Monday, September 28, 2009

Meditation: Communion with God

What do you think about all day? And does the answer to that question reveal much about your spiritual state? Is the content and focus of our thoughts a fruit, or sign, of whether or not we are alive to God?

At the moment of conversion the person who was once blind and deaf to God, dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), is miraculously "made alive" - regenerated by the Spirit of God, born again, awakened to the living God, given eyes to see and ears to hear in the spirit - it's a glorious, creation-work of God! The born-again child of God is indwelt by God's own Spirit and is suddenly AWARE of God, Christ, and spiritual things. He begins to see the unseen, and commune with God.

God is now the focus of thought for the convert. While this happens naturally, as the Holy Spirit works within, the believer has a responsibility to cooperate with God in this relationship. As believers we have the privilege and the duty to meditate on the things of God; to think upon the Lord and his revealed truth. The Lord gives us strength within, depth of thought, peace and joy and awareness of God as we meditate on his truth!

Yet the enemy (and our own flesh) recognizes the danger of the Christian who is constantly thinking upon Christ, and provides countless distractions. In our age it is becoming more and more difficult to "be still and know" that he is God (Psalm 46:10). But this is vital for our growing communion with God.

When we talk of meditating on the Lord, we mean that these focused thoughts on truth are done IN THE PRESENCE of the Lord (before the Lord) in an attitude of prayer and worship. We are not speaking merely of thought. There is an awareness in our meditation that we are sitting before the Lord, communing with him as we fill our minds with his truth, revealed in Scripture. What a glorious thing! How sweet and satisfying; how deep and rich and lovely to walk with God!

J.I. Packer, in his classic book Knowing God, describes the practice of Christian meditation:

We turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God... Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consicously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God... It's effect is ever to humble us as we contemplate God's greatness and glory and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us - "comfort" us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word - as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ. (chapter 1)

Christian, what a privilege is yours to walk with God and KNOW him! What a delight to meditate on the Lord! Be diligent to fix your thoughts on the glory of Christ in prayer, praise and meditation. "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3, ESV).

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