Is meditation simply me studying harder? Is meditation a New Age or Eastern technique? The answer to both questions is no!
Biblical meditation is "God's Spirit utilizing every faculty of my heart and mind, bringing forth revelation which ushers in transformation."
Meditation is intently seeking God's revelation, resulting in God disclosing Himself to you.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is the glory of kings to search out a matter (Prov. 25:2). We are encouraged to pray for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened, so we might know (Eph. 1:17-18).
Verses With 'Meditate' or 'Meditation' From the New American Standard Bible
- Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening (Gen. 24:63).
- "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success" (Josh. 1:8).
- Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah (Ps. 4:4).
- One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple (Ps. 27:4).
- My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will be understanding (Ps. 49:3).
- When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches (Ps. 63:6).
- I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders (Ps. 77:6).
- I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds (Ps. 77:12).
- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14).
- Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; as for me, I shall be glad in the LORD (Ps. 104:34).
- I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways (Ps. 119:15).
- Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders (Ps. 119:27).
- And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes (Ps. 119:48).
- May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts (Ps. 119:78).
- O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119:97).
- I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation (Ps. 119:99).
- My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word (Ps. 119:148).
- I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands (Ps. 143:5).
- On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate (Ps. 145:5).
4 Underlying Pillars of Meditation
The four underlying pillars of meditation are: 1) a continuous activity, 2) God's Spirit utilizing every faculty of one's heart and mind, 3) results in revelation, and 4) revelation that brings transformation.
- Meditation is a continuous activity. We meditate everywhere: in bed, in the field, in the temple and while working. We meditate all the time: day, evening and night. Meditation is our lifestyle (Phil. 4:8). We meditate on God and the things that are of Him: His splendor, His Majesty, His beauty, His Bible, His precepts, His statutes and His ways, His works (like His creation, the world), and His activities (the things He does). We don't meditate on evil, wickedness or the works of Satan.
- Meditation involves God's Spirit utilizing every faculty of one's heart and mind. Meditation is God's Spirit in our hearts guiding every faculty in both hemispheres of our brain (see diagram here). We quiet down, using quieting music and/or instrumental music and/or seeing ourselves present with Him (Acts 2:25) and we sing, pray, seek and inquire (including taking our complaints to God to receive His counsel). We speak, talk, mutter, communicate, babble (probably tongue speaking), roar (at the enemy and when revelation hits), mourn (repent of our sins), muse, consider, ponder, imagine and study (study is good when wrapped with these other aspects of meditation). We sense the indwelling Holy Spirit crying out for intimacy with the Father (Gal. 4:6).
- Meditation results in revelation. We quiet ourselves down in worship and prayer, asking for revelation (Eph. 1:17,18) while fixing our eyes on the Lord (Acts 2:25) who reveals truth to our hearts. We tune to flowing thoughts, visions, emotions and power from the Holy Spirit within us (John 7:37-39). We experience our hearts burning with revelations as He opens Scriptures to us (Luke 24:15-32). His spoken word is powerful (Is. 55:11; John 6:63).
- Revelation brings transformation! Burning revelation creates living truth in our hearts. We say, "Yes, Lord," to these revelations, coming into agreement with what we see Jesus doing and speaking. This results in us being transformed while we look at Jesus in action (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:17-18).
These transforming moments can occur continuously if we meditate daily. So we will meditate daily so that we become the radiant expression of Jesus and we make our way prosperous (2 Cor. 3:18, 4:18; Heb. 12:2; Josh. 1:8).
A 7 Step Meditation Process Which Results in Revelation
- Write: I copy the verse by hand onto a piece of paper or 3x5 card (Deut. 17:18) and keep it with me to meditate on, memorize and mutter throughout the day(s). I also record this verse in my meditation/journal (which can be written, typed or verbally recorded).
- Quiet Down: I become still in God's presence, loving Him through soft soaking music (2 Kings 3:15,16) and/or praying in tongues (1 Cor. 14:15), putting a smile on my face and picturing Jesus with me (Acts 2:25). I tune to His flowing thoughts, pictures and emotions (John 7:37-39).
- Reason: I reason together with God (Is. 1:18), meaning the Spirit guides my reasoning process: "Lord, what do You want to show me about any of the following: the context of a verse, the Hebrew/Greek definitions of the key words in the verse or any cultural understandings?"
- Speak & Imagine: I ponder the Scripture, speaking it to myself softy over and over again until I can say it with my eyes closed. As I repeat the Scripture, I allow myself to see it with the eyes of my heart. I note what the picture is in my mind's eye as I repeat the Scripture.
- Feel God's Heart: While seeing the above picture, I ask, "Lord, what does this Scripture reveal about Your heart toward me?" I feel His heart and journal it out.
- Hear God's Rhema: I put myself in the picture of this Scripture in my mind. I ask, "Lord, what are You speaking to me through this Scripture?" I tune to flowing thoughts and flowing pictures (God's voice and vision), and I record this dialogue in my two-way journaling.
- Act: I accept this revelation, repenting of any sin that is opposite of it and roaring at any obstacle that stands in the way of implementing it. I then speak it forth and act on it.
Our hearts burn within as He walks with us opening Scriptures to us (Luke 24:32).
We are transformed as we look and see what Jesus is doing (2 Cor. 3:18).
The Holy Spirit guides the above process, leading to more or less emphasis on any of the various steps, according to God's desire for the present moment and the personal needs we have. So we remain dependent upon Him throughout.
For example, I may need more or less time to quiet myself in His presence or more or less time in Spirit-led "reasoning," or more or less time in speaking it, or feeling God's heart in it, or doing two-way journaling about it, or roaring at the enemy to get his lies out of my head and his hands off my being. So I allow the flow of the Holy Spirit to guide me through the steps of this meditation process.
A Dozen Mistakes to Avoid When Meditating
- Settling for the western approach to "study" which is generally defined by man controlling one faculty within his mind, while biblical meditation is a much more complete process and is defined as the Holy Spirit controlling all faculties within one's heart and mind.
- Being afraid of the word "meditation" even though it is a word used many times in Scripture.
- Looking to the false gods of self or a New Age God, rather than fixing my eyes on Jesus and asking the Holy Spirit to guide the meditations of my heart.
- Thinking the meditation process taught in Scripture relates only to the Bible and not also to all God's works and creation.
- Meditating on Satan and his works or the wickedness of mankind and his works. Instead, only meditate on God and His works which results in keeping us full of faith, hope and love.
- Not knowing how to clearly define God's voice and vision, which are recognized as flowing thoughts and flowing pictures. Not knowing that I can enlarge this revelation by recording in my journal the flow as it is coming (as taught in detail in the book 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice).
- Thinking the goal of meditation is achieving stillness, rather than realizing that we step through our stillness to the Lord's revelation and power. The goal is connecting with Almighty God.
- Expressing pride as I try to prove my position is right, rather than expressing meekness, which is having a willingness to change my mind, no matter what the cost.
- Not being willing to explore in depth all Scriptures on every side of a topic, but looking only for verses which support my preconceived position.
- Taking the accuser's attitude, which is Satan's, rather than the comforter's attitude, which is the Holy Spirit's, and thus coming against people (or self), rather than alongside them.
- Making meditation something harder than what a child can do.
- Making meditation an iron-clad, mechanical, seven-step process rather than a flexible approach guided by the Holy Spirit.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.
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