…my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.
— Psalm 63:5-6 (AMPC)
Transcendental Meditation. Yoga. New Age. We hear these terms all the time, and they cause many Christians to avoid any reference to meditation. They’re afraid of the occult or pagan worship. What they don’t realize is how often the Bible urges us to meditate.
We can explain biblical meditation in a number of ways, but the one I find most helpful is to think of it as expressed in the Bible. If we read the verses above (and there are many others), we see three significant things about meditation in the Word.
First, the Scriptures refer to more than a quick reading or pausing for a few brief, reflecting thoughts. The Bible presents meditation as serious pondering. Whenever the Bible refers to meditation, it speaks to serious, committed followers. It’s not referring to quick, pick-me-up Bible verses. I’m not opposed to those, but this is a call to deeper, more serious concentration.
Second, the biblical contexts show meditation as ongoing and habitual. “It is my meditation all the day,” says the verse above. In Joshua 1:8, God told Joshua to meditate on the law day and night. We get the impression that the people who spoke of meditating did so seriously and threw their minds fully into the action. Psalm 1:2 says that the godly person meditates on God’s law day and night.
Third, meditation has a reward. It’s not just to meditate or go through a religious ritual. In most of the biblical passages where the term occurs, the writer goes on to point out the results. Again in Joshua 1:8: “… For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (AMPC).
Psalm chapter 1 describes the godly person who meditates day and night on God’s law (or Word) and says, “… and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]” (v. 3) (AMPC).
Despite what I’ve pointed out, we don’t talk or teach much about meditation today. It’s hard work! It demands time. Meditation also demands undivided attention.
If you want to win the battle for the mind, meditation is a powerful weapon for you to use. You must focus on portions of God’s Word. You must read them, perhaps repeat them aloud, and keep them before you. Some people repeat a verse again and again until the meaning fills their mind and becomes part of their thinking. The idea is that you won’t put the Word of God in practice physically until you first practice it mentally.
Meditation is a life principle because it ministers life to you, and your behavior ministers life to others through you.
I could go on and on about the subject of meditating on God’s Word, because it seems there is no end to what God can show me out of one verse of Scripture. The Word of God is a treasure chest of powerful, life-giving secrets that God wants to reveal to us. I believe these truths are manifested to those who meditate on, ponder, study, think about, practice mentally, and mutter the Word of God. The Lord reveals Himself to us when we diligently meditate on His Word. Throughout the day, as you go about your daily affairs, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of certain scriptures on which you can meditate.
You’ll be amazed at how much power will be released into your life from this practice. The more you meditate on God’s Word, the more you will be able to draw readily upon its strength in times of trouble.
This is how we can stay filled with the Holy Spirit—stay with the Lord through meditation and through singing and praising. As we spend time in His presence and ponder His Word, we grow, we encourage others, and we win the battles against the enemy of our minds.
Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit of God, help me to spend time every day meditating on the treasures of Your Word. I thank You for showing me that as I fill my mind with pure and holy thoughts, I will become a stronger and better disciple.