“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
–Psalm 19:14, ESV
When people think of meditation, the popular perception is that it’s an emptying of some sort—an emptying of yourself and your thoughts to end up at some form of nothingness. I don’t think that’s what the Bible means whenever it refers to meditation. Oftentimes, when the Bible tells us to meditate, it tells us to meditate on something particular. Here are some objects of our meditation as prescribed in the Bible:
God Himself (Ps. 63:6; Ps. 77:3)
God’s Works (Ps. 77:12; Ps. 143:5)
God’s Promises (Ps. 119:48)
God’s Laws and Commandments (Joshua 1:8; Ps. 1:2)
As you can see from the verses above, meditation isn’t about emptying your mind from your thoughts. It’s not about ridding yourself of anything and everything. In fact, it’s the opposite. Meditation involves deep concentration—deep concentration on who God is, what God has done, and what God expects us to do.
Whenever I enter into a time of meditation, I come with a small game plan. I decide ahead of time what I want to meditate on. Oftentimes, I begin with meditating on God and His presence. Then I spend a good amount of time reflecting. I often take time to reflect on some of the following:
Verses of the Bible that spoke to me
Things that God has been teaching me lately
Promises that God has declared in His Word
Events in my life that happened recently
Stuff that God has been asking me to work on
Notes that I’ve written down in my journal
I try to have a few moments of meditation throughout my day. And I end my night with more mediation before I hit the bed. Once a week, during my Sabbath, I spend extra time meditating and summarizing everything that God has been doing in my life lately. I’ve found meditation to be incredibly helpful in re-energizing my spiritual life and for re-orienting me back to God and His desires. We’ll take a look at the benefits of meditation in the next post.
I think meditation is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines to learn. And that’s because proper meditation takes a lot of concentration. Once again, it’s not about emptying yourself to nothingness. It takes deep concentration to really meditate. And because my mind is always on the go, I easily get distracted during my meditation time. But as with most things in life, meditation gets easier and easier as I practice the discipline more and more.