There’s a scene in Star Wars when Obi-wan says, “Empty your mind, Luke,” to which my husband and I always echo, “Luke, be stupid.” Stupid, because our minds are designed to be full—not empty.
My spiritual discipline for this month is meditation. Unlike Eastern meditation which calls for an empty mind, Christian meditation involves a focused concentration on God, His word, and His ways. I like this quote by Joyce Huggett from the book Spiritual Classics by Richard Foster. She gives the why to our meditation:
We meditate to give God’s words the opportunity to penetrate, not just our minds, but our emotions—the places where we hurt—and our will—the place where we make choices and decisions. We meditate to encounter the Living Word, Jesus himself. We meditate so that every part of our being, our thoughts and our affections and our ambitions, are turned to face and honour and glorify him. Yet another reason for learning to meditate is so that we may become conversant with the will of God. . . ..
What does Christian meditation look like? Many options exist, but here are three starting points.
I often read God’s Word casually. I have a certain reading for each day. Check. It’s done. This week, I took a familiar passage (even one verse is good) and focused on it. I mean—focused. Looking at what each phrase said about Jesus and how He interacts with me. The Holy Spirit keyed in on one verse and spoke directly to a present concern. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this passage. A few moments of intentional concentration brought new insight.
Meditating on the words of a song leads me not only to worship but also to a greater depth of understanding and a return to relationship versus religion. Worship places me before His throne. As I give Him praise and focus on the message the song proclaims—His peace, His deliverance, His greatness—my problems take their proper place in the grand scheme of things. I’m reminded God has my back and is sovereign over all. My marriage. My children. My work.
When we meditate on God’s ways and how He works in Scripture, through creation, or in the lives of other believers, we are reassured He desires to work on our lives too. For example, creation has order. We see order in the seasons, the life cycle, the phases of the moon. God is not the author of chaos. Consequently, I can expect a degree of order in how He deals with me. When my husband and I are praying about a decision, I know God’s direction will be clear and specific. And He often confirms it. God desires to speak to us and in speaking, desires we understand Him. Once we have heard Him, there will be no doubt as to His will.
Set some time aside this week for meditation. Type a verse into your phone and think about it in the grocery store line. Choose a song and play it as you run errands. Choose something in nature and look for God in it.
Focus your mind, and please, don’t empty it. Fill it with His Word, His worship, and His ways.
Have you ever tried the spiritual discipline of meditation?
Is there an exercise you’ve found helpful?
Will you schedule a meditation appointment with Him?
Try it as a group. Choose a verse and read through it during a meal. Discuss it together. Try the same thing with a worship song. Walk the dog and focus on an aspect of creation.
Obi-wan says, “Empty your mind, Luke,” to which we echo, “Luke, be stupid.” Stupid, because our minds are designed to be full. Click to tweet.
Unlike Eastern meditation which calls for an empty mind, Christian meditation involves a focused concentration on God, His word, and His ways. Click to tweet.
A few moments of intentional concentration brought new insight. Click to tweet.
I’m reminded God has my back and is sovereign over all. My marriage. My children. My work. Click to tweet.
God is not the author of chaos. Consequently, I can expect a degree of order in how He deals with me. Click to tweet.