Hearing God in Meditation

God speaks time and again—in various ways—but nobody notices” (Job 33:14).

Most people I know have an innate desire to hear God; actually, more than a desire, an intense longing. We want to connect with the divine, to somehow see the face of God, to touch and be touched. It’s inborn, an inherent ingredient of our humanity.

Scripture says God is always speaking, but we miss it. We don’t notice his voice because we don’t recognize it. Oh, sometimes he breaks in through writing on the wall or through a speaking beast of burden, but mostly he speaks in a still, small voice.

voices r2

We miss his voice because it is drowned out in the sea of other voices. The cacophony of sounds, like an orchestra tuning, obscures that still small voice. Stomachs growl their hunger, bosses bark their orders, and that insult from twenty years ago still shouts its condemnation.

How do we learn to discern God’s voice? In meditation. Christian meditation trains our ears to distinguish God’s voice—that one instrument—amidst the orchestra of others. And once we learn to recognize God’s voice, we begin to hear it “time and again, in various ways.”

To hear God’s voice, we need to learn to meditate. Unless, like Balaam, you have a talking ass.

Christian meditation

You and I are already meditation experts. We practice it all the time in everyday matters.

With our first child still fresh in the womb, our mind imagines the new bedroom. We picture fresh paint, where the crib fits best, the changing table and rocker. We envision our future life—nursing, teaching soccer, and Christmas mornings—and it changes us today.

We take a truth—our wife’s bulging belly—and consider with our mind and heart. We let the thoughts of our mind mix with the meditations of our heart. And something inside is stirred.

Christian meditation is like that. Unlike eastern meditation—which empties its mind—we fill our mind with a truth, examine it, let it examine us, and in that meditative mix, God speaks.

Theophan the Recluse (a household name to be sure) said, “To [meditate] is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever present all seeing, within you.”

How does this work in day-to-day life?

A common Christian prayer time involves scripture study and worship (sprinkled liberally with confession, thanksgiving, intercession, and a Christian book or two).

Our study tends to be information gathering (which is good) while our worship is an expression of our spirit and heart (which is also good). Sometimes the move from study to worship feels like shifting from first to fourth gear. We need to link scripture study with worship.

Meditation is that bridge.

Here is what I do. I usually read an Old Testament passage, a Gospel, and a New Testament letter. (Right now I’m reading 2 Kings, Mark, and 1 Corinthians.) As I read the passage (and slow is better than fast), I wait—I remain alert—for a quickening in my heart.

I’m not sure how else to describe it, maybe a stirring in my spirit or just a sense of God. The two on the road to Emmaus said, “Were not our hearts burning within us.” That works.

When stirring begins, I stop reading and meditate on the verses. I ask myself questions like,

  • What does this truth say about God? Why would God even say it?
  • What would my life look like if I believed it were true?
  • Why did this passage make me curious? What stirred that curiosity?
  • How does my culture twist, distort, or reject this? How has culture affected me?
  • Why don’t I really believe this; or, to what degree do I doubt it?
  • How does this truth—if it’s really true—make me love God more?
  • What do I need to change in my thinking or actions to align myself with its truth?

I begin by analyzing the idea presented; but after a time, I move from analyzing the text to gazing at God. I move from word-ful thinking to word-less admiration. Jordan Aumann wrote, “Contemplation signifies knowledge accompanied by delight that arouses admiration and captivates the soul” (slightly edited).

What next?

It doesn’t happen the same way every day, and certainly not with the same intensity. Some days I’m stirred by verses in the first passage, and I skip the other passages. Other days I finish all the passages, I ask myself which stirred me the most, and I return to that. And gaze.

The safest—and smartest—place to learn to discern God’s voice is in scriptural meditation. But once we begin to recognize his voice, we hear it all over the place, in a movie, on a billboard, through a friend, from a stranger on a bus. And we meditate with similar questions.

But we don’t stop there. Once we hear God speak, we share it. The best way to know something is to express it; with your spouse, friend, colleague, or with that stranger on the bus. We began with our mind, we descend into our hearts, and with our mind again we articulate with words the wordless vision of God.

My blog

This blog is mostly my expressions of my meditations. I take vague stirrings in my heart, often simple curiosities, and meditate and express them. Sometimes it leads to confession, sometimes to question the world’s influence on Christians, and sometimes to purer worship.

Though I’ll be sure to let you know if the neigh of my horse starts to sound like Shakespeare.

Sam (the aspiring recluse)

For more information about connecting with God through meditation, read my latest book, Hearing God in Conversation. It is written with the idea of a personal, engagement, connection with God.

Hearing God is supposed to be normal. God himself longs for us to grow in intimacy with him; and the greatest way to know God is to learn to hear his voice.  Buy Now

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40 thoughts on “Hearing God in Meditation

  1. Great insights Sam. My Dad had a great way of describing hearing the Lord. He said “it’s as if someone has just spoken – you no longer hear the words, but they are hanging in the air.”

    • Hi Ted,

      Your dad’s comment has great insight. God usually doesn’t force his words on us (at least not like many people we know … but I digress). His word is normally invitational; he invites us to listen and obey.

      (Although his spirit within us often compels us, compels us to listen, or obey, or simply respond.)

      And yet, as your father said, his word lingers. It’s not here and then gone, it remains, always inviting us to listen or not.

      Thanks,

      Sam

  2. I always appreciate your WORDS because they edify. Thank you for taking the time to write. This post is both inspiring and practical. I will be printing it and rereading it and sharing it.

    • Hi Beth,

      Thanks!

      I’ve got to say, I have found Christian meditation the number one way to learn to recognize God’s voice (and number two and three as well).

      The times God SHOUTS his message are rare. We all long to HEAR his voice, but I really believe our problem is learning to RECOGNIZE his voice.

      That still, small voice is rarely overpowering. But once we learn to discern the nature of its “quickening” or “burning” or “self-authenticating,” we begin to recognize he is speaking much more than we are hearing.

      Thanks for sharing,

      Sam

  3. Thank you for your thoughts today. Sharing with us your specific ways of listening through scripture will be a great addition to my current way of meditating. I love the idea of sharing as soon as we can what we’ve heard from God.

    • Hi Tim,

      “Try it, you’ll like it!”

      And I’m serious. I once heard someone say, “If you don’t write it down, it never happened.” That was a suggestion to keep notes of ideas and thoughts we have; writing them down offers us the ability to examine them later. Otherwise, they tend to disappear.

      I find the attempt to articulate what I heard from God is actually part of the process of hearing from God. As I try (and try again) to explain it, I am forced to de-tangle my thoughts. And the hearing becomes sharper.

      My poor wife. She is often the recipient of my attempts, and I used to get frustrated when she “didn’t get it” (well, I suppose I still get a bit frustrated at times…but it isn’t HER fault). What I realized is that the problem was that I was the one who still “didn’t get it.” Talking with her was still part of the process of hearing from God.

      So, my advice in sharing is this. Consider it part of the hearing, and let the person know that is what you are doing. In other words, you aren’t preaching AT them, you are asking them to join you in hearing.

      Thanks,

      Sam

      • Sometimes I find successfully communicating what I hear so unfruitful that I think perhaps it can’t be crystallized into human language and God may be saying “Quit trying.”

        but I’ve recognized that sometimes I’m lessening the message when I try to verbalize it, or at least that I haven’t yet landed on the words that really say it.

        I’ve also recognized that my hearers require grace to understand, too, and sometimes their timing just isn’t now.

        Do you find that, too?

        • I definitely think the hearers need grace, but often just enough grace to give grace.

          When my wife listens, sometimes she is just being graceful as I fumble around with words that express the wordless.

          I think there is huge value in our attempts to express the inexpressible. I suspect many of the Psalms felt inexpressible to the writers, but their attempts brought us, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

          I mean, who could have used those words in their very first attempt? He probably began, “God really takes care of us” and realized it didn’t convey God’s power, complete otherness, and care. And our sheep-fulness.

          Sam

        • By the way, I too find times where God says, “not now.” Sometimes it means now is not the time to share it, sometimes it means now is not the time to articulate it (God has more), and sometimes it means … just enjoy God’s presence!

  4. Hi Sam!

    I’m new here. I’ve read your articles for two or three months (by the way, thank you Hav’s for letting me know about that blog…).
    I just wanted to thank you: thank you for taking time to write down your thoughts and the fruit of your meditations. You can’t imagine the great impact it has on me. It always tastes like fresh food to me.

    Thank you for saying:
    – “we take a truth (…) and consider with our mind and heart” (it sounds a bit similar to your last post, doesn’t it?). Yes, meditation engage your mind and your heart. I needed to hear that again.
    – “once we hear God speak, we share it”; and yes, expressing your thougts is this is the best way to know it; and writing it down is the best way to remind it.

    I just feel like meditating more and more.

    Please keep on being a blessing for us with your articles!
    God bless you!

    Sandrine.

    • Hi Sandrine,

      I love it; you caught me. Yes, it sounds a great deal like my last blog. I almost named this, Part II. I love it that you noticed the connection.

      God wants to engage the whole person, and I’m finding meditation (a sort of prayerful thinking) to be the number one way I hear God. AND, it teaches me to recognize his voice elsewhere.

      You also captured my favorite quotes. I like the way you … think!

      And thank you very much for your gracious comments. They mean a great deal to me (though I still feel awkward when they come).

      Thanks, and welcome.

      Sam

  5. Good word Sam. Brought two things to mind.
    Graham Cooke said in a presentation “God never speaks to you in the same voice you use to speak to Him.” We can ask in our loudest voice and if we’re lucky, He’ll whisper back to us. I never hear the whispers if I don’t stop talking.
    and
    I don’t share enough of what I hear in my quiet times – God gives me what I need to hear, but maybe that isn’t what my brother needs to hear at the moment, so maybe he’ll dismiss it. MY fear. But if you’re right (and you do have a pretty good average) and to really KNOW IT you need to EXPRESS IT – then I’m doing myself, and my God, a great disservice by not getting it out there.
    Just going for a quiet Sam moment with my morning coffee, and here comes a kick in the backside – and I didn’t even have to meditate!

    • Hi Lyman,

      Thanks. I always love your sharing on this blog because you have many great words to express. Continue expressing them here. Even when you disagree–disagreements among friends can be great friendship builders (when done right, and you are always gracious). Iron sharpens iron.

      So…get out there and start expressing more!

      Sam

  6. One of my favorite ways to meditate on a passage is to imagine myself in the scene. I try to pay attention to what I see, where I’m standing, how I feel. Sometimes I put myself in one of the characters’ positions–and not always the “good” guy’s. Some of my best conversations with God have been generated by seeing–and realizing–myself in the position of the “bad guy.”

    This method can’t be depended upon to generate flawless scripture scholarship (an important caveat), but it can be unfailingly depended upon to generate true things about my own heart and real words from God to my soul–if I’m brave and open enough to sit with them.

    The Christian mystics describe the exact process you go through, by the way. (Maybe you knew that!) Lectio-meditatio-oratio-contemplatio. We read/receive the Word, we meditate upon it, we respond to it, we rest in his Presence. The technical difference between meditation and contemplation, as I understand them to mean it, is that the former is active on our part and involves the use of our capacities and the latter is active on God’s part and is pure gift.

    • Hi Martha,

      Putting yourself is the story is a great part of meditation. I find it incredibly helpful.For example, in the Good Samaritan, I find it helpful to put myself in the place of the priests/levites, and in place of the man dying. It helps me see Jesus more clearly (and my faults and my weaknesses).

      Yes, I like the mystics terminology, though I sometimes find it an arbitrary (though helpful) distinction. It may sound strange, I but I find parts of me meditating while other parts are gazing; I’m coming to understand parts of the passage even as I come to delight in other parts.

      So, often for me, bits of them all happen.

      But the distinction is still good. Meditation is more our active part.

      Thanks,

      Sam

  7. Sam,

    Meditation on scripture can reap nourishment for souls as we desire to hear God’s voice.

    I am very intrigued however by other ways God may speak that can be meaningful to me. Talk about various ways. I’ll go out on a limb here.

    Maybe it’s just me but I truly have to wonder at times when certain people share their thoughts or perhaps circumstances come into play based upon earlier meditation that results in a blessing in my life.

    I wonder at times, did God whisper to them to come alongside or move in their lives to bring about events that give clarity to my own life?

    I find myself asking, was that not the hand of God reflected in a mere whisper that resulted in a unique event spoken into creation by God’s voice that no one heard?

    BTW, the road to Emmaus was a personal favorite of mine.

    • Hi Jim,

      I think God works that way, partly so we continue to rely on each other. I love it when God’s work in another man (like you) mixes with God’s work in my life, and it creates something wonderful.

      I also often find God saying similar things to people all the time. God may be saying something to me, and another person comes along and says the same thing, or a little different but the difference is a great spice for what I’m hearing.

      Great thoughts. Thanks.

  8. Sam, I really enjoyed this blog as it is expressing something The Lord has urged me to do. I am focusing on one passage per week as my meditation go-to. I have four copies of it lying around the house so I refer to it when I have downtime. One day I read the passage through four times. Another day I read all the commentary notes I could find on the Scripture. A third day I read through the whole chapter for context. Each time I would glance at the text I would ask The Lord to help something jump out at me. They say if you can worry, you can meditate. Chewing on this Scripture I am excited to see how my mind is changing.

    On my blog http://www.faithreboot.com we are doing a 30 Day Biblical Meditation Challenge right now. Blessings!

    • Brittney,

      You captured me with your fabulous quote, “If you can worry, you can meditate.” Exactly. I love it. Worrying really is a form of meditation, but instead of filling our minds with God, we fill our minds with the circumstances. I’m going to use that quote many times!

      I love your deliberate focus on one passage for a week. There have been times I’ve done it for weeks; I bet you have too. I love all the ways you fill your mind with the passage. Thanks for sharing this, and your website, with us.

      Sam

  9. Thank u for sharing. I was was discussing this very thing with my husband last night. I hear God speaking!

  10. You grow up in the church and are constantly hearing someone say “I feel like God is telling/calling me to do ________” Its usually just something they want to do but they always ascribe it to God anyway. it sounds better, less selfish. I think we need to be very careful when we think God has spoken to us. Its a big deal, you can’t go back from it. There seems to be a difference between spiritual inspiration and Gods words. Im not sure they are the same thing and I also I’m not sure they are so easy to separate. I’m inclined to think that more often than not, people feel like they “heard God” when in reality they become inspired by something. You would imagine if people were really hearing God all the time, there would be a more uniform voice reported.

    I’m trying to remember a biblical story where God “whispered” or where someone needed special training to hear. Maybe you can think of some because I am blanking. The opening Verse is from Job and God did not have a quiet voice in that book. It was a whirlwind! From biblical history, it seems to me that when God said something, you knew it. No question. You might not want to do it, but you got the message loud and clear.

    I’m a long time christian here, and can;t say for sure I have ever heard God speaking to me. A couple places are certainly possible tho.

    Are we sure God does all this crypto-talk?

    • Hi Marius,

      I completely agree with you that we have to be careful. I also have heard too many people, in a discussion, play the trump card, “But I heard God say….” We have to be careful that we don’t confuse our own desires or opinion with God’s, or we don’t falsely reinforce our own opinion or desires.

      Even when we do think we heard God for that discussion, we should preface it with some qualification, like “I think I heard,” or “I feel like I sense….” The qualification allows others to disagree graciously. It removes our trump card.

      I also think that most of God’s words are not directional, they are more personal. When I hear God, most of the time it simply reinforces scriptural truths, like God loves us or a conviction of a sin I need to repent for. (Though I have heard God speak directional y as well, such as a time I felt God call me to leave a mission even when I working there–in fact, when the word opposed my desires, I felt more certain, though I also asked others for prayer and I sought counsel.)

      I don’t mean to say that God is speaking crypto, I mean that there are other voices (our desires, temptations, the influence of the world) and we have to learn to distinguish God’s voice from our own desires (just as you indicated in your comment).

      It is true that God has at times spoken loudly: on Mt. Sinai, when Jesus was baptized, in the book of Job, perhaps Gideon’s reduction of of his army to 300, and Paul on the road to Damascus.

      But I think his word normally is soft, partly leaving us the chance to respond or not. His voice is more invitational–inviting us to obey–rather than forceful (even Paul could choose to obey, though I doubt it would be easy to ignore that word). When we become believers, God’s call is normally invitation more than domination. It’s as though he restrains himself.

      As for examples from scripture, the most frequently quoted is when God speaks to Elijah in Mt. Sinai; not in the hurricane but in the “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).

      But the principle of God not forcing himself is found when the disciples on the road to Emmaus fail to recognize Jesus at first (like several of the resurrection stories), and some of the parables (Jesus says the kingdom is like a mustard seed–the smallest seed–rather than something big and large); and I think many of the Psalms indicate the value of seeking God, contemplating him, gazing on him (all more quiet activities).

      I also bet you have heard God more than you think. I was talking with a very conservative PCA (Presbyterian Church of America) pastor who was disinclined to believe God speaks today. Then he remembered a few times when he was preaching and ‘felt’ called to speak to a particular type of person (once he felt called to speak to someone just out of prison), and someone would come up afterward and say they felt he was talking to them personally (like that one time, someone literally had just been released from prison the week before).

      God’s voice isn’t crypto, but he normally doesn’t force himself. He invites and graciously allows us to respond or not, to listen or not, to obey or not.

      Thanks for your WONDERFUL comments and questions. They are just what we want on this blog.

      Sam

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply Sam. I think i have a fully understanding of what you are communicating. I am close to agreement:)
        The concept of a relationship with God is tricky. I have struggled for a long time trying to understand that concept. I think it gets further confused and misinterpreted by our “christian lingo” When we say things like “relationship with Jesus” or “hearing God talk” it simplifies a very complicated phenomena. I remember doubting my christianity because I didn’t feel like I had a “relationship” or I didn’t hear God talk. In reality, I think, we are trying our best to explain hard concepts, the only problem being, some of us get the wrong impression.

        “When we become believers, God’s call is normally invitation more than domination. It’s as though he restrains himself.”
        I like that. There is something mysterious about Gods interaction with his creation. He is reserved, I’m not sure why, but I think its important. I do think he also has a restrained call even to those who aren’t believers.

        Again thanks for your comment, I enjoy your blog and enjoy commenting when I feel so Inspired:)

        • Hi Marius,

          Just this morning I read in My Utmost for his Highest (I read the updated language version): Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose—so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. (My Utmost, July 29)

          That makes sense to me. I don’t think God wants robots; he wants us to choose him.

          Thanks for your great (I really mean it) question and comments.

          Sam

  11. I really liked the way you explained meditation.
    I became a Christian 21 years ago and from the beginning I was taught that God spoke to us. Just like he spoke to Abraham, Noah, the prophets, Paul, Job, David and more… He speaks to us today. I have had important times in my life where God spoke to me. His voice was gentle, loving and firm. There was no doubt in my part that He was the one doing the talking. He doesn’t need to speak in paragraphs to bring His message across. 🙂 Those moments were forever imprinted in my heart and mind. they were moments of extreme intimacy and I felt overwhelmed by His presence and Love. I knew that I knew that I knew that it was the Lord. His peace that surpasses understanding took over me. I think it’s important that we BELIEVE that He can speak to us so we can HEAR Him. Not that He is not speaking, but WE can’t hear Him. He is a gentleman. He will not shout.

    • Hi Tereza,

      Do you ever wonder why some Christians AREN’T taught to hear God? I know it can be “dangerous” (meaning, people mistake their own desires for the voice of God), but can’t it be just as dangerous–maybe MORE dangerous–to miss the voice of God?

      After all, we can still be mislead by our own desires if we don’t learn to distinguish them.

      Besides, it’s also dangerous to drive a car, but we still teach people to drive.

      And in the end, the thing we need most is to hear God’s voice, as you say, to hear his love that surpasses understanding.

      Thanks.

      • I became a Christian through a friend who went to a non-denomination Pentecostal church. She believed in speaking in tongues, prophecy… that the Holy Spirit of God was as active today as in the days of Acts of the Apostles. It’s a dangerous thing to give God that much power. 🙂 I have seen things that made me uncomfortable. God has asked me to do things that made me uncomfortable – they were NOT against His word but they were out of my comfort zone. 🙂 I think it’s easier to control people if we can make them believe that only some people/ priests can hear from God. I was teaching the kids yesterday that fear is one of the ways to control people. If we can make people fear we can control their actions and beliefs. We were talking about global warming, the end of the world, carbon footprint. We talked about big government, lack of individual liberties. I am reading Francine Rivers again… this time is a book about Bathsheba. It’s called Unspoken – the story of Bathsheba. Interesting how much responsibility we take upon ourselves when we are in power over other people. Our actions are all connected and have rippling effects on one another. I am safest if I can hear God, if I am willing to hear Him, for He knows all things. 🙂

        • I think you are right. We aren’t taught to hear God because a) it is reserved for the “elite,” and b) it is a form of control.

          (Now, I’ve seen people misuse hearing God, of course. But I’ve also seen people twist scripture to meet their desires.)

          It keeps coming down to this: God wants us to hear him, but much of Christianity doesn’t teach how to recognize his voice. Alas.

  12. I agree with the part about studying scripture carefully, but then this is a U-turn: “But once we begin to recognize his voice, we hear it all over the place, in a movie, on a billboard, through a friend, from a stranger on a bus. And we meditate with similar questions.”

    That is dangerous advice. I’d remember Jeremiah 17:9 rather than a misinterpretation of what one of Job’s acquaintances said.

    • Hi eMattters,

      To learn to recognize God’s voice, we need scripture. AND, to confirm we have heard God’s voice, we need scripture.

      God really does speak to us in times other than Bible study, but we need to confirm his words with scripture.

      I was talking with some conservative pastors who were highly skeptical of hearing God apart from scripture; but one by one, they began to remember little times the thought they heard God’s voice: one when he felt “called” to the ministry, another when he was preaching and felt called to speak to a prisoner (it turned out a real prisoner heard and was converted), another when he “heard” God say slow down and he did and avoided an accident.

      Coincidences? What’s wrong with the idea that God can speak personally now?

      Of course I don’t mean that we will hear new doctrine; Jesus came as the fulfillment, the ultimate, Word of God. (As in the beginning of Hebrews … “In the past…God spoke through the prophets…but now he’s spoken to us through his son.”

      And how is that verse from Job a misinterpretation? Here it is in the ESV, along with subsequent verses (see below). These seem like great ways that God speaks, warning them in dreams, visions, and words, so that they repent.

      14 For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.
      15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,
      16 then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings,
      17 that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man;
      18 he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

  13. Growing up fundamentalist/evangelical, I was told that as a born-again Christian God would “speak to me”, “move me”, and “lead me” so that I would know and could follow his will. I listened to others talk about how God spoke to them, moved them, and led them to do this and to do that…but He never did the same for me. I finally came to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with me because God had decided he didn’t want to talk to me. So I left the Church.

    Many years later I became an orthodox Lutheran and was told that God doesn’t work like that. The evangelicals are wrong. The voice they are listening to is their own. According to “true” Christianity, God speaks to Christians in only one manner: through his Word, the Bible.

    That gave me a lot of peace…until I found out that the “Word” is full of discrepancies, errors, and scribe alterations.

    I was very sad (and angry) to find out—it is ALL nonsense.

    So what about my problem of not hearing the “voice” that other evangelicals were hearing speak, move, and lead them? After deconverting completely from Christianity, I came to realize that it was THEM, not me, that had the problem. They were hearing voices. I was the sane one…who did not.

  14. Hello I’m glad I found your article. I hope to get a reply because I know you are someone who will understand this. Ive met Jesus/God in meditation but i abandoned the practice to do drugs. I’ve since quit but I feel very far from God now. It started with me trying to open the chakras and empty the mind but I saw the foolery in that but since I believed in God I decided to apply the same techniques to try to meet him, just purely as he is – no bible or anything. And it started to happen I would hear his words, see visions of him, and even feel his touch and it transformed me. That is, until I let my ego/flesh take over again and now I feel transformed in a really bad way. So out of touch with my intuition and not even having as strong of a belief in God or desiring him as much. I’m trying to work on rebounding from where I was and if you have anything to offer, it would be a huge help. Thank you Sam.

    • Thanks for commenting on my article on meditation. I completely understand how our egos want to take over and pervert the good God is doing. It’s the way of the enemy (look how his lies perverted the good God made in the Garden of Eden). And I completely understand the feeling of emptiness or abandonment. Rather than be discouraged, to the best of your ability, let the emptiness drive you to God, as in “all that I tried has failed; I realize I need you, God, and you alone.”

      Let me suggest that you try meditating on one of the following passages from Scripture. And by “meditating” I mean to think prayerfully, that is to think in the presence of God as you pray. Make your thoughts prayers to God. Here are a few passages to meditate on. Try one of them for a week! Then try another.
      • For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. (Eph. 2:10 ISV)
      • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Ps. 23:1)
      • And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16-17
      • For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Cor. 7:10)

      When I “meditate” on these passages, I ask questions (see below) but I ask and answer them in prayer to God. It’s not thinking inside my head, it’s crying them out to God. Ask (pray!) these questions of one of the passages above:
      • What does this reveal about God? Why would God want to reveal it to me?
      • What does it reveal about humanity, believers, and me?
      • Why does this passage intrigue me? What about it stirs my curiosity?
      • What would my life look like if I believed it were true?
      • How does my culture twist, distort, or reject it? How has that affected me?
      • Why don’t I really believe this truth deep down? What stops me from embracing it?
      • How does this truth make me love God more? How does it reveal his beauty?
      • What do I need to change in order to realign my heart with this truth?

      Tell me how it goes.