I love it when you take time to commune with Me. There don’t even have to be words, prayers, or praises involved. We can commune in the spirit if you turn your thoughts toward Me and let your mind and spirit dwell there.
We can be like two lovers who are happy at the thought of just being in each other’s presence, no words passing between them. They hold each other and gaze into each other’s eyes, and that is communication enough. Their hearts get on the same wavelength. They don’t need to communicate verbally because their closeness lets them know what the other is thinking. It can be the same with you and Me.
Step 1: Choose an appropriate location. Most people find that meditation is best in quiet, uncluttered surroundings, ideally away from where they work or spend most of their waking hours. A secluded spot outside can be especially conducive. Fresh air not only renews us physically, but it also helps to illustrate how God’s Spirit can clear our minds and spirits.
My morning routine is a bit like this: My alarm goes off and I lie in bed a moment longer to pray for the day ahead. After getting up, I’ll give my inbox a quick scan, and then read or listen to something devotional and inspiring, sometimes distracted by my mail or to-do list. Then I’ll get dressed, eat breakfast, and then I’m off to work.
When you have so much to do, slowing things down and taking time to meditate, getting your mind off the work at hand and onto Jesus could be the last thing you feel like doing. Even if you try, you may find that “resting in Jesus” is often easier said than done. Yet He tells us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”1
Resting in the Lord is putting your weight down on Jesus and spending time in deep communion and fellowship with Him so that He can infuse you with strength and renew your vision. It’s carrying a spirit of peace and faith and putting Jesus first. Resting in the Lord1 is pleasant because it involves thinking about Jesus and spending time with Him, and in that sense, it’s not hard or taxing, although it does take commitment to slow down and stop our other activities in order to do it.
Imagine a traveler, sitting quietly in a boat as it floats down a river that meanders through a green valley. Trees and shrubs, some in full bloom, line the riverbank. Majestic, snow-covered peaks rise in the distance. But this traveler doesn’t notice the beauty of his surroundings; he is too busy studying the guidebook, learning about the history of the area and where the river will take him.
“Look up! You’re missing the view!” We call to him, but to no avail. He just keeps on reading, his head bowed, his mind elsewhere.
I once visited a monastery that was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fortress, set high atop a rocky crag in a Syrian desert.So steep was a series of 300 steps near the summit that supplies had to be hoisted the rest of the way using a cable system. Three stone archways at the top announced to my fellow pilgrims and me that we were nearing a sanctuary.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews lists some heroes and heroines of faith.
One thing these men and women had in common was that they “waited for the city whose builder and maker is God.”1 Their focus wasn’t on their immediate circumstances, but on the heavenly reward. That’s how they were able to endure the tests and tribulations they went through.2 This has practical applications for us. It’s easy to become so weighed down with the concerns of daily living that we lose sight of what’s waiting for us at the end of the road. On the other hand, thinking more about heaven helps us to bear some of the things we have to go through now, so we’re wise to heed the scriptural advice, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”3
“Come to Me,” Jesus said, “all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 1 I recently read a message from Jesus that someone had received while praying, which said much the same thing but in terms that most of us today can relate to more easily. “The only way you’re going to hold up under the strain you’re under is by learning to pace yourself and to spend quality time with Me.”
We inhabit physical bodies, but we are spiritual beings living spiritual lives. Meditation helps us to get in touch with the spiritual elements.
Whatever happens to occupy our thoughts or drive our actions at any given moment is not the all in all. Meditation reminds us that there’s more to life than what meets the eye.