…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
Meditation. The word conjures up images of a dazed mystic chanting gibberish. But the biblical version of meditation is far different. Meditation is an age-old but powerful method of planting God’s truth deep within your mind. If you want to see God’s Word come alive, meditation is a silent but powerful weapon to add to your arsenal of spiritual disciplines.
Meditation is mentioned frequently in the Psalms. The Hebrew word for meditate, siyah, means “to consider or to go over a matter in one’s mind.” Meditation can be understood as the “fixing of one’s mind intently upon something.” In short, to meditate is to “think about.”
The impact of meditation rests on this question: “Who or what is the object of my meditation?” Let’s say, for example, you are wrestling with anxiety. You find yourself thinking about or “meditating” on all the negative possibilities. You become obsessed with disturbing “what if” scenarios. This kind of meditation is nothing more than “worry.” It’s not only exhausting, it fuels anxiety and fear. I once heard worry described as meditating upon what you don’t want to happen.
The Bible calles us to meditate, or to occupy our mind, with God’s Word, His blessings, His presence. My prayer partner says it this way: “We should glance at the problem but gaze upon God’s promise.”
Paul gives us a short tutorial in meditation in Philippians 4:8. Let’s spend a minute reflecting on each of these words:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
Paul encourages us to think about God’s Word and His works. Both are central to knowing Him more intimately, which is the ultimate goal of meditation. Meditation, along with continual prayer, keeps the communications lines open with our Lord. And this, my friends, is the difference between walking in victory and defeat, faith and fear.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting a series of One Minute Meditations. Based on a small portion of Scripture, these short posts can be read in about a minute. They’re no substitute for your personal study and prayer, but rather are a healthy “spiritual snack.” I hope they’ll help you stay “fixed on” God and His Word throughout your day.
Meditation. It’s a great way to starve your fears and feed your faith!
Lord, I give you my mind today. Keep me alert. Help me to resist fear. Remind me to focus on the beauty of Your Word and Your works. Instead of fear and worry, I choose to focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable. These are Your attributes, Lord, and worthy of my praise. So I choose today to think about such things. -Amen