Eastern religion and new age spiritualism has had such a strong influence on our world that when most people hear the word meditation they instantly think of yoga poses and chanting mantra, but is that what the Bible has in mind when it speaks about meditation?
The object of Eastern and new age meditation is to focus on emptying the mind of thoughts or images and trying to enter a trance-like hypnotic state in which their prefrontal cortex is basically turned off. They are trying to place their mind into an alpha mode to avoid any active thinking or logic because this makes them more receptive to the demonic spiritual influence they are seeking to find.
This is quite contrary to Biblical meditation, which seeks to fill our mind with the Word of God and focus our thoughts on what the Bible says. Biblical meditation involves pondering, thinking deeply, and trying to gain deeper understanding. This type of meditation actively engages the prefrontal cortex, causing us to gain wisdom, understanding, and self-control, while strengthening our mind against the attack of the enemy.
When we meditate on the Scriptures, we are preparing our mind for success.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
– Joshua 1:8
Meditating on God’s Word brings about a renewing of our mind, which causes a change in our behavior, enabling us to “do according to all that is written in it”. This is what Paul was talking about when he said that we need to renew our minds.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
When we meditate on God’s Word, we think about it over and over again, filling our mind with His Word. Biblical meditation is about thinking, pondering, imagining, and speaking the Word of God.
“I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.”
– Psalm 77:12
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.”
– Psalm 143:5
Biblical Meditation also involves the internal dialogue that you have with yourself. Are you speaking God’s Word to yourself, or are you filling your mind with negative and worldly thoughts?
“I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search.”
– Psalm 77:6
“I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.”
– Psalm 119:15
“My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.”
– Psalm 119:148
The objective of Biblical meditation is that we continually think about the Word of God so that faith is produced in our heart and mind.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
– Romans 10:17
Meditation requires that we spend time investigating what the Bible says, diligently seeking to know and understand the will of the Father. This diligent seeking is what the Father desires from us.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
– Hebrews 11:6
Some things in the Bible are difficult to understand, and this is by design because it causes us to dig deeper and search for answers.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search it out.”
– Proverbs 25:2
We should be meditating on God’s Word all day long, while we work, when we are driving, and when we are relaxing out under the stars at night. This is part of what it means to love God with all our heart.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
– Deuteronomy 6:4-9
We need to stop filling our minds with meaningless and worldly things, and stop allowing our minds to be entertained and lulled to sleep by movies, music, and books that do not bring glory to God. These things weaken our faith and lower our morality. Instead, we must fill our minds constantly with things that increase our faith and cause us to focus on the Lord.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8