Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.Ephesians 5:15-18
If there is no absolute by which to judge society,Francis Schaeffer – Christian philosopher, evangelical church leader, and author
society is absolute.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give wayPsalm 46:1-3 (NIV)
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
The short answer is that yes Christians do meditate. However, what is it composed of? What is biblically accurate Christian meditation?
Various meditation methods around the world will have you spend time using controlled breathing methods, repeated phrases, clearing the mind, particular exercise and so on during meditation. They often fixate on achieving an altered state of mind &/or relaxation.
Christian meditation is a much more flexible action than those.
Christian meditation is a time of reflection.
The 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; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
Another example . . .
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,Psalm 1:2 (NASB)
And in His law he meditates day and night.
The words used to describe this action aren’t always “meditate.” For example:
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Christian meditation is a time to reflect on God’s truth. This includes His Law but it also includes any part of His Word, the Scriptures.
As you may already be imagining, this is a highly adaptable activity. You could be meditating on Proverbs 15:1 as you drive your car or perhaps you spend time thinking on a passage you finished in Romans 9 as you sit reclined in a rocking chair.
I find the best times to meditate on the Lord and His precepts is when I can put the most focus on the topic while maintaining as few distractions as possible. This is why favorites of mine are to simply lie down and stare at the ceiling as I think. I find it similarly helpful to do the same outdoors but instead looking up at the sky.
Meditation is not necessarily always and specifically on Scripture as it can include reflecting on a past action but considering it light of God’s direction. I will do this by reflecting on a past conversation that I had with someone as we discussed the Gospel. I will reflect on what was said, what could have been said, and what I should say the next I meet them. Of course, my thoughts are considering all this in light of God’s Word. You could call this a practical application meditation. The thing you have to be careful about here is to keep your mind God-focused as without Him included in the reflecting time, it would likely then devolve into a time of fretting and worry.
The verses I provided above are simply the tip of the iceberg. Here are a more:
Psalm 4:4, 19:14, 39:3, 49:3, 63:5, 73:12-22, 77:10-12, 104:34, 139:5
Psalm 119:11, 16, 23, 48, 55, 59, 78, 97-99, 148
1 Timothy 4:13-15
As you look through the above verses, many use the English word “meditate” but they do not all do so. Nevertheless, they deal with the same topic. Reading each verse in context makes this apparent.
For more formal definitions of meditation, here are the following:
Act of calling to mind some supposition, pondering upon it, and correlating it to one’s own life. A wicked individual meditates upon violence (Prov. 24:2). The meditation of a righteous person contemplates God or His great spiritual truths (Psalm 63:6; 77:12; 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 148; 143:5) He hopes to please God by meditation (Ps. 19:14). Thus meditation by God’s people is a reverent act of worship. Through it they commune with God and are thereby renewed spiritually.Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary p. 1096
Spending time in quietness and usually alone, drawing close to God and listening to Him, pondering on His word, His creation, His mighty works or other aspects of His self-revelation.Dictionary of Bible Themes
For further reading/sources, see the following:
- Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, Archie England, Steve Bond, E. Ray Clendenen, Trent C. Butler, and Bill Latta, ed. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003.
- Carpenter, Eugene E., and Philip W. Comfort. Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000.
- Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009.
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.
- Swanson, James, and Orville Nave. New Nave’s Topical Bible. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1994.
But redemption is coming!
And hope is here.
Quoted from the ending of Pastor Hause’s blog found at http://www.newcityfellowship.church/ titled “Groaning for Justice”
Porn is only consumed by thankless people. The desire for porn is a desire to escape from what the Lord has given you into a fake universe full of things you do not have . . .Finally Free by Heath Lambert
If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.
Church worship time is to be guided and directed by the regulative principle.
I could end it right there as I think that should explain my position enough but let’s unpack that.
The regulative principle deals with church government and worship. In it, we find the direction to worship using those components commanded by God. We are not to go outside of His commands found in Scripture for worship.
This worship includes each item done together which includes singing, Scripture reading, prayer, sacraments (Baptism & Communion), responsive readings, etc. Notice I did not limit this to singing only.
What Does This Mean for Lord’s Day Worship?
There is a time and place for everything.
Church worship time is first and foremost for believers and for their edification. This is not to say that non-believers are not welcome but it does mean that the entire meeting time should be fixated on God and His worship. The focus is upon God and not man. Believers are strengthened by this time spent together as we reflect on God and His importance in and for our lives.
With these things in mind, singing should be God-glorifying (not man glorifying). The music should be theologically sound. A great place to be safe in singing in worship is to sing the Psalms. This is not to say hymns or other created songs are wrong to sing in corporate worship but they must be theologically sound.
The principle also has implications for the sacraments. We should be turning to the Scriptures in how we approach and practice both Baptism and Communion (Eucharist).
Liturgy is therefore another element impacted. The very way we order our worship time should point to God.
Church worship is a corporate worship and what is included within it should reflect this corporate nature. This is why I would put special music or performance out of the regular Sabbath worship. These things should be for concerts/events held at a separate time.
As usual, I do not intend this to be a deep and comprehensive address but this should suffice to show you where I stand.
To clarify a few items as this article closes . . .
I do not spurn contemporary style music in worship time. I do, however, require it to be theologically sound. There’s no place for a song that sounds like it could be singing about a lover or God at the same time. Such music is shallow at best and ultimately fails to be edifying. We are called to be bold in Christ in the truth we proclaim, not lukewarm (Rev. 3:16) and this should apply toward our singing too.
Our Sabbath worship time should always be distinctly God-focused and God-honoring. It is not about generating personal “feel-good” experiences through mood manipulation and the like.
Church assemblies would be better served today if they consistently everywhere entrenched themselves in the Scriptures and promoted the preaching of His awesomeness in every element.
Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.
For more posts along these topics, use the above navigation to go to Simple Me . . . or click here.
But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NASB), emphasis added
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”Charles Spurgeon
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.Matthew 5:27-30 (NASB)