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Meditation: A Key to Breakthrough
Are you in need of a breakthrough? Perhaps you have been on the same level at work for many years and though you know can do more, you are unable to see a path forward. Maybe your marriage has been trending downward and you see no light at the end of the tunnel. Or you are stuck in a never-ending cycle of debt and financial shortage and don’t see a way out.
In whatever situation you may find yourself in, God has provided for us one of the biggest keys to achieving a breakthrough in any situation. Not only is it effective, it is also quite simple. Simple enough, that you are most likely already doing it.
Meditation: God’s Key to Success
Joshua found himself in an overwhelming situation. He had been a witness to the miraculous works God had wrought in Egypt in the exodus of the Jewish people. He was there at the banks of the Red Sea as the waters were supernaturally driven back by the breath of God (Exodus 15:10) and he, along with millions, passed on dry ground. He had tasted the angel food that had fallen from heaven as God had rained manna upon His people, and he had even drunk the water that had miraculously flowed from a rock. And at the helm of all these extraordinary miracles, he marveled as his leader and mentor, Moses, remained steady and strong as God used him to do the impossible.
But as we pick up this story in Joshua 1, Moses is now gone. All of Moses’s victories were now behind them, a new generation had arisen, and they were all looking to their new leader Joshua, to fill the massive shoes Moses had left behind. Now tasked with the conquest of a mighty enemy and the occupation of new land, Joshua was in much need of a breakthrough. And it was in this situation that the Word of the Lord came to Joshua and delivered to him one of the greatest keys to breakthrough. A key that can be used in any situation to open advance in the things God has made ready for you. Joshua 1:8 says,
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
The key was not only God’s Word but what he was to do with it. Most of us would have said that “this book of the Law shall not depart from your eyes.” And certainly, there is much value in reading the Word or else it could never get inside of you. Yet, God intentionally said that it should not depart from his mouth because He understood the power and significance of meditation in order to achieve a breakthrough.
What Biblical Meditation Is and is Not
I’m sure different images and definitions come up when I say meditation. You may be picturing a person in the lotus position softly humming to themselves. Or of someone working on their breathing and attempting to achieve peak mindfulness. But biblical meditation is different and much more effective.
Biblical meditation does involve God’s Word but is much more than just reading it. To meditate on the Word literally means to fix your mind on the Word and dwell on it in your thought life day and night. You can meditate on the Word while you are driving a car, buying groceries, washing dishes, or sitting at the dinner table. In fact, most of us are already meditating, but on the wrong things. Instead of filling our minds with what God says about the negative situation we may be in, we are allowing thought and images of all the wrong things that could possibly happen (Pastor Dave gave us a great message on the power of focusing and considering good things in dealing with depression. You can view the message here).
A Vivid Picture of Biblical Meditation
God will often use the things He made to teach us deeper spiritual truth, and when it comes to Biblical meditation, I often think of a cow chewing its cud. The digestion process of a cow is vastly different from our own. For example, it takes one to three days for food to pass through a cow’s digestive system. The cow will briefly chew on its food, just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food then passes to the reticulum and the rumen, just two out of the four stomachs a cow has. After some time, the cow coughs up the unchewed food, called cud, and continues the process of chewing it until it completes the digestion process.
Any interruption within this process assures that the cow does not get the full nutritional value out of its food. And so it is with meditating on God’s Word. In various places in the Bible, the Word of God is likened to milk and water, but also to bread and meat; to food. And as such, for us to fully receive its “nutritional value” and achieve the breakthrough needed, God has designed His Word to be meditated on.
Your Imagination, the Key to Biblical Meditation
In Psalm 1:1, 2, King David, one of the greatest military and political minds, gave us a hint on the importance of meditation:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Like Joshua before him, King David understood that meditation was a key to his leadership. But he also shows us one of the best ways we can meditate! Psalm 2 is believed to be a continuation of Psalm 1, and in verse 1 of Psalm 2 David again speaks of meditation, but uses a different word: “Why do the heathens plot and the people imagine a vain thing?” The same word translated imagine in this passage is the same word used for meditation. Scripturally, our imagination and meditation are closely linked, if not inseparable.
One of the most powerful ways you can meditate in God’s Word is by employing your imagination to bring God’s Word to pass in your life. There are too many believers that have the idea that our imagination is a gimmick, mere fantasy, a plaything for children. But the truth is that God has given it to us as a weapon, and He even says that to those who learn to wield it and master it, that “nothing that they propose to do will be impossible for them (Genesis 11:6).”
Story: Meditation in a Life and Death Situation
When our twin daughters were born prematurely at 26 weeks, our eyesight (as well as well-meaning physicians) told us that it would be a miracle if they would be normal. As they lay in their incubator, their skin was so thin you could see right through it, they had many wires and IV lines sticking out of their little bodies, it almost seemed like every day they were getting tested, having blood transfusions and undergoing other medical procedures. At worst they would not survive, and at best they would have complications their whole life including needing an oxygen tank, issues with their lungs, bad eyesight, etc.
So instead of relying on what we could see, we chose to imagine what we could not physically see, by meditating on God’s Word. We found His promises in the Bible that they would live and not die (Psalm 118:7), that Christ bore their sickness and disease (1 Peter 2:24), and that it was God’s will that they prosper and be in health (3 John 2), and applied it to our girls. We chose to see them being dedicated at church as healthy and beautiful babies, playing sports (without having to need an oxygen mask), going to school, graduating and even one day getting married.
We meditated on those images until they became our reality, eventually becoming more real to us than what we saw in front of us. Today, they are healed and whole, just as we saw in our imagination.
You can do that today! Stop looking at the problems, the issues, and the mountains that are before you. Take God’s Word and what He says about your situation and begin to meditate in it, allowing it to take over your imagination, and watch as God brings it to pass in your life.