What is Meditation?

Have you noticed how our culture and the “world” seems to increasingly attempt to co-opt certain terms that Christians use to apply to “good” things? Words like “meditate” or “woke” (as opposed to being “awake”). Today, let’s “meditate” on meditation:).

The Bible often speaks of meditating, but not in the way that the “world” does.

Empty or Full?

I was in a continuing education class once where meditation type of topics were being discussed. Also, I remember hearing similar thoughts expressed in an online class. The one who “meditates” was encouraged to “empty” their mind of all things. You’ve probably heard the same concept over the years.

It likely DOES help to some extent to decrease anxiety and bring transitory feelings of “peace” to STOP thinking of all the anxious thoughts (and surely we have PLENTY of things causing anxiety in recent years)!

Full of His Thoughts

When the Bible uses the term “meditate”, however, it’s quite a different thing altogether. Yes, it is a good thing to let go of our own thoughts, emotions, presuppositions, etc. The scriptures encourage us moreover to FILL our minds with more of Him and His ways.


Both of these approaches remind me of the prior episodes (number 6–Listen and number 7–Stillness) where that little “quiet place” was discussed. Where the heavenly sounds or melodies would dispel the noisy gongs of the world/flesh/devil. It seems the culture’s idea of meditation is to go to where the sound is drowned out and just take a breather from the madness. That peace is fleeting once you go back into “real life”.

Meditating on God and His ways will not only cancel out the cacophony of the world, but FILL our hearts with His goodness, truth, joy and peace. I pray that we can more and more take moments to stop and think on all that He has done and desires to do, not only in our lives, but the lives of those around us and throughout the whole world. 

Meditate on These Things

Here are some Bible references that encourage us to “meditate” in this more profound and true way. It’s interesting that many of these verses are from the Psalms, which are essentially in certain respects like song lyrics. Also, David wrote many of the Psalms, and if ANYONE was incredibly busy yet remarkably productive and effective in life, it was David… Somehow, he still found time to sit still, contemplate and write songs. Maybe if we did more of that, we’d get more done! Or maybe more things that mattered, in the long run…. Just a thought:).

If you want to hear me read the verses to you, go over to the associated podcast that is linked directly below, and you can hear me read (beginning at the 3:30 mark), or listen to the whole thing, which is only around 10 minutes or so.

Some Meditation Verses

Joshua 1:8

Psalm 1:1-3

Manna From My Father's Hand

Jesus Centered Inspiration and Encouragement

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Psalm 48:9

Psalm 77:12

Psalm 119:15, 27, 48, 97, 99, 147-148

Psalm 143:5

Psalm 145:4-5

Meditate on These Things

These are some of the various things the scriptures above encourage us to ponder, explore and with which to fill our minds:

The Book of the Law
His Law
God’s unfailing love
God’s works and mighty deeds
His precepts and ways
His wonders
His decrees
His statutes
His promises
All His works and what His hands have done
His splendor and majesty and his wonderful works

So, in filling your thoughts with Jesus, think of the good things He has done, and the many promises He has made to His beloved children. Think of His truth, faithfulness and grace. Think of His righteousness. So many things to fill us with gratitude and joy.

The song associated with this week’s blog and podcast is called “Holy One of Israel”. The song can be found on my “Sacred Sojourn/Follow Me” CD. Also, last night I posted a YouTube video of a live version of that song (from the coffeehouse concert I gave several years ago in Otisville NY that thankfully had video recorded). I pray that it encourages your heart to draw near to Him, to sit in the stillness and pray along with me during the music. Meditate on the wonder and goodness of all that He is and does.

Maybe next time we can discuss being AWAKE!

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