I’ve just read an insightful book in which the author tells of her journey coming out of New Age where she was a yoga instructor, Reiki master and a person who used Buddhistic meditation to find peace. She was overwhelmed by the ‘peace’ she experienced initially, and it led her down a deceptive path seeking more of the false peace she had experienced. She got more than she bargained for unfortunately, as she partnered increasingly with darkness. Instead of her heart and mind being guarded by peace, they became tormented. The New Age world can offer us a counterfeit peace, but it doesn’t lead to life and freedom.
It seems to me there are two distinct differences between biblical meditation and Eastern spiritual meditation (the latter often referred to as Mindfulness) -Biblical meditation means ‘to think about’. Mindfulness means ‘to let go of thought and empty the mind’, often by focussing solely on something, like breathing. It has roots in Hinduism and Buddhism.
As Christians we need to be wary of New Age practices creeping into churches. Yoga may be presented as ‘Christian Yoga’ but poses assumed are worship positions to Hindu deities, believed to open energy points in the body, known as chakras. Mindfulness is being used in some churches and is now a daily practice with children in some schools. There is even something now called ‘Christfulness’, but it is a ‘christianized’ version of mindfulness.
We don’t need to be inspired by other religions in order to love and obey Jesus or to meditate on his word. Philippians 4 is helpful regarding how to pray and meditate as Christians. Verses 6-7 (AMP) state ‘Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]’. What a beautiful promise! His peace will protect our hearts and minds after we present our requests and entreat and thank the Lord!
Verse 8 (NIV) describes which types of things we should meditate on: ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things’.
Verse 9b (AMP) says ‘.... practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you’. We need to let HIM be our source of peace.
Prayer:Dear Lord, please forgive me for not always looking to you to be my source of peace. I choose to meditate on you and your word. Thank you for your peace which protects my heart and mind. Help me to keep focussed on you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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