Be-Still-MeditationCarl Jung once said; “Hurry is not of the Devil, it IS the Devil.” Slowing down in this hurry up life is not only useful, it is essential. So, how do we slow down? How do we slow the pace of life? Do we want to slow down?

For the many ways our society has “advanced,” I see a deeper need to find the quiet places, those spaces where we can truly reflect on God wonderful design for us and this world. We have so many technological devices to make our lives easier, faster, more efficient, more productive, but we still seem to be lacking something foundational. We are missing a deep understanding of our creator. Our relationship with God is stagnant, or worse yet, possibly fading away. With all the information around us and the ease of access, we may begin to feel that we have no need for God. Nothing can be further from the truth. But how do we get it back?

I think we can do this by an intentional focus on spiritual disciplines. This is one of the reasons for this Lenten worship series about being still. I hope that through this series, you are able to find one or more that resonate with you, and that you can implement them into your faith journey.

Today I want to look at Christian meditation. Like some of the other spiritual disciplines, meditation includes some of the others. We can see this in the examples Jesus gives us. In his short years of ministry, Jesus was a busy man. He was sought out by many for healing and teaching. He was desired for appearances everywhere. Jesus couldn’t get away from the people as they followed him everywhere.

But that didn’t stop Jesus from taking time to be with God the Father. We hear about the times when Jesus would take time to go up the mountain to pray. He would spend a little quiet time in a garden having a conversation with God. And of course, my favorite, he got out into a boat to be alone. Certainly, this involved the spiritual discipline of prayer, but it could also have included meditation.

Christian meditation is all about hearing God’s voice! It’s about taking the time to listen for the voice of God in your life. Jesus tells us that in order to do this, we need to abide in God. Jesus tells us; “Abide in me, and I in you.” When we abide in Jesus, he in turn abides in us. When we abide in God, God abides in us. So, when we abide in God, we are more apt to hear God’s voice. Jesus tells us that if we abide in him and in his words, we can ask for anything, and it will be done for us. But we must abide in him.

Christian meditation os one way of abiding in God. Now, let me be clear, Christian meditation is not the practice of emptying of the mind as we hear from some of the eastern religions with the focus of this meditation on clearing of a person’s mind, attempting to find absolute peace, bliss, or nirvana. Christian meditation is the practice of filling the mind with God, an intentional focus on the glory of God.

Some say that it is too difficult. I guess I can understand this as there are many times that I have tried this and the pace of life around me interferes with my focus. I begin to think about what is on my to do list, all those things that I forgot to do last week, or what might be coming up next week. Truly, this discipline is not difficult, it just takes practice.

Some will even say that this kind of discipline is out of touch with today’s world. In a space where time is a commodity and one that we should not waste, we feel that if we pause for just a moment, we are a failure. Society tells us that we should be constantly moving, even if we are on vacation. But I would say this is just the reason to practice this discipline. It is counter-cultural, but that just what Jesus taught. We are to be in the world, not of the world.

Finally, Christian meditation is not psychological manipulation. It’s not something you do with the intent to have physical or psychological benefits. That’s not the goal. The goal is to find the space where you can encounter the living God and hear the still small voice.

Christian meditation is not about exploring our subconscious but entering into a divine-human encounter. It is about coming face to face with the living God. It is a desire to hear God’s voice. Frederick Faber once wrote: “Only to sit and think of God, Oh, what a joy it is! To think the thought, to breathe the Name, earth has no higher bliss.”

Be still and know that I am God.

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