Series 7 Spiritual Disciplines: Meditation (1)

Joshua 1:1-9

Meditation as a discipline or habit is mentioned several times in scripture.  Meditation is reading scripture to write it on our hearts and change our behavior as a result.  Unlike Eastern meditation, Christian meditation seeks to empty the mind of the daily distractions and anxieties that prevent us from focusing on spiritual things, but also seeks to fill the mind with the word of God. 

To use the example introduced last week of children seeking to be like their parents, meditation would be akin to sitting on our parent’s knee and listening to stories – entering into the stories to gather wisdom and insights that we can then implement into our own lives.  Meditation on the word of God means looking at a story or passage from several different perspectives – to enter into the story as if it were ours – to recognize ourselves in God’s story and becoming a part of it.

Preparation:  As you prepare to meditate, find a comfortable place to sit, preferably a IMG_6351quiet place, free from distractions.  A seat by a window with a view of nature can help to focus one’s attention on God.

Place your palms facing down, indicating a desire to release your concerns and anxieties to God.  Name the things that are occupying your thoughts, and turn them over to God.  Take a few deep breaths to relax your body.

When you are ready, turn your palms up as an indication that you are ready to receive from God.

Read Joshua 1:1-9Enter the story as the person of Joshua.  What is it like to hear these words spoken directly from God?  What is it like to be given the awesome responsibility of leading God’s people into the Promised Land?  What fears is Joshua facing?  How do the words of God  specifically address these fears?  Write your responses in your journal.

As you read again, highlight or note in your journal the words or phrases that speak to you about the significance of meditation in these instructions to Joshua?  Reflect on these words and phrases.  Repeat them several times, writing them on your heart.  Record in your journal the insights that God has given you.

Going Further:  Another way of looking at Spiritual Disciplines is to approach them as one would approach developing a new habit.  Habits and disciplines require repetition.  Challenge yourself this week to spend half an hour each day in meditation.  Using this same scripture each day can provide deeper insights and understanding.  Or, if you prefer, consider meditating on some of the Psalms of Hope.  Begin developing the habit of daily meditation, and you will find that your thoughts and actions begin to take on a different focus.

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