The prince of this world’s greatest tactic is distraction, and he does a great job at it. Our greatest distraction spends most of the day in our pocket or bag that we can pick up anytime and spend 30 minutes to an hour doing nothing. One of the grace’s of spiritual disciplines is to help us intentionally put away distractions.
Meditation is one of the disciplines prescribed in the Bible that allow us to come near to God. 58 times in the Scriptures we see the word meditation. Unfortunately, in our context, we generally look down on meditation because it is so common to eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Christian meditation and Eastern meditation could not be further apart. “Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind; Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind… the final goal of Eastern religion meditation is detachment. The goal of Christian meditation is attachment.”
“Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.” Something that people love is for someone else to talk to God for them. We see in Exodus 19, God called all of Israel up the mountain to meet with him but they were scared and instead told Moses to go do it. “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” (Exodus 20:19) This experience is truly one of sorrow because we were designed to be with God. God wants to be with you. He is perfectly holy and to be revered but he has made it possible for you to talk with him and be with him. Meditation puts you into the position to meet with God.
Set aside 30 minutes this week and practice being with God. Try “palms down, palms up.” “Begin by placing palms down on your knees as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. Inwardly you may pray, “Lord, I give you my anger toward Richard.” “I release the fear of my appointment today.” Whatever it is that weighs on your mind or is a concern to you. Release it. After several moments of surrender, turn your palms up as a symbol of your desire to receive from the Lord. Perhaps you will pray silently: “Lord I would like to recevie your divine love for Richard, your peace about my appointment today, your patience, your joy.” Having centered down, spend the remaining minutes in complete silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with you, to love you.”
Another day, take 30 minutes and focus on the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:9-13. Read through it. Then read it again. Read it slowly. Pray through each line. Focus on one word and ask God what he wants to say to you about it. Ask God what he would like you to do in response to the passage.
You can do this with any passage in the Bible. The goal is not to break it down and understand every single word. The goal is to hear from God and obey him. So find a place where you can turn your phone off and not be distracted, then spend time with God. He wants to speak with you. He loves you.
Pastor Michael Covey
“Blessed is the one… who meditates on his law day and night.” -Psalm 1:1-2
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” – Psalm 119:97
“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening.” – Genesis 24:63
“I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night.” – Psalm 63:6
“My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” – Psalm 119:148
Foster, Richard J. Celebration of Discipline: the Path to Spiritual Growth. HarperOne, 2018.
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