What is Biblical Meditation?
What it isn't
Our understanding of mediation has been considerably altered by the influx of eastern religious practices onto our culture and the New Age movement. That is why the 21st Century connotation of mediation does not apply to Biblical Mediation. Meditation is not synonymous with chanting the mantra "OM" and it doesn't necessarily involve strange body posturing.
Biblical mediation is not even slightly linked to transcendental meditation or yoga; you don't become detached in your mind from thoughts or images when mediating on the word. The object of Eastern Meditation practices is to focus on emptying the mind of thoughts or images. Biblical meditation is never a state that your mind becomes detached from thought or image.
In fact, biblical meditation is to focus the mind MORE on a particular subject. The objective for biblical meditation is to make the conceptual nature of the Word of God a reality in your life.
Some people confuse bible reading with biblical meditation. It is very important to read the bible. But there is a difference between causally reading the Word of God and meditating on the Word of God.
God promises good success and a prosperous way to a person who meditates on the Word of God. God instructed Joshua, that 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].
In the scripture above, The English word meditate in this scripture is the Hebrew word הגה hagah. Thayer's lexicon defines hagah as, "to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, or speak". Strong's lexicon definition of this Hebrew word hagah is "to [murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication, to ponder:-imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, or utter".
To meditate on God's Word you think about it over and over, filling your mind and even your mouth with it. Biblical meditation is about thinking, pondering, imagining, muttering, and speaking the Word of God.
King David declares that he remembers and meditates on God while resting on his bed and through out the night [Psalms 63:6]. David says that he meditates on all of God's work [Psalms 143:5] and he contemplates God's ways [Psalms 119:15]. My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the LORD [Psalms 104:34].
Aspah, a Kohathite from the tribe of Levi, who ministered to the LORD with singing in the Temple said, "I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings" [1 Chronicles 6:32-39, Psalms 77:12]. Aspah said he would meditate and talk of God's Work. It is important to fill your mind and your mouth with God's Word.
The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to, "meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all [1 Timothy 4:15]. The New Living Translations says, "Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. If you want to make progress in understanding God's Word, you will have to be diligent.
Another essential aspect of Biblical Meditation is your internal dialogue that you have with yourself. Your internal dialogue is also called your self talk. It is what you say to yourself. Your self talk is what you really believe. Listen to your internal dialogue or self talk. Are you speaking to yourself what God says about you? Or do you say negative, unscriptural things that you have heard others say about you or to you?
Meditating on the Word of God leads to what the Apostle Paul calls a renewed mind [Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10]. A renewed mind leads to accurate self talk based on the Word of God. You will talk to yourself according to the Word of God.
This is the objective of Biblical Meditation. A believer meditates on the Word of God so that Faith [confidence] is produced in the heart. When faith is produced in the heart, then the mouth will speak as Romans 10:10 states, "with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". The passage of Romans 10:9-10, is talking about salvation, but the concept is the same for healing, deliverance, or prosperity. True biblical faith always has something to say according to the Word of God [2 Corinthians 4:13].
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper" [Psalms 1:1-3].
Seeking God's counsel and advice will bring blessings. Delighting in the LORD and meditating on God's Word day and night has 4 PROMISES from God in [Psalms 1:3].
- God promises that you will be planted by an abundant source of water. Water is always associated with life. All living things need water to survive. God will abundantly supply you with water so you can thrive in your life.
- You will bring forth your fruit in season. The English word fruit is the Hebrew word פרי pĕriy. Thayer's lexicon defines periy as, "fruit, produce (of the ground); fruit, offspring, children, progeny (of the womb]; and fruit of actions, (figuratively)". In all three areas of your life you will bring forth fruit in season.
- You leaf will not wither. Webster [1913 Edition] defines wither as, "to fade; to lose freshness; to become sapless; to dry or shrivel up". The leaf is the energy factory of the tree. God is saying your strength, vitality, or your energy will not wither. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components of your whole being will not wither or shrivel up.
- You will prosper. The English word prosper in this scripture is the Hebrew word צלח tsalach. Thayer's lexicon defines tsalach as, "to rush, to advance, prosper, make progress, succeed, be profitable". The Gesenius's Lexicon defines this Hebrew word as to, "to go over or through, (as a river)". It is interesting that in Isaiah 55:11, this same Hebrew word is used to describe God's Word, "it shall prosper" [tsalach] in the thing whereto I sent it".
You must first spend time investigating what the Bible says on your topic of interest. The Bible always reveals what God's purposes, plans, thoughts, and will are for humanity. You personally need to investigate what the Word of God says about the subject you are interested in.
You faith, your confidence in God's Word will not be very sure, if you personally are not sure what God has to say on the subject. Many people fail in obtaining what they desire from God. They fail because they rely on someone else to do their investigation and draw their conclusions.
Hebrews 11:6, says that God "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." You need to diligently seek God in his Word to know his will. God knows when you are being diligent in seeking him through his Word and he promises to reward you for your effort.
The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to, "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all" [1 Timothy 4:15]. If you want to make progress in the Kingdom of God you will need to meditate.
The Amplified Bible reads, "be careful what you are hearing. The MEASURE (of thought and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that comes back to you--and more (besides) will be given to you who hear" [AMP, Mark 4:24].
Next you will need to collect all the scriptures related to the topic you are examining. Don't just gather scriptures from the Bible that support your personal perspective, but collect ALL the biblical scriptures related to your topic of interest. You will need to write or type the scriptures down to review periodically in your mind. There are many excellent internet websites to assist you such as Blue Letter Bible, Biblegateway.com, or Crosswalk.com.
Read through all the scriptures related to the subject that you are interested in. As you review the collection of scriptures in your mind try to understand what God is saying to you. Reading the Word of God is planting or sowing the Word in your heart [Mark 4:13-14]. Meditating is developing "root in yourself" [Mark 4:16-17]. It is important to stay diligent, to stay focused on the Word of God and not allow distractions to "choke out" the Word in your heart [Mark 4:18-19].
Ask God to assist you through the Holy Spirit in understanding the scriptures. Remember Jesus said he was giving us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth [John 14:17]; to teach us all things; bring to our remembrance things that Jesus has said to us [John 14:26]; guide us into all truth [John 16:13]; and tell us things to come [John 16:13]. In John 16:15, Jesus declares that, "All things that the Father has are Mine." Jesus says "He (the Holy Spirit) will take of Mine and declare it to you" [John 16:13-15, NASB].
At this point, actually begin to practice biblical meditation by thinking about God's Word in your mind. You might want to say the scriptures out loud to yourself. Fill your mind and your mouth with the Word of God. Meditating will increase your confidence or level of faith in God and His Word.
Listen to your internal dialogue or self talk to evaluate your progress in renewing your mind [Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:23]. Your internal dialogue is what you are saying to yourself. A renewed mind leads to accurate self talk based on the Word of God. In Proverbs the scriptures states, For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [Proverbs 23:7]. You need to talk to yourself according to the Word of God.
This is the objective of Biblical Meditation. A believer meditates on the Word of God so that Faith [confidence] is produced in the heart.
Jesus said, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" [Matthew 12:34]. Are you speaking to yourself the Word of God? Remember faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God [Romans 10:17].
You will be amazed at the insight, fresh perspective, and new direction for your life that you will obtain through biblical meditation. Be sure to act on what you discover in God's Word. Be a "doer of God's Word not just a hearer only" [James 1:22].
But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it [NLT].