Monday, 3 September 2012

MEDITATE FOR SUCCESS



Who doesn’t want success? But are we willing to take the first step which is to meditate?

We are aware of the fact that scripture promises success to those who meditate. But how often and, to what degree, do we take up the challenge to meditate?

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful(Joshua 1:8)

“Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, *
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.”

(Psalm 1:1-3)  *

Now what type of success is being promised? Is it material prosperity or something which is not tangible such as fulfillment and finding favour in God’s eyes?

God promises both these kinds of success when we meditate and act on His word.
“Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

However, this “material success” may not meet our expectations or match the abundance of people in the world.

 “It is better to be godly and have little
    than to be evil and rich” (Psalm 37:16).

So God’s primary aim is not to make all of us into multi-millionaires so that we can live in mansions with swimming pools and home theatre, and move around in swanky chauffeur-driven limousines.

Various factors are responsible for success, including God’s sovereignty, timing of investment, hard work, opportunities and inheritance.

You might ask how does meditation bring about success?

First, the Word teaches us values which translate into positive work ethics: hard work, perseverance, faithfulness, striving for excellence, “going the second mile”, “working not unto the earthly master but unto God”, honesty, meekness, importance of maintaining good relationships, “living peaceably with others” as far as it is possible and the list goes on.

Whether we are employed or run our own business, all these values will definitely stand us in good stead in the long run. Our boss will be impressed and soon will give us a promotion. Our clients trust us more and hence give us more business. Our colleagues work well with us; our workers work well under us. So everything proceeds smoothly – whether we are employed or run our own business.

Second, the Word teaches us to think about the things which are positive. This will indirectly lead to success.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 3:27).

We will eventually become what we think. We can't think a certain thing and become something else. We cannot think defeat and expect victory. We cannot think poverty, and expect wealth. If we are burdened by worry, we get restless; we cannot sleep well or concentrate in our work. So how can we do a good job? How can we be successful?

After all, if we cannot visualise that we can make a success of our lives, if we harbour a low self-image and often belittle ourselves, how can we make a good impression on our boss or clients?

If we do not have a personal vision, how can we get from where we are at present to the position we aspire to reach? For “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).

Third, when we have the Word embedded in us because we consistently meditate on it, God’s wisdom is available to guide us when we need to make important decisions. The Holy Spirit will pluck out a particular verse fit for our situation – even while we’re in the midst of a decision-making process in the marketplace. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).

Meditation has become a lost art in this day and age when multi-tasking, information overload and mobile technologies are the rage. We get so distracted by so many things that we consider it low priority.

Have you noticed how cows chew the cud? These animals eat voluminous amounts of grass quickly and then store it in the first stomach chamber, where it softens before bringing the mass back up to the mouth and chewing it. They may be standing there with their mouths physically away from the grassland but they are chewing away.

By analogy, we need to learn how to constantly meditate, think, reflect, turn over in our minds scriptural truths throughout the day though we may not be physically reading it from a screen or hard copy of the Bible.

May meditation regain its lost status in our lives so that we will be a success in every sense of the word. May we become spiritual leaders like Joshua or men of integrity who are successful in the marketplace like Joseph and Daniel.

Caution:
A word of caution. Not all forms of meditation are created equal. Some forms of meditation are dangerous and may open one to occultic influences.

Footnote:

Facing hard times? Anxious about your finances?
You may want to meditate, declare and affirm this passage for yourself:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
*
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
*   (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

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