Monday, March 25, 2013
DO NOT BE EMPTY MINDED
Meditate. We hear a lot about meditation these days and a lot of people do not understand what the Bible really means when we are told to meditate. I would like to present this truth from God’s Word as I see it. Meditation is not the practice of emptying our minds in order to allow ourselves to relax and allow our thoughts to rest so that our bodies may be refreshed. It is the practice of thinking. It is the practice of actually letting our minds wonder over what we have just heard or read and tying it together with things we have previously heard or read. It is the practice of refreshing and strengthening our minds and our hearts so that our spirits may be at rest.
Unfortunately, the world around us has taken up the practice of meditation based on the practices of Yoga. When counseling that takes place in the sports arena (including the gym) and in healthy living seminars these days, such mind emptying meditation in widely encouraged. So what, I said. But then it came into the schools. And it is gaining ground. It is not being recognized for the religious practice it is and has become a serious trend all over the world, let alone the United States, where religious practices are forbidden; well, at least, Christian practices where teaching morals and ethics and accountability would be emphasized are forbidden.
So what does meditating really mean for us? It means think about it. It means deal with things in your mind, in your imagination, in your creativeness, in your entertainment… think about it. Think about God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, think about God’s Word, think on the feast you have put into your minds and heart about God.
God is very clear about an empty mind: We may not have an evil spirit as seen in Jesus day, but we do have evil thinking going on in and all around us. And we do have evil all around us. An empty mind is an invitation to fill it with evil. And here is a short, but critical reminder that we are to concentrate on Him and fill our minds with Him:
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. “ Matt 12:43-45
An empty mind is a dangerous thing; perhaps more so than “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” And doing Yoga style meditation is also a dangerous thing: It can become the devil’s workshop in quick order. Keep it open, but do not keep it empty. We must feed as much good, God given information into our brains as possible and take pains to avoid making room for evil. When evil thoughts come we must not dwell on them. We must throw them out and replace them with right thoughts: Philippians 4:8-9 in two translations:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” King James Version
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” The Message.
May we go forward from here in full battle gear, ready to whip the socks off of any evil that gets in our way. And may we rely on the Holy Spirit to help us discern good from evil as we go. Listen up and think because He knows how to train us up.