Spiritual growth is intended to be part of the Christian life of believers.
[This booklet is adapted from Joel R. Beeke, “The Puritan Practice of Meditation,” in Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 889–907.]
Peter exhorts believers to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). True Christians are members of Christ by faith and partake in His anointing. By Christ’s power they are raised up to a new life and have the Holy Spirit given to them as an earnest, by whose power they “seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1). Spiritual growth is only to be expected since “it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 32, 45, 49, 64).
One hindrance to growth among Christians today is their failure to cultivate spiritual knowledge by meditation. We are conscious that we often fail to give enough time to Bible reading and prayer, but too often we fail to realize that, for the most part, we have abandoned altogether the practice of meditation. How tragic that the very word meditation, once regarded as a core discipline of Christianity and, according to Richard J. Foster, a “crucial preparation for and adjunct to the work of prayer” is now associated with unbiblical “New Age” spirituality. We rightly criticize those who engage in transcendental meditation and other mind-relaxing exercises because these practices are connected with false religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and have nothing to do with Scripture. Such forms of meditation focus on emptying the mind to become detached from the world and to merge with the so-called Cosmic Mind. There is no living, personal God to attach to, to listen to, and to be active for. Yet, we can learn from such people the importance of quiet reflection and prolonged meditation. [Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978), 14–15.”]
How Can I Practice Christian Meditation?
Joel R. Beeke