Our lives become pretty rough sometimes and we start looking for ways to unwind. Just to kick our feet up and relax. I mean, sometimes we would be willing to do anything to be more focused, healthier, more equanimous, more motivated, more productive, and friendlier. So, what is the best way? Just about any doctor or health expert will tell you that one one way you can defuse and relax is through “meditation.” I understand the intent, but a dangerous philosophy or method of “relaxation” has crept into The Church and has been stolen from sources other than Scripture.
What I am talking about is an Eastern form of meditation like Zen meditation, transcendental meditation, yoga, Chinese or Hindu meditation, guided meditation, all of those things you will normally find in New Age and Eastern religions.
But here’s the thing, our Father has a completely different type of meditation. I have often told you that whenever you combine Christian disciplines with any other religious practice you will run into problems, and it certainly angers our God! I will even take this further and assure you that if you participate in any form of meditation, apart from biblical meditation, your are opening the door wide to the enemy!
Scriptures affirms this:
Yahweh your Elohim will destroy the nations where you are going and force them out of your way. You will take possession of their land and live there. After they have been destroyed, be careful you are not tempted to follow their customs. Don’t even ask about their gods and say, “How did these people worship their gods? We want to do what they did.” Never worship Yahweh your Elohim in the way they worship their gods because everything they do for their gods is disgusting to Yahweh. He hates it! They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
Be sure to do everything I command you. Never add anything to it or take anything away from it (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).
Throughout the Scriptures, He calls Himself jealous and because of that, He instructs us to keep our worship pure and undefiled by worshiping other gods. Oh, I hear you, “But I’m not using these other forms of meditation for worship.” Oh no? Look at your thoughts, entertainment, and activities, do they honor and glorify your Father? What music do you listen to? Yeah, even soe called “Christian Music,” is nothing more than worldly rock with different with “Christian” lyrics.
The problem is, Scripture is quite clear that whatever we do in our life, it should glorify God, and if anything we are doing does not glorify God — and is actually glorifying another god — we should immediately end it; get it out of our lives!
Now, like any other Christian disciplines, biblical meditation should be part of our daily activities. However, Biblical Meditation means something completely different: speaking the Word, muttering it to ourselves, mulling over it, and imagining how our lives should fit in its context.
This takes the Word to a much deeper level than merely reading, studying, praying and even memorizing, as we consider it and contemplate deeply what each passage actually means for us personally and speaking it over and over to ourselves. This is Biblical meditation!
However, Eastern meditation is much different. First of all, Eastern meditation instructs you to empty your mind. Where Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God’s Word. Emptying our mind is a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deceptions. However, the Hebrew word translated meditate, is hagah, and it means to speak, utter, muse, imagine or plot. It is the exact opposite of Eastern meditation. It fills our mind with God’s Word and builds our spirit.
Meditating on God’s Word allows you to follow the instructions Paul gave to Timothy:
Preach the word as an official messenger; be ready and prepared when the time is right and even when it is not, keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome; correct those who err in doctrine or behavior, warn those who sin, exhort and encourage those who are growing toward spiritual maturity, with inexhaustible patience and faithful teaching (II Timothy 4:2)
Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self-actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. His ultimate deception is pride or the elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ.
Yes, Eastern meditation’s aim is to relieve stress, but our problem isn’t stress. Stress is simply a symptom of a deeper problem: pride. Worry, fear, perfectionism, all of these have their root in pride and all of them result in stress. But God wants us to walk in faith daily. That brings us peace no matter what our circumstance might be. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Christians absolutely shouldn’t turn to anything other than Jesus Christ for the peace that will help them to ease whatever it is that has brought stress on in their lives!
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