An Introduction to Christian Meditation and Memorization
In my last post, we looked at several passages from the Bible to emphasize why I believe it is critical to first meditate on any passage you might like to memorize. In this post, I want to begin to explore what Christian Meditation is and how we can actually start meditating on God’s Word.
What Is Christian Meditation?
The Bible views meditation as an effective discipline which aids us in understanding God’s truth. It’s a skill that may be learned and exercises the mind. For many of us, our minds are like a hummingbird fliting from one flower to the next in search of nectar. In contrast, meditation is an exercise designed to train the mind to remain fixed on one subject for an extended period of time. Through meditation, we focus our minds and give time for the Ruach to renew and transform our minds. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Sometimes, it is easier to say what something is not than what it is. In this case:
- Meditation is not prayer ~ there is no two-way conversation with God. We are listening to what He has already said to us through His Word.
- Meditation is not worship ~ although we may be in an attitude of worship; we are not actively giving praise or adoration to God. Again, we’re listening.
- Meditation is not study ~ although we may begin our meditation by referring to commentaries or other references, the goal is not to learn by feeding our intellect with information.
- Meditation is not receiving new or unique revelation ~ although this may happen, our goal and the nature of revelation is more humble. Our goal should answer: What is God telling me from His written Word and how do I need to put that into practice?
Christian Meditation is based on God’s Word ~ the Bible. What I am sharing here has nothing to do with Eastern meditation. We meditate by pondering, thinking deeply, affirming, contemplating, musing, reflecting, speculating, confessing, praying, reciting, singing, speaking and practicing a focused study on His Word. 
As I stated in The Chicken or the Egg, ruminate is my favorite synonym for meditate. Some have referred to Christian Meditation as our spiritual digestive system; which breaks down the Word of God and digests it within our spirit. We meditate by taking in the Word of God and chewing on it over and over.
Keila Ochoa has stated that “nothing compares to pondering God’s Word, learning more of Him, and putting it into practice in our daily lives. The best place for His Word lies deep in our souls.”  The Psalmist wrote: “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I won’t sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11) Both statements imply that we are to put into practice what we have learned. As we frequently hear, our talk must be reflected in our walk. It does us no good to meditate on God’s Word if we aren’t going to apply it in our daily life.
I was reminded of this truth just yesterday. I’m involved in an online small group (via Skype). We are currently studying the epistles of Yochanan. The lesson was from 1 Yochanan 2:1-11.
“Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command. On the contrary, it is an old command, which you have had from the beginning; the old command is the message which you have heard before. Yet I am writing you a new command, and its reality is seen both in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:7-8)
The command was obviously to ‘love one another’ contained in both the Tanakh and the Brit Hadashah.
As we were discussing the implications of these verses in our own lives, I could not get a song out of my head ~ yep; you guessed it ~ ‘All We Need Is Love’ by the Beatles. As I thought of that song and its implications along with the Word of God, I had to ask myself was this a fruit I was bearing in my everyday life? Was I displaying love to those around me? Was I motivated by love in all my words and actions? The obvious answer was, NO! I wasn’t practicing what I believed. I realized that I have a lot of work to do to.
That is the true reason that we need to meditate on God’s Word. We have to ingest it and with the nourishment we receive live it out.
So, How Do You Get Started?
Christian Meditation should be very natural and a normal part of every Believer’s life. Meditation can take place almost anywhere, but I find it is easier to meditate in a quiet, comfortable place with some privacy. I personally use my den the first thing in the morning.
My favorite passage to begin to meditate on is:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8 (ESV ~ emphasis added.)
If I’m not mistaken, this is where we get the phrase “the power of positive thinking” coined by Norman Vincent Peale. Based on this passage, I tend to spend more time ruminating on positive passages as I do my daily Bible reading.
In my next post, we will continue looking at how to meditate on God’s Word.
 Even though I am not a linguist, I’ve come to believe that English is a ‘squishy’ language when it comes to interpreting Biblical Hebrew or Greek. We seem to have too many words to describe or translate what the original writers God used to copy His Word were conveying.
 Our Daily Bread, October 26, 2015.