A Study of Mystics, Meditation and Miracles
What is mysticism? What is a mystic?
A spiritual discipline aiming at union with the divine through deep meditation or trance like contemplation. The experience of such communion as described by mystics. Any belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension…
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
The root of both words is mystery, which means to shut the eyes or mouth, something that is secret.Our born again experience is our initiation into the mysteries of God. Jesus declares in John 3:3 that, “…no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.”In Matthew 16:16 Peter, after he was asked by Jesus “Who do you say I am?” declares “you are the Christ the Son of the Living God,” and Jesus replies that he is blessed…for this was not reveled by man, but by my Father in heaven.”In 1 Corinthians 2:11-12 it states, “…no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”The mystery of God is Christ “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Colossians 2:3.
What is meditation?
The word meditation means to reflect or ponder deeply on scripture. There are many references to it in the Bible for example Joshua 1:8 states, “Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, sothat you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” In psalm 1 the promise of blessedness comes to those whose delight is the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. See Psalm 1:1-3The Jewish practice of meditation consisted of repeating scripture verses, which produced a soft murmuring sound as they deeply reflected on God’s word. True Biblical meditation actively engages and focuses the mind while the occult and new age practice of meditation often mindlessly repeat mantras or a secret name continually until a trance-like or hypnotic state is self-induced.
What is a miracle?
A miracle is an event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
The mystics that we have chosen to study all believed and walked in the miraculous. They were the revivalists, reformers and miracle workers of their day.The goal of biblical meditation and contemplative prayer is for our soul to come into a practical experiential union with God. Even though the Bible exhorts us to pray without ceasing, most Christians are only aware of God sporadically. The practice of meditation and contemplation enables us to refocus our soul (mind, will and emotions) and redirect our love back to God.
Meditation (Thinking and Praying His Word)
1. Pick a Bible verse and read it slowly. Begin by selecting a small portion of scripture. I will use Psalm 16 as an example. As you read the verse “Keep me safe, O God, for in you 1 take refuge”(Psalm 16:1 NIV) begin to reflect on what the words mean. 2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help vou understand it. As you were reading verse 1, the word “refuge” may have seemed especially significant to you. The Holy Spirit will often highlight a word or a phrase as we read. 3. Prav it Back to God You might pray that God would be your refuge so that you would always feel safe in Him. Often He will bring fresh insight and reveal truth from His Word, perhaps the need to come to Him in deeper trust. 4.Focus on God (Be open to His Voice) As you center your focus on the Lord, you will begin to be aware that you are in His presence. As we come to Him we know by faith that we are in His presence. Sometimes, God will communicate His presence in a picture that momentarily comes into our mind or in a feeling of love or peace. Be open to whatever He wants to say or do, but don’t try to make something happen. If your mind wonders, simply reread the verse and refocus on Him. (Being quiet as you love and listen with your heart)
- Use a Bible verse to help vou focus on God (Use the steps for meditating to focus your mind.)
- Slowly read the words until vou are aware of being in His presence.
- Pause and quiet your mind as vou focus on God inside of you. “The Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). God dwells inside your heart; find Him there.
- 4.Keep your mind quiet and your heart listening. When we love someone, we are happy just to be with him. We don’t need an exchange of words to communicate with those we know and love deeply. “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).
- If vour mind wanders, return to vour scripture verse to help vour mind and heart refocus on God. As we begin to practice contemplative prayer, we might just take a small pause in quietness as we meditate. We are so used to doing all the talking! Being still and listening positions our heart to wait quietly in His presence.
Psalm 16 1 Keep me safe, 0 God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. 4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips. 5 Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 1 have set the Lord always before me. Because he is 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 grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Using the principles described, meditate upon Psalm 16 and journal what God reveals to you during your times with Him.