The Relevance of Meditation to Biblical Salvation

by Joshua Tilghman on February 25, 2012


I had a good friend ask a great question the other day. He wanted to know if it was accurate to use Biblical scripture to validate meditation as substantial to one’s spiritual development. More specifically, he wondered if it were truly valid to portray meditation as something central to the Biblical salvation process. I understand my friend’s concern. The New Testament specifically points to Jesus for salvation. I completely agree. But what does THAT mean?

Before we expound the concept of salvation, it is important to say that meditation was something foundational for spiritual transformation in ancient times. The practice of meditation was mainly lost when the church became institutionalized in the centuries following Jesus’ teachings. And the reason meditation doesn’t seem to be clearly spelled out in scripture is because we don’t know how to recognize it. But I assure you, it’s there. It’s only veiled to us because the language is very different now than it was back then. With that being said, I want to ask you, “What is salvation?” Go on. Think about it a moment, and then come back to this post…

 

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If you thought about the concept of Biblical salvation long enough, you might have concluded that true Biblical salvation is about being ONE with God. Isn’t atonement just another concept for at-one-ment, or a state of being ONE. In the New Testament book of John, Jesus prays that “…they all be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…” (John 17:21). Jesus is expressing his desire for his disciples to realize this state of oneness behind the veil of separation. Is Jesus getting metaphysical on us here? Of course he is!

As it stands in scripture, the human race is in a state of separation from God. The Bible states it’s because of sin. Contrary to what you have been taught, the Biblical concept of sin does not mean something bad or evil. It means to miss the mark, or to reside in a state of ignorance. Ignorance of what? It is Ignorance of our true condition and separation from God.

Consider the following: we are all separate individuals. Now imagine the traditional Christian location called Heaven where people may go when they die. It could never be the blissful happiness you have been taught to think it was. Why? Because YOU’d be there! And YOU are filled with problems because all human egos are. It would even be fair to say that THAT kind of heaven would quickly become just like this earth, filled with imperfect, flawed people who inevitably cause suffering on some level or another. And let me tell you…we don’t need a heaven like that. For some, that’s the experience of EARTH! By the way, to some of the earliest Christians, the experience of life on earth was known as “hell.” This concept of hell was not a place of torment, but an existence of separation. Can anyone say, “Paradise lost?!”

So now the real question becomes: what’s the only way to truly become ONE with God and reach the state of Biblical salvation? For obvious reasons, it would have to be a state where YOU are no longer present. By YOU, I inevitably mean your ego! And what is the ego? It is that which is made up of our thoughts, emotions, habits, physical attributes, personalities, etc. In other words, it’s who we THINK we are! So where does meditation come in? I’m glad you asked.

Meditation is essentially about crucifying the ego. The more you practice meditation, the more you realize that the ego is not the TRUE you. The ego is the thief that has come in and bound the strong man as Jesus puts it, where the conscious observer, or the TRUE you, is not the one present. You must realize that your ego has hijacked the true YOU. This hijacking has made you forget how to be ONE with God. Meditation, therefore, becomes central to the process of salvation because it is the practice of crucifying this hijacker. During deep meditation, you enter the realm of spirit. And by this spirit you can become born again. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus that one has to be born again by the spirit. This pure spirit can be experienced! The Spirit is raw awareness, beyond ego.

And by the way, when you reach this deep state in meditation, you might just realize that this Christ you have been trying to find is actually INSIDE of you, not OUTSIDE. You just had to strip away your own ego to realize this.

Have you ever thought about how most regular practitioners of meditation preach oneness and love, and a profound respect for all of God’s creation? It is usually the religious that are highly judgmental and always point the finger of blame. And Jesus told us not to judge.

The traditional church is a great place to socialize and fellowship with people. This is a part of life. You can grow and learn here through the experiences it offers. But at some point you have to follow Jesus and have a wilderness experience. You must be alone, in silence, withdrawn from this world, or the “out there,” which represents everything outside of us. In other words, you must practice meditation. Following Jesus is not about proclaiming a new set of beliefs. That’s just religion. Following Christ is about laying down your ego to experience union with God. Another expression for this would be laying down your will for His. Because let’s face it! When you remove YOU from the picture, you’ll soon realize that God is what’s left.

As always, what do you think? Does meditation have any kind of relevance to becoming more Christ-like?

 

Julio Alvarado September 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

Great post!!! I appreciate your insights. I am currently in transition myself. I have been a traditional religious person for over 20 years and have come to place where I know for a fact that there is more to me than what I know and more to God than what I am experiencing. I would like to learn to meditate but need some direction myself. There is a interesting passage of scripture found in Psalms 55:17 that states “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice”. The word pray in this verse is the Hebrew word śı̂yach which in it’s original definition means: A sweeping away in thought. It is also defined as: rubbish, what is swept away. I’m learning that a primary purpose of meditation is to sweep away my thoughts in order to get God’s thoughts that I’m supposed to be convert into His ways. (See Isaiah 55:8-9) Biblically this is proof that we are supposed to practice the discipline of meditation at least 3 times a day in order to experience the refreshing wind of God’s voice through the deposits of His Thoughts which produce the experience of God’s peace. By peace I mean wholeness, completeness, nothing missing, nothing broken that brings true serenity into our lives though everything around us may be storming out of control.

Joshua Tilghman September 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Julio,

Thanks for this excellent comment. Meditation is very important because it quiets our mind so we can hear the spirit. I would also like to thank you for mentioning the Hebrew meaning for the word “pray” in Psalms 55:17. I think others will benefit from this valuable piece of knowledge.

There is a lot of information about meditation on the internet. Personally, I like Zen teachings on meditation. You can learn a little more from my meditation link at the top of the blog.

I wish you the best in discovering the voice of the spirit within you. Feel free to let me know how it goes. Blessings!

Lance June 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Julio Alvarado
Hi where does the Holy Spirit fit into all this.
Bless you and thank you
Lance

Julio Alvarado June 27, 2013 at 1:24 am

Hi Lance,

I have found that where the Holy Spirit fits in all of this is found in Jesus statement:

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come.

I am finding that practicing meditation is what is helping me to be guided into all the truth for my life. Lance as it relates to God, Truth is simply original information that come from His mouth. The Holy Spirit which is the oral manifestation of God is the conduit that transfers the information that fulfills the “whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come” that Jesus mentions in the above passage.

When we position ourselves in a posture of meditation for the purpose of completely clearing our ego (our will) and secular induced rooted thoughts, what we get are the thoughts of God (His will) for our lives that we can convert into the ways of God for our lives.

I have learned that prayer is more hearing than speaking. I have also learned that it is impossible to learn to hear from God accurately and consistently through the Holy Spirit of Truth without practicing the Art of Meditation which is what Jesus did every day when He would remove Himself from all distractions outwardly and inwardly in order to clear His mind so that He could get the thoughts of God for His life on a daily basis.

I have been a traditional Christian believer for over 23 years of my life. Though it was a definite upgrade from my former life of drug addiction, alcoholism, suicidal tendencies, financial ruin, divorce and many more life crippling issues I still felt as though something was missing. What was missing was that I was being taught to meditate. In traditional Christianity you are taught to pray from a “what to say” standpoint. What the Church is missing is approaching the topic of prayer needs to be approach from a “how to hear” standpoint.

A Church that doesn’t teach to meditate is a Church that has lost sight of how Jesus positioned Himself to pray (to hear) which is the model of how we today need to position ourselves to pray. Jesus taught and modeled meditation but just as Joshua stated in his article we don’t see it because of the language translation of the Bible and we fail to understand the original culture and practices that they followed one of which was meditation which is the practice that creates the environment for the Holy Spirit to transfer God’s thoughts into our minds.

I have just wrote a book titled “The Mystery of Iniquity Revealed” which is rooted from a Hebrew root word study that details what the root cause is that disconnects humanity and especially the traditional Church from God. I am just finishing my second book “The Mystery of Prayer Revealed” which also comes from an original root word study of the scriptures and deals with prayer from a “how to hear the voice of God” and “what you should be hearing from God” that is based off of Jesus’ prayer life which was was rooted in His ability to practice the Art of Meditation.

Joshua Tilghman July 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Julio,

I appreciated reading this response. Thanks for the detail. I hope many have the chance to read your work. It sounds phenomenal! Blesings.

Alvin Davis March 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

My opinion – The idea of separation from God comes from the ego part of the mind.
in truth we can never be separate of Jesus or God or heaven in our whole mind.
Like you ask, can meditation complete our whole mind?

Joshua Tilghman March 13, 2015 at 9:36 am

Alvin,

Meditation is preparation for it.

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