Leadership

Spiritual Disciplines: Meditation

We continue the series on Spiritual Disciplines in this post on Meditation. What is the Biblical context for meditation, how is it different from prayer, and what makes it different from Eastern Meditation? We tackle all that and more in this post!

The physical world is all around, bombarding us with the mundane to the awe-inspiring. We cannot help but be aware of it. And while there is beauty and meaningful work found in it, those who believe in a greater power look for ways to also understand the spiritual world. This is where Spiritual Disciplines come in. Growing closer to God and enjoying fellowship with him is its own reward, but the growth in our spiritual lives produces fruit in our physical worlds as well.

Do you think your church could benefit from a deeper understanding of Spiritual Disciplines? Offering resources on your Church Site and App are an organic way to deliver the Spiritual in a practical way. Tithe.ly offers the easiest site builder available and apps designed to grow your church physically and spiritually. 

We often think of disciplines as very practical and pragmatic. It’s true that building habitual practices is part of the process. Paul urges Timothy to train himself to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7) because we must pursue godliness. It’s not a “free gift with purchase” nor is it something a pastor or leader can do for us. Spiritual Disciplines veer off the path of the pragmatic and enter more uncomfortable waters for us list-makers. 

Jerry Bridges says in his book The Practice of Godliness, “But the idea of longing for God Himself, of wanting to deeply enjoy His fellowship and His presence, may seem a bit too mystical, almost bordering on fanaticism.” If there is one discipline most likely to appear mystical, it’s Meditation. Thankfully, we can look to the Bible to tell us what Meditation is and what it is not. 

Well-Versed

You don’t have to be Beyoncè to sing, and you don’t have to be a monk to meditate. In fact, meditation is throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is not for a select, holy few in a distant desert; but for all of us. First, let’s read a few key verses on meditation and then distill a definition of what meditation is.  

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:8

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

In these verses, meditating means thinking about scripture in order to learn what God has said and to bring our lives into better alignment with his ways. To distill it even further, “Christian Meditation is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.” (Foster). 

What’s the Difference?

There are a few distinctions that bring even more clarity to the topic of meditation. First, you might be thinking that it sounds a lot like prayer. In truth, many of the Spiritual Disciplines lean into one another and can even blend together. However, meditation involves listening intently and thinking about what you know of God. Prayer is often more of an “asking and telling.” If prayer is a conversation, meditation is sitting in companionable silence with God. Sometimes he might speak, sometimes he won’t. Either way, it was time spent in dedication to God and with God. 

Another distinction to highlight is what separates Christian Meditation from Eastern Meditation. Eastern Meditation is meant to allow an individual to disconnect. From everything. It looks to cut the tether, detach from everything. Christian Meditation helps us realize who it is holding our kite string through the storm, to connect deeper to the one we are tethered to. 

That’s not to say there isn’t an element of detachment in Christian Meditation. What do we detach from? Certainly not God. But the distractions of our life that come between us and him. The busyness, the idleness, the monotony, the chaos. We silence it all to listen for that whisper in the wind. 

Final Thoughts

This is where we flip the script on our understanding of Spiritual Disciplines. Instead of looking at how our spiritual life can impact our daily life, we can ask how our daily life is preparing us for our spiritual life. Do you arrange your day so that you can spend time with God? Or are you spending time with God because you really need something from him? To be clear, we all are dependent on God, and asking and praying for things isn’t wrong. But spending time with God to grow closer to him and hear him better, that’s where we find spiritual growth. 

“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

Tithe.ly All Access helps you open the door to the best church experience for your community. Find out all the ways you can save by adding All Access to your giving platform. 

Resource Library 

Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges 

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Spiritual Disciplines: Meditation

Spiritual Disciplines: Meditation

We continue the series on Spiritual Disciplines in this post on Meditation. What is the Biblical context for meditation, how is it different from prayer, and what makes it different from Eastern Meditation? We tackle all that and more in this post!

Show notes

The physical world is all around, bombarding us with the mundane to the awe-inspiring. We cannot help but be aware of it. And while there is beauty and meaningful work found in it, those who believe in a greater power look for ways to also understand the spiritual world. This is where Spiritual Disciplines come in. Growing closer to God and enjoying fellowship with him is its own reward, but the growth in our spiritual lives produces fruit in our physical worlds as well.

Do you think your church could benefit from a deeper understanding of Spiritual Disciplines? Offering resources on your Church Site and App are an organic way to deliver the Spiritual in a practical way. Tithe.ly offers the easiest site builder available and apps designed to grow your church physically and spiritually. 

We often think of disciplines as very practical and pragmatic. It’s true that building habitual practices is part of the process. Paul urges Timothy to train himself to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7) because we must pursue godliness. It’s not a “free gift with purchase” nor is it something a pastor or leader can do for us. Spiritual Disciplines veer off the path of the pragmatic and enter more uncomfortable waters for us list-makers. 

Jerry Bridges says in his book The Practice of Godliness, “But the idea of longing for God Himself, of wanting to deeply enjoy His fellowship and His presence, may seem a bit too mystical, almost bordering on fanaticism.” If there is one discipline most likely to appear mystical, it’s Meditation. Thankfully, we can look to the Bible to tell us what Meditation is and what it is not. 

Well-Versed

You don’t have to be Beyoncè to sing, and you don’t have to be a monk to meditate. In fact, meditation is throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is not for a select, holy few in a distant desert; but for all of us. First, let’s read a few key verses on meditation and then distill a definition of what meditation is.  

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:8

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

In these verses, meditating means thinking about scripture in order to learn what God has said and to bring our lives into better alignment with his ways. To distill it even further, “Christian Meditation is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.” (Foster). 

What’s the Difference?

There are a few distinctions that bring even more clarity to the topic of meditation. First, you might be thinking that it sounds a lot like prayer. In truth, many of the Spiritual Disciplines lean into one another and can even blend together. However, meditation involves listening intently and thinking about what you know of God. Prayer is often more of an “asking and telling.” If prayer is a conversation, meditation is sitting in companionable silence with God. Sometimes he might speak, sometimes he won’t. Either way, it was time spent in dedication to God and with God. 

Another distinction to highlight is what separates Christian Meditation from Eastern Meditation. Eastern Meditation is meant to allow an individual to disconnect. From everything. It looks to cut the tether, detach from everything. Christian Meditation helps us realize who it is holding our kite string through the storm, to connect deeper to the one we are tethered to. 

That’s not to say there isn’t an element of detachment in Christian Meditation. What do we detach from? Certainly not God. But the distractions of our life that come between us and him. The busyness, the idleness, the monotony, the chaos. We silence it all to listen for that whisper in the wind. 

Final Thoughts

This is where we flip the script on our understanding of Spiritual Disciplines. Instead of looking at how our spiritual life can impact our daily life, we can ask how our daily life is preparing us for our spiritual life. Do you arrange your day so that you can spend time with God? Or are you spending time with God because you really need something from him? To be clear, we all are dependent on God, and asking and praying for things isn’t wrong. But spending time with God to grow closer to him and hear him better, that’s where we find spiritual growth. 

“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

Tithe.ly All Access helps you open the door to the best church experience for your community. Find out all the ways you can save by adding All Access to your giving platform. 

Resource Library 

Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges 

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