David prayed in Psalms 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
So, meditation is biblical, but it must be acceptable. Authentic Christian meditation differs greatly from the eight primary meditation practices found in non-Christian worldviews.
Most biblical exhortations to meditation involve prayerfully pondering the meaning of God's Word: Psalms 119:97 says, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." Non-Christian meditation often involves an attempt to empty the mind to attain higher mystical states of awareness.
If meditation techniques are mechanical, mindless, monotonous, monotone, mundane, manipulative, magical or even overly mystical, they are probably the wrong approach. Biblical meditation is relational: the overflow of loving communion between the heavenly Father and His sons and daughters.
Eight Primary Methods of Meditation That Are Unbiblical
— Breath meditation.
— Yantra meditation.
— Chakra meditation.
— Mantra meditation.
— Sound meditation.
— Movement meditation.
— Visualization meditation.
— Silent meditation.
Bodily position is often emphasized in meditation. Many believe improper posture can hinder the flow of energy through the body that empowers the meditator to succeed in this endeavor.
Mudras are often used: symbolic mystical hand gestures. The Bible reveals that the position of the body has no bearing on a person's level of spirituality or sensitivity to the presence of God.
Breath meditation is based on the idea that the air is permeated with a life force (prana in Hinduism, Chi in Taoism) and that controlled breathing can intensify awareness. Human breath and the breath of God are two different things biblically.
Yantra meditation consists of staring at a geometric design that often represents a false deity.
Chakra meditation consists of meditating on seven swirling energy centers in the body that are merely imaginary (though many of a far eastern or new age mindset believe they are real).
Mantra meditation is the repetition of a word or series of words in a monotone way that is supposed to help the meditator transcend thought and the natural world. Jesus taught against it in Matthew 6:7, insisting to His disciples, "But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their much speaking."
In two podcast episodes on Revealing the True Light, Mike Shreve compares correct biblical meditation methods with incorrect non-Christian that some Christians try to implement. This is a very important teaching that will sharpen your discernment.
Mike Shreve has been teaching God's Word since 1971, with an emphasis on healing and the prophetic. He has authored 15 books, including the bestselling 65 Promises From God for Your Child. Discover Your Spiritual Identity podcasts are based on Mike Shreve's book Who Am I?. Visit shreveministries.org, facebook.com/shrevemin, twitter.com/shrevemin and instagram.com/mike_shreve.
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