AS PEOPLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY, we face an incredible amount of noise and distraction on a daily basis. From the moment we wake up, we see notifications from Facebook, emails, text messages, Snapchat, and Twitter. Taking what you think is 10 minutes from your morning, to respond to the notifications, soon becomes 30 as you realize that you’ve only been scrolling through the News Feed on Facebook! Jumping out of bed, you hurriedly get dressed while scurrying around the house trying to find your left shoe– not to mention your keys and at least one bobby pin to fix that one piece of hair that you left out of the ponytail– your phone giving you 15 more notifications from various social media apps, and the news.
Upon heading out the door you realize that you have a flat tire, so you call your boss to let them know that you will be running late as you begin to change the so-called “guaranteed quick fix” tire. “Guaranteed to make me late”, you think to yourself. After changing the flat tire you’re finally on the road, heading for a job that you go to just to pay the bills on time; if that. The day goes by with not a single breath taken. Your mind and body are exhausted from the 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift that you just slew or, should I dare say, that slew you! For the next 2 hours, you get to relax so you turn on the tv to your favorite TV show hoping to “get away.”
Just for clarification, I’m not against social media or tv. In fact, both are great avenues by which Holy Spirit can work! But to escape a busy world both inwardly and outwardly, we go to tv or social media so that “we don’t have to think”. Treating these as avenues by which we experience peace: That’s what I’m against. Sometime last month, I read a phenomenal book by Richard J. Foster entitled The Celebration of Disciplines. This book is a great resource for those who want to delve into spiritual disciplines.
Out of the entirety of the book, there is one sentence that I remember well: “Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind; Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind.” Within the fallen way of thinking, we tend to empty our minds to create peace within our souls. What if I told you that was near blasphemy? Anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God is not worthy to stand in His presence. Anything not worthy of standing in his presence is blasphemy against him. On the other hand, to be filled or inhabited would not be. “For the Lord did not create the world to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.”
By design, we have been crafted and formed from the dust of the ground for the very purpose of being inhabited. When God created Adam, He didn’t just leave him there void and empty. God breathed His breath into Adam. He breathed His spirit within him and Adam became inhabited by the Spirit of God. Just as we should be inhabited! Instead of emptying our minds we should be filling them with the fragrance of the knowledge of God. His thoughts are like an aroma filling the very thing it inhabits! His aroma is Hisgoodness! From that thought realm, our natural response is thankfulness! This is the essence of Christian meditation: filling our minds with His goodness!
In Psalm 100:4 we see the fruit of being inhabited. “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” The sweet aroma of His thoughts causes thankfulness to spring forth and out of thankfulness, praise erupts! From the place of thanksgiving and praise, we release His presence into the atmosphere around us. We cannot give what we do not have, so we must be filled with his thoughts to be able to exert His presence in the atmosphere. We must be inhabited!
In conclusion, we begin with filling our minds with the fragrance of the knowledge of God and His goodness we then respond in thanksgiving. From there, the manifestation of His presence becomes evident around us! “So, thanks be to God (thanksgiving), Whoalways leads us in triumphal procession (praise) and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere (manifest presence). The KJV says “manifests the Savior”. We are to manifest the presence of Jesus everywhere we go! Let’s do it! If you have any questions or comments, please share at the bottom of the page!