January 5, 2014.
“But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Today is the day many Christians gather together all over the world to fellowship together and set aside a portion of their week devoted to the Lord God. I think this is a wonderful time of remembrance, instruction and worship. I love the reverence that often comes with it, as we step back and simply admire the power of God. The verse above, an excerpt of the prophet Habakkuk’s prophecy against the Chaldean’s warning about their idol worship, resounds in my being as the call for reverence. The Lord is in his hold temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him. What majesty he demands. What awe accompanies him. Silence is not too often a gift given in our day an age.
Today, I am going to encourage you to take 10-20 minutes to simply meditate. This may seem a bit weird, especially for those who have not done much meditation (such as myself), but I know it will be a profitable investment. Meditation is lost in our busy schedule. We have to go and do this, or pay that bill or pick something up from the store. How often do we set aside time (daily) for God? Does he not deserve our respect? The time we call ours, in fact, is a gift given by Him. It would be nonexistent without Him. Let’s take a few minutes to dwell on his presence.
Why meditate? I am of the opinion that when we pray to God we don’t really listen for His answer. Sometimes I’ll pray and as soon as I’m done, I’ll say “well I prayed, we’ll see what happens.” Sometimes I don’t believe anything will happen at all. Other times I just go out and do what I was planning on doing before I prayed. It is not often that I sit and meditate on what His answer or His call truly is. I believe that this is a great loss. Don’t take my word for it, let us look at the example of our master. Jesus was the son of God. If anyone could get by without prayer, I would venture to guess that it would be Him. But Jesus prayed constantly and throughly.
“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”
“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he namedapostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
“And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here andwatch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?It is enough; the hour has come.”
Whenever Jesus had a major decision to make, he withdrew himself and prayed. When he was troubled, he did the same. He took his disciples with him to teach them how they ought to behave. I believe we can take a lesson from this. When Jesus was praying all night in the garden, I do not necessarily believe that he was talking constantly. There must have been many periods of silence for listening and meditation. God sent angels to strengthen him.
“What do I do when I meditate?” you may ask. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have the complete answer. This is a new area for me just as it is for many of you. From the little experience I have had in the past, I would suggest finding a passage of scripture (perhaps the daily suggested reading), reading it silently and a loud. Thinking deeply about it and what it means, both then an now. I would also suggest praying; not just reciting a list of “thank you’s” and “I want’s,” but truly finding His presence and ascribing him the glory he deserves. Maybe you could meditate on your favorite hymn and imagine the words as they go through your mind or come off your lips. And if all else fails, just sit in silence and be one in the presence of the Lord. Perhaps this is the best of all my suggestions.
Take a few minutes now, or tonight, or in the morning even (whenever you think would be most beneficial for you with the way your body operates) and meditate. Try to make it a weekly, or better yet, daily habit (small steps). You will be blessed from it.
Daily Suggested Reading: Psalm 19, 63, Habakkuk 2:6-20.
The Lord bless you and keep you.