Unit # 3 - What is Christian Meditation?
In the simplest terms, Christian Meditation is “being with God.” It is dwelling in His presence for the mere pleasure of being with Him. The synonyms for meditate are: reflect, pray, ponder, muse, ruminate, cogitate, study, think, and contemplate. Therefore, when we integrate the word meditation with Christian, biblical meditation it is simply the practice of reflecting, musing, pondering, and contemplating God, His principles, His word, His character, His glory, and His presence. It is generally referred to as a method used to quiet our minds so we can move from knowing about God to knowing and experiencing God in a personal way.
That sounds simple enough, right? However, for many Christians, incessant thinking, negative and fear-based thoughts, hectic schedules, and secular philosophies interfere with developing an intimate relationship with the Lord. As we move further from a genuine relationship with Christ, our Christian walk becomes less fruitful and we become much more susceptible to depression, stress, fear, and a host of other toxic emotions. Instead of becoming more Christ-centered and putting our faith and trust in God, we begin relying on our human wisdom and efforts. Over time this creates weariness, disillusionment and burn-out. Spending time with God in silence and reflection is one way we can guard our hearts and keep our minds centered on Christ. Believers who incorporate Christian meditation into their daily lives begin to experience a deeper relationship with God, a renewed mind, mental and emotional well-being, and a host of other benefits.
Also, as a Christian society, we don’t put enough value on spending time in God’s presence. Many think that is for monks, gurus, and other spiritual leaders. Yet God abolished the law so that He could now have an individual and personal relationship with each of His children. You can bypass the priest, the pastor, or any other church leader and enter into God’s glory any time of the day or night. You just must have a desire and a willingness to do so and follow through. You can make a daily appointment with God and He will keep it, but will you?
Of all these, I believe the biggest obstacles to Christian meditation and spending time with God are our perpetual thoughts. When we try to just be with God by abiding or dwelling in His presence our thoughts run rampant. We begin to think about anything and everything. Whether these thoughts are good or bad, it keeps us from focusing solely on the Lord. So what can we do to stop or eliminate these thoughts so we can keep our focus on the Lord? That is what you will learn in this course.
How Does Christian Meditation Renew Your Mind?
The title of this Christian Meditation Course is Abiding with Christ. Isaiah 26:3 declares, “I (God) will keep thee in perfect peace whose mind is stayed, fixed, or focused (meditating) on me.” The success of our Christian walk will be in direct proportion to the authority we have over our thought life. That is why Jesus warns us to cast down every vain imagination and to bring every thought captive to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) It is the condition of your mind, not your church attendance that will determine whether you live a victorious or defeated life in Christ. Luke 6:45 says “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good.” In reverse, evil thoughts manifest evil outcomes. And by evil, I mean fear, anger, jealousy, hopelessness, and other toxic emotions. What we meditate on, we produce. There is a wise saying that goes, “thoughts become things.” To take it a bit further, repetitive thoughts become mindsets, which become actions, which become habits, and then become behaviors.
To our detriment, most people don’t even pay much attention to the thoughts repeatedly bombarding their minds. They are slaves to their mental chatter and don’t even know it. Awareness is what brings freedom and Christian meditation is a wonderful tool that will actually put a microscope on your incessant internal dialogue. But the course won’t just stop there, you’ll also learn how to quiet and in some cases eliminate pesky and destructive thoughts altogether.
Being Still Before the Lord:
John 4:24 says that “God is a Spirit and that those that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” The Kingdom of God is within each and every one of us and we access that Kingdom by connecting with God through our hearts and through His word. Although we may not see God, we can know and experience Him, but it takes being still and allowing His presence, His spirit, and His word, to fill us up, through and through, by creating a greater space for Him in our hearts.
As stated earlier, Christian meditation is simply meditating on God, His word, and His presence. Yet there is not just one way to meditate on the Lord. You will be exploring many of these methods in this course and learn what method you should use for various outcomes. Next we will explore some of the best reasons and benefits for Christ-centered meditation.
Module # 1
Please answer the following questions in your journal.
1.What has been you view of meditation?
2. Have you ever considered meditation to be anti-Christ?
3. What led to these beliefs?
4. What is your understanding of Christian meditation now?
If we see meditation as anti-Christian, we will enter meditation in fear and unable to relax and receive its full benefits.
5. Are you comfortable with the practice of meditation? Why or why not?
If you still have some challenges, that's okay, this course will help you to gain greater perspective.