By: Rhonda Jones
Meditation has gotten a bad rap. For decades Christians have been led to believe that meditation it is unscriptural or ungodly. I have talked to many believers who thought that if they become still and focused on their breathing or tried to quiet their minds that they were sure to be invaded by unclean spirits. But this could be farther from the truth. First of all, where did our very breathe come from? Just read Genesis 1 and it says that God breathed life into Adam's body. When my grandson was born 2 years ago, it took almost 5 minutes for him to start breathing. We were all praying in the background for God to fill his lungs with life.
Secondly, it is only through a renewing and weeding our mind of deceptive and negative thinking, faulty mindsets, and incessant thoughts that God's word and as well as his voice can get through. If the cup it filled to the stop with mental garbage there not much room for anything else. If we want to embrace more of God's truth we need to do some mental gardening and one of the best methods is through meditation.
Meditation is a tool used to quiet our minds. It means to ponder, pray, contemplate, and ruminate. Christian meditation is when we fill that quiet mind with God. There are many forms of meditation just like there are many types of music, it's just as important for believers to discern one kind from the other.
Scriptures tell us that when we abide with Christ, he abides with us, and without his living and guiding spirit, we can do nothing. (St. John 15) One form of meditating on the Lord is to abide with him; to sit at his feet and to wait in his presence, just like the child who sits in his mother or father’s lap to be comforted.
This can be accomplished by carving out time each day to just sit quietly before the Lord where you are free from distractions. The ocean or secluded areas of nature are great places to meditate, but a quiet area in your home works just as well.
Initially, meditating on the Lord by abiding may be difficult because your mind will tend to be restless and wander profusely; but with consistency you’ll gain more and more control over your thoughts. Many meditators select a scriptural passage or word to focus on and anchor their attention, often called a mantra.
Your mantra or sacred words can be “the Lord is my Shepard,” “I walk by faith,” “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, “I cast my cares upon the Lord,” or “Peace be Still.” The late John Main, one of the most influential spiritual teachers in the Christian meditation tradition encourages believers to use the mantra, “Maranatha” that means, “Come Lord Jesus.” This mantra is suggested because of its relevance in scriptures and its lack of an emotional or mental references, which inhibits our minds from creating a mental attachment to the word.
You can also select a whole scripture or just one word, like “Jesus” or “Jehovah” to meditate on. Meditate in silence or record music to play in the background. It’s best to time the music or use a timer so that you’re not worried about being late for work or missing an appointment. As you meditate, become fully present by paying attention to your breathing or your sacred word. You can silently repeat your mantra in alignment with your breathing or anytime your mind begins to wander off. You can also create a mental picture in your mind to focus on like a cross or God's light filling your heart. As you practice being still and calming your thoughts, you’ll sense a greater feeling of God’s presence and a greater sensitivity to hearing his voice.
As a result of consistent meditation you will also begin to sense the yearnings of the Holy Spirit as he drops words or impressions on your heart. One time during a meditation I had a vision of me and all my family members standing in a circle and sharing our desires for the coming year. Several days later I shared my vision and we set aside a time to dedicated the New Year to the Lord and touch and agree on our heart’s desires in prayer. As you practice this form of meditation, you’ll find old weights and worries seem to disappear. No evil thing can stand in God’s presence.
The great thing about meditating on God is that anyone can do it. The more you spend time with God the more you will want to spend time with God. It is like a drink of cold water on a hot muggy day.
Rhonda Jones is the author of 22 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds. Get Free Daily Meditations at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com. Need to lose weight, get recommendations at http://www.shedthosepounds.com.