We’ve been talking extensively about pursuing Jesus in solitude and being yoked to Him in rest. Today, I want to share with you something I believe is key in enabling you to connect with the Lord more deeply — meditation. Interestingly, the Bible mentions studying the Word four times, but it talks about meditating on it 18 times! We are supposed to meditate on the Scriptures.
Although it may sound “new agey” or Eastern, an important part of meditation is breath; it’s something that’s as old as Christianity itself. Ruach Elohim is the Spirit of God and the word ruach means breath, wind, or spirit. It’s what God gave Adam and Eve when He created them, and it’s also the first thing you did when you were born. Taking a breath is what made you alive! In the same way, being conscious of your breath as you contemplate the Scriptures has the power to infuse and enrich your spiritual life. As you make meaningful breathing part of your meditation, I encourage you to consider this: The average person in the world breathes 12 times per minute, but the average American breathes 18 times. That indicates that as a culture, we are stressed out. We are breathing heavily and more shallowly than we should be. On the contrary, the ideal way to breathe is six times per minute, which is about ten seconds per breath. You see, the more slowly we breathe, the more relaxed and aware of God’s presence we become.
Friend, I encourage you to pick a passage of Scripture that speaks to your heart and purposefully meditate on it. In fact, make such a practice a regular part of your communion with Jesus. Speak the Word, take a deep breath, and maybe say “selah” as you exhale (selah is a term used in the Psalms to indicate a reflective pause). Quiet your soul before Jesus, let go of your fears and worries and enter the throne room of God. Bring your burdensome load and allow the Lord to take it all off of your shoulders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. When you do this, I assure you, you will go about your day more relaxed and more aware of Jesus’ power at work within you.