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Of Baking and Blessing ~ Meditation

January 11, 2011

In the first issue of 2011, USA Today reported 90% of the world has access to mobile networks, and 1.8 trillion text messages were sent between June 2009 and June 2010.  Mankind has learned to stay tethered to thoughts and topics at the sound of a ring tone or ping.  We focus on what’s trending, respond on Facebook, Tweet about it, and check back for comments. But meditation as a Biblical, spiritual discipline is nothing like the mindset of our culture. The concentration of our culture is captive to the here and now, instead of the holy.

The Barna Group recently released a study about the faith climate in the US, reporting, “The turbo-charged pace of society leaves people with little time for reflection. The deeper thinking that occurs typically relates to economic concerns or relational pressures. Spiritual practices like contemplation, solitude, silence, and simplicity are rare.”

To know what Biblical meditation IS, it helps to know what it’s NOT:

  • It is NOT empty.  God’s Word is the object.
  • It is NOT extra Biblical. God’s Law produces obedience.
  • IT is NOT an escape. God’s peace and compassion prevail.

Meditation is foreign to the way we do life today. While making bread yesterday, I had to let the yeast work, wait for growth, let the dough rise, and labor for the elasticity of dough ready to bake. Homemade bread is a whole different food than store bought. It can’t be rushed. Meditation takes time to listen, reflect, rehearse, and rework God’s truth in our lives, kneading it into our souls and allowing it to grow and live in our minds and hearts.

Meditation requires:

  • A change of pace – slowing down to allow space and opportunity to consider and reconsider God’s truth and hear His voice.
  • An intentional place – carving out an undisturbed corner, where we push aside the urgent and give attention to the Divine.
  • A humble posture – helping us to get into the mindset of the forgiven and the rescued, to worship the Object of our thoughts.
  • A clear path – instead of wandering or floundering, going to God’s Word that is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path.
  • An attitude of prayer – sweet communication flows out of unbothered moments of absorbing God’s truth and grace, and we can respond to Him in praise and honesty.

The New Age movement gave meditation a bad name among many, but Scripture gives a clear pattern of meditation filled with the One True God, not empty and vulnerable to the Enemy. Jesus went away to be alone and communicate with His Father (Matt. 14:13), and Old Testament saints set a precedent of making time to listen to God.

A pace and place for the posture of meditation is going to be hard to carve out, but our hearts can be that holy place. When we commit to practicing this inner discipline, we can look forward to the protection and peace enjoyed by one who is  “blessed.”

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. ~ Psalm 1:1-3

One way to meditate today: (I suggest Psalm 1:1-3)

Take one Scripture verse and “tether” yourself to it:  write it on a card, say it aloud every time you wash your hands, look up every word in the dictionary, talk about it out loud in the car, tell someone else about it today, pray it back to the Lord, email someone what it means to you, sing it as you work, and find a quiet place to slow your pace long enough to be alone and rehearse that truth in your mind and heart. Let God work out that one truth in your soul, let it froth with new insight, let is rise with understanding, and let it bring the aroma of something new and fresh and wonderful that only the Blessed Woman who meditates on His truth will enjoy!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 8:20 am

    Julie ~ Awesome post! I love how you said, “A pace and place for the posture of meditation is going to be hard to carve out, but our hearts can be that holy place.” In a world that vies for our attention and schedules that consume our time, mediation is often hard – but it’s necessary. Thank you so much for encouraging us to ponder on our precious Savior, all He has done and all He calls us to do. 🙂

  2. January 11, 2011 8:35 am

    This is an absolutely wonderful post! I love the analogy of bread making and meditating on God’s Word! I also loved how you cleared up how the word “meditation” is not the dirty word the New Age movement has made it! Lastly, I love how you ended the article with practical ways to implement meditation into your day!

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      January 11, 2011 11:05 am

      So thankful that it was helpful. As I meditated on the Scripture about meditation the Lord helped to work it out in my own heart and mind, even as I worked the dough on my counter. 🙂

      Julie Sanders

  3. January 11, 2011 8:45 am

    Julie, this is beautiful! Thank you for explaining this so well.

  4. January 11, 2011 8:49 am

    Julie, thanks for the beautiful, encouraging, and challenging post.

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      January 11, 2011 11:03 am

      As usually happens, the Lord used the topic of meditation to teach me and challenge me personally. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in His sight..”

      Julie Sanders

  5. January 11, 2011 3:26 pm

    i have a hard time being still for anything. i want to quickly absorb and then move on. i even skimmed through this, only to find myself taking a deep breath and starting at the beginning. the truth is nothing can be quickly absorbed!

    oh how i want my heart to be that holy place. i’m encouraged by this challenge to endure the stillness.

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      January 11, 2011 3:37 pm

      I’m afraid most of us can relate all too well. Our world is feeding our mastery of “skimming life,” but you are so right that nothing worthwhile can be quickly absorbed. Do we dare to pray that the Lord will teach us to pray and to pause? Sometimes I know He “stops” me when I need to slow down. Let’s ask for Him to make our hearts that still and holy place, together.

      Julie Sanders

  6. January 12, 2011 11:31 am

    Wow, those statistics were quite interesting… and revealing. Reflection – in God’s Word, especially, and on our lives lived for God – is so important for growth. And the ability to work towards something for a long period (rather than have instant results) is a necessity that, while I think does still exist, has declined in this society. I do think, though, that many people are still striving to grow in that way, and you all on this site are (thankfully) helping!

    I love the tips you share on meditating on verses. You have a beautiful way with words. Thank you.

    • Julie Sanders permalink
      January 12, 2011 12:20 pm

      Our heart is to help with issues just like this one, and we’re so glad it was encouraging. Our world certainly doesn’t encourage or enable us to experience the gems that come from anything that takes time. It reminds me of when Satan offered Jesus the “quick satisfaction” of just “taking the kingdom,” instead of claiming it by God’s design. So glad you are pressing on with us!

      Julie Sanders

  7. January 12, 2011 3:29 pm

    Thank you for this post! We unfortunately live in a world of instant gratification. Rewards now! I used to have conversations with our pastor about growth. I wondered one time in half jest why growth was so painful and why we couldn’t just spray Miracle Gro on ourselves at night and wake up in the morning all mature in our Christianity. He reminded me that if we did that we didn’t need God, we didn’t need his provision for our needs to go and grow through things. It is only growth on the surface and not deep truths that we’ve planted in our hearts, tethered our lives to. If we are tethered to God’s word and not “prone to wander”, we digest, mull over, grieve, weep, rejoice, even sing at the truth of who God is. The Ultimate definition of a life of worship! Thank you for your words!

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