“Meditation” is defined as contemplation, reflection, rumination and spiritual introspection (Source: Dictionary.com). Most people relate this word with TM, Transcendental Meditation, a “new age” technique based on Hindu writings. But did you know that there is a biblical form of mediation?
Joshua 1:8 gives us great insight into what biblical meditation is and how it differs from TM or any other type of meditation.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV)
In this verse, God is instructing Joshua about how to succeed as the new leader of Israel. But we can also glean from this scripture about how to be successful in life today, especially as we look forward to the new year. “Meditate” here means to ruminate, to speak (utter sound), to imagine, to speak with oneself (muttering) in a low voice (whisper). It is not simply reading the Word, thinking about it for a brief moment and quickly forgetting it. Biblical meditation involves using your voice to affirm God’s Word for your life and is an action you take frequently throughout the day.
But God didn’t tell Joshua to say anything and everything that came to his mind. He instructed him to meditate on the Book of the Law. God wanted Joshua to read, think about, and mutter God’s words! He wanted Joshua ruminate the good things about God and His love for him and the people of Israel.
Rumination usually brings to mind the picture of a cow chewing it’s cud. When a cow chews it’s cud, it is regurgitating the food it has eaten earlier, chewing it again, swallowing it, and then regurgitating again, chewing, and swallowing that same food repeatedly to gain the most value out of the food. We are to do the same in our meditation of God’s Word. To gain the most value from God’s words of life (John 6:63), we are to read His Word, speak His Word, think about that Word, and again speak His Word and think about His Word, repeatedly during our waking hours. I have found this can easily be done in snippets of 60 seconds here and there throughout our day.
For example, Psalm 1:3 tells us that the people who frequently meditate God”s Word “are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” In meditating that particular verse, you can frequently whisper to yourself throughout the day, “I am like a tree planted near water, always bearing fruit at the right time, never unhealthy, always prospering.” Change the words if you like, but think and speak about how God loves you and firmly establishes you for success through His Word in every area of your life. There’s something in the Word of God that is the solution for our every problem and need! Speaking God’s Word is one of the keys to unlocking and unleashing it’s problem-solving power.
To become more diligent at doing meditating, I set the alarm on my phone to go off at a specific time every day, Sunday-Saturday, to remind me to take just 60 seconds, right at that moment, to meditate on God’s Word or to pray in the spirit. I can’t tell you the level of peace I’ve begun to experience and the insights for my life that I’ve gained just my incorporating this quick habit into my day. It has made a huge difference in how I view God’s love for me and His work on my behalf.
I’m considering providing a program that helps you understand, establish, and gain the most from this habit of 60-second biblical meditation. Would you like to become more like a cow, getting the most value out of God’s Word by incorporating this habit of success into your day? Let me know below.