Spiritual Disciplines: Why Biblical Meditation?
If meditation is defined as pondering or contemplating what is true, then the next question is why meditate? Many of us desire deeper communion with the Lord and greater wisdom to navigate the challenges that arise. Meditating on things of God is a key ingredient to this desired destination. While meditation is not an instant recipe for direction or answers, it is helpful in transforming our heart and mind to see the World as God sees it. The Scriptures are to shift our view of reality. This is often unsettling. It has been said that if you are unwilling to shift your perspective then you should not read the bible. Meditating on the Scripture will impact the reader and their view of life.
In 1 Timothy 4:15 Paul writes, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” Verses 12-14 gives direction regarding what to mediate on and verse 15 gives a powerful answer to the “why meditate” question. It tells us that in meditating on truth as declared in the Holy Scriptures we will profit, and it will be apparent to others. How are we profited? We profit by an illuminated path and the ability to resist temptation. During difficult and prosperous times, we need something to anchor us. Having truth hid in our heart and mind does just that. The Scriptures become a light to our path (Psalm 119:105) through knowing them which comes from meditating on them. One of the ways meditating on the Scriptures gives light to our path is by helping us recognize and resist temptation. (Psalm 119:11)
Another important reason to mediate on truth is for the purpose of magnifying in the Lord. While meditating on truth can bring conviction, direction, and transformation, it also gives way to magnifying his greatness. Take for example meditating on what Paul summarizes about Jesus in 1 Timothy 3:16.
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Meditating on these glorious truths can confound and delight the believer for a lifetime. What we meditate on will be magnified in our heart and mind. What is magnified will have a profound impact on how we view and engage everything in life.
Perhaps the most important reason for meditating on truth is the reality that we need to be transformed. (Romans 12:1-2) Meditation is one way by which The Spirit accomplishes this. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Day-by-day contemplating the things of God so we grow in godliness. We need to be transformed in heart, mind, and behavior. What we pay attention to has this transforming power. Apart from being transformed we will be stuck in merely viewing life through a “how does this impact me” lens. Those who are more naturally relational, or conflict-avoidant may make decisions focused on others but not from a place of Spirit-led transformation as much as from a place of avoiding discomfort or people pleasing. The converted soul has been brought from death to life, made new in and through Christ. Being adopted into God’s family is the beginning of a lifelong journey of growth. While we have been given a new heart, we have the ongoing need for sanctification. The flesh has been given a fatal blow but continues to reside and will continue to fight for authority. (Romans 6)
- What reasons do you see for meditating on the “things of God”?
- What do you believe 1 Timothy 4:15 teaches about the purpose of meditation?
- Will meditation always bring a specific outcome such as delighting in the Lord?
- What do you see as areas of your thoughts, emotions, or actions that need transforming to better align with the scriptures?
- What will help motivate you to spend more time in meditation?
Scriptures to Consider: 1 Timothy 4:12-15, 1 Timothy 3:16, James 3:17, Joshua 1:8-9, Ephesians 4:1-16
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Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation: Find True Peace in Jesus
Author: Robert Morgan
Pastor Robert Morgan leads us through a journey into biblical meditation, which, he says, is thinking Scripture—not just reading Scripture or studying Scripture or even thinking about Scripture—but thinking Scripture, contemplating, visualizing, and personifying the precious truths God has given us.