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Biblical Meditation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Ivey   

It is evident that from the beginning of time Satan has attempted to undermine man’s efforts to think correctly about God.  One tactic he repeatedly uses is to pervert godly practices of meditation.  The perversion encourages one to seek wisdom and understanding from self rather than God.  Recently, I became aware of information on the Internet about meditation methods in the traditions of Eastern and New Age mystical religions which demonstrate this point.  One site instructs “the primary goal is maintaining a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting enmeshed in them. This calm, accepting, spacious awareness is your Core Self... your Essence.”  It continues with instruction in the “Inner Light Meditation” method; “This is a meditation for connecting you with your Inner Spirit.... your essence or core Self. It uses the light that is already within you as an object of focus. It's a fairly simple meditation, but is quite powerful, and potentially very deep.  Notice the focus on self.   This is a wholly existential approach to meditating in that any meaning or effect derived is intended to be self-determined.  Another web site defines meditation as “an exercise, aiming to prevent thoughts in a natural way, by deeply relaxing the physical body and then trying to keep the mind completely "blank" with no thoughts whatsoever. This state may be maintained for a few seconds or a few hours, depending on your skill. Purity of the mind achieved during meditation is essential to gain access to Higher Self.” 
Aside from the obvious sinfulness of the humanistic (and therefore depraved) focus of Eastern and New Age religion mystical methods of meditation there is an added danger to these perverse practices.  They open one’s mind to the influences of spiritual wickedness (Eph 6:12).  Plainly stated, they give Satan opportunities to influence our thoughts.  The adage, “An idle mind is the devils workshop” applies where the methods of medication described above are concerned.  Those who meditate by “trying to keep the mind completely blank” and “allowing thoughts to come and go” provide a fertile field for Satan to plant seeds of sinful ideas and wicked schemes.
The account of how Satan deceived Eve is the classic example of how he plants seeds of doubt in unprotected minds that produce ungodly thinking and sinful behavior.  “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Gen. 2:1-6. 

Notice Satan’s tactics:  First, he asked what appeared to be an innocent question.  To paraphrase, he inquired “Did God say you can’t eat from any of the trees in the garden?”  Eve responded God only forbade they eat from the tree in the midst of the garden (tree of knowledge of good and evil) and neither could they touch it.  Her response indicates she did not pay close attention to what God actually said, or else she chose to add her own stipulation to God’s warning.  He did not forbid Adam and Eve from touching the tree.  In either case it can be reasonably inferred Eve was not strictly focused on understanding God’s will.  This made her particularly vulnerable to Satan’s evil suggestion that disobeying God would result in achieving a higher plain of knowledge and understanding by which she would become more like God.  Satan convinced Eve she would, to use New Age jargon, “gain access to Higher Self” by ignoring what God said and doing what she thought best.  However, the result was catastrophic for all humanity.

In contrast to Eastern and New Age religion methods the Bible teaches we are not to empty our minds when we meditate.  Rather, we are told to fill our minds with thoughts about God.  The first instruction given in scripture as to how we are to meditate makes this point explicitly.  “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.” Jos 1:8.
Biblical instructions do not encourage us to somehow find inner self as a source for better understanding, strength and peace when we meditate.  Rather, scripture asserts we are to seek understanding of God’s will and His strength for comfort and peace.  “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Ps 19:14. “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.” Ps 49:3.  When we fill our minds with expressions of God’s revealed will to meditate upon we are strengthened by His wisdom and God blesses us with comfort and joy.  “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psa 1:1-2. “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” Psa 63:5-6.

The Savior is the “fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Col 2:9.  In all his words and deeds Jesus personified God’s will when he was on the Earth.  Therefore, His example should be the principle focus of our meditations.  Many texts of the New Testament support this assertion.  Philippians 2:5 instructs us to think like him, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.”  To fulfill this instruction we must know something of the mind of Christ.  We learn about how and what He thinks, His philosophy, by studying and meditating on His words and accounts of His deeds.  We are to think on these things, meditate on them for understanding and guidance from God as to how they apply in our lives.  Paul makes this precise point in his concluding remarks of the Philippian letter. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:7-8.

When our minds are focused on the things of God Satan cannot subtly impose temptations into our thoughts.  Thus, when we employ biblical methods to meditate we are kept safe, saved, from Satan’s snare and also provide godly examples to others for their saving.  “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” ……“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” I Tim 4;13,15. 

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