the word “meditation” in Scripture:

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Psalm 49:3 “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.”

Psalm 104:34 “May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.”

Psalm 119:97 “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Psalm 119:99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.”

Notice something different? Ungodly meditation focuses on the self, while God-glorifying meditation begins and ends with GOD. He is the Author of Truth, He is the Truth! Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Joy and delight and peace are in God alone, and we obtain all these through the shed blood of a real person, the God-man Jesus Christ!

2285_b.jpgBiblical meditation is active, not passive. You want more of God, so you get to know Him better through His Word. You’re not trying to empty your mind of thought, you’re seeking to fill it with truth about God! You seek to think over what God says, you milk the truth for all it’s worth, you dig and find diamonds from the King’s treasure chest, you chew on it, you engage with the text, you think about the author’s intent, you think about the original recipients, you think about God’s character and attributes, you are active! As Mueller said, we “consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.” That is biblical meditation, and that pleases God! He loves it when we give serious consideration to His precious Word, and He blesses the study of His Word.

Is your Bible reading dry? Then give yourself to meditating on and thinking over and praying over what you read and allow God’s Spirit to warm your affections. There’s more grace to be had Christian, have you meditated on God’s Word today?


4 Comments so far
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Comment by Melanie

Indeed–an excellent post, Jonathan! Now, if you added a few emoticons it would be perfect.

Comment by Cap Stewart

Bro, that is super encouraging! Oh that I may meditate all the more to be satisfied with the diamonds of the King! Oh that I may not be enticed by the “treasures” of this world!

Comment by walterp

Wow! This is a wonderful post Jonathan!

Comment by The Puritan

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