What If You Imagined God Being Right at Your Side?
Christian Meditation is a quiet time for you to re-integrate and re-calibrate your mind with your body. And re-integrate and re-calibrate your mind and body with God‘s presence with you and in you. Remember the quote from the apostle Paul in Acts 17:28 – In him you live and move and have your being.If your podcast app is set to skip the silent sections, disable that in your podcast app for this podcast.To begin this Christian meditation, lie flat on your back or sit comfortably in a chair. Uncross your legs. And close your eyes, if you can. And just take a deep breath and let it out and say quietly to yourself, “relax.”And try to get a good calm rhythm of breathing going — in through your nose and into your belly. And feel your belly rise with each in-breath. …And with each out-breath focus on releasing the muscles in your body — letting go of tension and any muscles that you’re clenching. Often we are in a state of clenching our muscles in our body without even realizing it. So focus on realizing it now — with each exhale focus on letting all your muscles soften and relax.Breathing in, feeling more calm and relaxed. Breathing out, feeling yourself letting go of tension and stress. And you’re starting to feel a peaceful sense of quiet. Psalms 16:8-10 (NIV)8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.”In this Genesis 3 world — this side of the new creation — we cannot see God. So “I keep my eyes always on the Lord” is full of poetic, imaginative meaning, none of which is literal. The ESV translates it…Psalms 16:8 (ESV)I have set the LORD always before me;because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.But the imaginative language of eyes always and at my right hand is the language of nearness and presence. This is a kind of deliberate mindset to imagine/envision the true reality of God’s presence always with me and in me.John Mark Comer“Worship and joy start with the capacity to turn our minds’ attention toward the God who is always with us in the now.”Envisioning God being with us and in us is a kind of seeing with what Paul calls “the eyes of our heart“ in Ephesians 1. So come back to your breathing and focus on feeling your body relaxing and letting go of anxiety and tension as you imagine/envision this reality right now in this present moment.Psalms 16:8-10 (NIV)8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,Your imagination is always felt into your body. It’s how God made you. When you wake up from a stressful dream you feel the stress of your imagination into your body. Sweat. Heart racing. Fear. Worry. Unease. But all that was just your imagination. Your imagination is constantly being felt into your body. Your body’s biochemistry. And that’s also true when it comes to your ability to imagine the reality of God‘s presence and light and life and love. And that imagination affects your body’s biochemistry too. (9b-10)“...My body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.”Notice that the “me” David is referring to includes “my body.” That word “me“ is actually translating into English the Hebrew word for soul.So…Psalms 16:10 (ESV)For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,or let your holy one see corruption.Here’s what’s important that I want to emphasize over and over in this podcast. The biblical idea of soul — especially in the Hebrew Scriptures — is not the idea of your spirit as opposed to your body. Rather it’s the idea of your entire self, including your body. The Hebrew word for soul basically means your life. This is why the NIV translates it simply as me.“...My body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.”You are your body. You are more than your body. But not other than your body. The biblical view of your body is that it is an eternal part of your soul. An eternal part of who you are. That’s why you will have a bodily resurrection in your eternal salvation. Your body – your brain, your spine, your entire central nervous system, all your nerves, your organs, your muscles, all of your cells — your body is part of your soul. Your body needs spiritual life and the rejuvenating sense of God’s presence and love. Christian meditation is a time to spiritually focus your mind and your body on God‘s presence and God‘s love for you. And to use your biblically guided imagination to feel this reality into your body. I keep my eyes always on the LORD.With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, Who can you share this podcast with? If you found this episode helpful, consider sharing it on social media or texting it to a friend you think might benefit from it.Follow Dave Cover on Twitter @davecoverFollow A Bigger Life on Twitter @ABiggerLifePodOur audio engineer is Diego Huaman.This podcast is a ministry of The Crossing, a church in Columbia, Missouri, a college town where the flagship campus of the University of Missouri is located.