Okay, I need to be honest about something when it comes to this whole idea of meditation: I struggle with it. The constant rushing of thoughts that often occupy my mind seems to put stumbling blocks in the way of meditation. Like so many things regarding our spiritual journey with Christ, whether it be praying, reading His word, serving others, and yes, this idea of meditation, there is a need to develop discipline. In the book, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago entitle God’s Battle Plan For The Mind, I came across a chapter that lists several things one could consider meditating on. This morning, after Debbie and Corey left for work, I found myself sitting on the couch with the windows open, listening to the marvelous sounds of creation. It caused me to think of Psalm 145:5, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.” As I exalted God in my mind, it lifted my spirit. As purposed as meditation needs to be in our lives, it need not be complicated.
I believe the title of the book mentioned above is appropriate regarding the challenges Christians have faced from the beginning. As Paul exhorts the church in Corinth, he says, “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (NCV, 2nd Corinthians 10:5). Paul portrays this battle when he writes in Romans 7:23, “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” For the Christian, this battle within is every bit real, for the Spirit which God has given us fights with the flesh of man, or as the NCV says, our sinful selves. Why mention all this? I believe, biblically speaking, meditation is one of the many tools God reveals to us that can help us in this battle for the mind. The question is, how does it work?
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
The practice of meditations is rather simple, with some essential components that help us to achieve the desired objective. The text above provides simple goals to enable believers to practice and thus benefit from this discipline. First, Paul encourages these early Christians to “seek those things which are above.” The keyword is “seek.” It means to aim at, strive after. Like this morning, as I sat and listened to God’s creation, I intended to think of His incredible creative power. As the saying goes, “You will always find what you are looking for.” Here, we are encouraged to focus on those things above. To focus is so crucial because something here seems always to want our attention. Second, Paul builds on this idea by saying, “set your mind on things above.” The KJV says, “Set your affections,” while the NCV says, “Think only about things in heaven…” This idea to set means to direct one’s mind to a thing. Paul is teaching them and us today that the Christian journey is a battle of the mind. That being the case, it is crucial for us to purposefully seek to grow in our awareness and understand of God and His will for us. Meditation is one of the tools to help us achieve that objective.
One final thought. Why do this? Like so many things in our Christian walk, it comes down to the incredible gift of Christ. Paul writes, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4). If for no other reason, and there is genuinely no better reason, let us seek and set our minds on things above because of what Christ has done for us and will do for us one day. Have a blessed day, knowing you are loved.