If you are like most believers you might be thinking “meditate!”, isn’t that for monks and those associated with Eastern religions? The benefits of christian meditation for many modern day believers is relatively unknown. Yet, thorough research will show that Christian meditation is nothing new. You can find numerous books, websites, and articles on this subject alone. However, our greatest incentive for Christ-centered meditation can be found right in the Bible. Joshua said in 1:8 that if we meditate on God day and night that we will have success and prosperity in life. Psalms 16:11, tells us that in God’s presence is fullness of joy. But what does it really mean to meditate on God and what are the benefits of Christian meditation?
[highlight bg=”#99caff” color=”#000000″]The synonyms for meditate are: reflect, pray, ponder, muse, ruminate, cogitate, study, think, and contemplate.[/highlight] Therefore, when we integrate the word meditation with Christian, Biblical meditation is simply the practice of reflecting, musing, pondering, and contemplating God, his principles, his word, 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 experience God in a personal way. One of the most common ways Christians meditate is to focusing on a scripture or biblical word that helps them to silence their thoughts, thus creating a greater opportunity to hear God and connect with the Holy Spirit living within them.
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. Overtime this creates weariness, disillusion, 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.
Benefits of Christian meditation include:[spoiler title=”1) Greater Health” open=”1″ style=”2″]Studies show that 95% of all diseases are worsened by stress. Stress has become the underlying precursor of most illnesses. Meditation is one of the best methods to reduce or alleviate stress in your mind and body. Many doctors are now encouraging their patients to incorporate meditation in their lives.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”2) Control Negative Thinking” open=”1″ style=”2″]What is the greatest battle of every believer? It is the battle of the mind. Jesus emphasizes throughout the scripture that we must RENEW our minds. Our minds are wicked, depraved, deceived, easy lead astray, worldly, sinful, and create constant inner conflict. For further study read the following scriptures: Romans 1:28, Ephesians 4:23, 2 Corth 11:3, Romans 12:2, Romans 7:21-23. If you are not in control of your thoughts, then they are in control of you. Many believers suffer from negative thoughts and compulsive thinking. That means they can’t turn off the faucet of thoughts parading around in their heads. Their mind goes on and on like a broken record. It interferes with their sleep. It causes them to live in a state of worry, anger, need, and other toxic emotions. It robs them of God’s peace. Practicing regular meditation teaches believers to quiet their minds, disidentify with their thoughts, and clear their mental path to God.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”3) Maintain Peace of Mind” open=”1″ style=”2″]Have you ever turned your cares over to God only to take them back several hours or days later? You didn’t want them back. You made an honest effort to let them go, but before long they crepted back in again stealing your peace. This was a vicious cycle for me. It was only through Christ-centered meditation that I got my mind back. Before that, I was a slave to worry, fear, and depression.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”4) Create the Life you Want” open=”1″ style=”2″]Are you living the life of your dreams? Most people would say “no, way.” But I’m here to tell you that “Yes, you are!” Why, because “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Your current thoughts and meditations (what you focus on) has created the very life you are living at this present moment. If this isn’t the dream you had in mind, meditation will help you to recognize those thoughts that are keeping you stuck. Once you know what you’re constantly thinking about, you can challenge, alter, and eliminate debilitating or destructive thinking.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”5) More Intimacy with God” open=”1″ style=”2″]Does God seem like a distant force in the universe? You have a personal relationship with Christ but maybe you’re feeling a little disconnected from Him lately. That joy you felt when you were first saved is but a flickering light. Psalms 46:10 tells us to “Be still and…know God.” The scripture also says, “in God’s presence is fullness of joy.” If you want to experience a deeper relationship with God, meditation can help you to enter into God’s presence and abide in his love.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”6) Greater Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit” open=”1″ style=”2″]Has the voice of God become dull in your life? Throughout scripture when God had something to say to an individual, he spoke in a still, small voice. If your mind is filled with mental chatter, God’s word is going to be drowned out most of the time. Getting still before the Lord in meditation will help you to quiet your thoughts and create a greater sensitivity to God’s voice.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”7) Overcome Habits and Destructive Behaviors” open=”1″ style=”2″]Trying to overcome habits and other addictive behaviors? Most people are always gravitating to something to make them feel better. I call it self-medication. We have a problem being still with our own thoughts. We’re afraid of where they might lead us, especially if we’ve buried years of hurt and pain. Regular meditation can help you to break the cycle of looking outside of God’s spirit in you for happiness. It can help you to release the restlessness that causes you to seek fulfillment in all the wrong places: food, drinks, church (yes even church), relationships, recreation, power, things, money, and more.
[/spoiler] [box title=”What Else Does the Bible Say About Christian Meditation?” color=”#e6545f”]There are numerous scriptures and references to Christian meditation in the Bible. A few more to consider are: Psalms chapter 4: 4 that persuades us, “When you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” David desired in Psalms 104: 34, that his “meditations be pleasing to the Lord.” Isaiah declared in Chapter 50:4, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Moses spent 40 days on the mountain abiding and learning from God (Exodus 34-35). Paul received revelation and saw visions from heaven (2 Corinthians 12). John wrote visions that are recorded in the book of Revelations.
I believe that is was during times of Biblical meditation that the disciples and prophets received many of their visions and revelations from God. The Bible says even Jesus spent hours alone with God daily (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35). Our greatest inspirations and truths come during times of quietness, stillness, openness, and reflection- all components and benefits of Christian meditation.