Our brains were created to think deeply about things.
They also enable us to do things by reflex, instantly responding to stimuli without thought. Athletes and musicians prove that if we drill an action enough that action can move from a thought-provided thing to an unthinking reflex. If this were not true nobody could ever play the infield well in baseball or play the B Major scale on any instrument at a fast tempo when a score required such virtuosity. Through repetition, we develop carefully considered actions into instant reflexes by a of process of drill and drill and drill again.
Most of the conscious action of our brains is neither reflex nor meditation. We simply give things as much thought as they require. It is as if we must reserve our brain power and not use it up unnecessarily. We can even divide our brains between two demanding activities such as daydreaming while we drive.
The mind God gave us is a marvelous instrument.
Man has yet to invent a computer with the memory capacity that a child’s brain possesses. Contained safely in a skull designed for light weight strength, supplied by blood and oxygen in precise quantities by the body connected below, the brain sits like the captain on the bridge of a great ship navigating our lives, keeping our balance, enabling us to walk and think and chew gum all at the same time.
Still there is more to us than a remarkable brain.
There is a spirit within us that searches for the Divine while the soul within in us perceives the world through the five senses. There is a brain skill that actually bridges the two; there is a level of conscious thought that can bless us spiritually—meditation.
Meditation is a natural skill that can be developed without reference to the Word of God or the Holy Spirit or even the human spirit.
- If we meditate on base things, our brains will try to build our lives on these porous foundations.
- If we feed our base urges, our brains will scheme and plan to put our bodies in the places where we can get into the most trouble.
- If we open our hearts to evil spirits, they gain entrance into our spirit, binding us in chains and dragging us slowly to hell.
Meditation has a godly purpose.
However, if we put this deep function of the brain to its intended use, the spirit within in us can be greatly strengthened. In a striking parallel to physical training, our brains can train us in spiritual disciplines. In the New Covenant, the Lord promises to inscribe His word on our hearts. Meditating on the Word of God and the narrative of God does this. As we think deeply about the things of eternity, our time on earth becomes more manageable.
This takes time and commitment. It doesn’t happen by accident. The Bible tells us time and again to meditate on the things of God.
- When we use our imaginations to place ourselves in the biblical narratives, their power is appreciated at a deeper level.
- The Bible tells that contemplating the glory of God changes us!
This is time well spent, energy strategically placed, and a Covenantal promise fulfilled.
Psalm 119:97-104 NIV
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Psalm 1 NIV
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true… noble, … just, …pure, … lovely, …of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Confession of Worship:
You are God
(from The Book of Common Prayer)
You are God: we praise You; You are the Lord; we acclaim You; You are the eternal Father: All creation worships You. To You all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise You. The noble fellowship of prophets praise You. The white‑robed army of martyrs praise You. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, Your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide. You, Christ, are the King of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.
When You became man to set us free You did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help Your people, bought with the price of Your own blood, and bring us with Your saints to glory everlasting. Amen.
Think about His Love
Words and Music: Walt Harrah
Think about His love; Think about His goodness.
Think about His grace that’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above
So great is the measure of our Father’s love;
Great is the measure of our Father’s love.
For a detailed article, Thinking Carefully about Jesus, go to: http://stevephifer.com/thinking-carefully-about-jesus/
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved