In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote:
. . . the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
The spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation are designed to help us deal with this “real problem of the Christian life.”
I know that for many, “disciplines” connote some dusty, duty-driven rituals that don’t involve much passion. But the longer you walk with God, the more you discover that these practices are there to establish the rhythms of a deep connection with Him—a connection that washes off our wounds and weariness, strengthens our souls, and empowers us to walk in our true identity and calling in our lives.
“Meditation” is another word that many people continue to associate with the wrong thing, namely new age or eastern meditation. Biblical meditation, which has been around for thousands of years, is something very different.
As charismatic theologian Sam Storms spells out in his helpful Crosswalk.com article:
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates emptying the mind, Christian meditation calls on us to fill our mind with God and his truth . . .
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates detachment from the world, Christian meditation calls for attachment to God . . .
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates visualization in order to create one’s own reality, Christian meditation calls for visualization of the reality already created by God.
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates metaphysical union with ‘god’, Christian meditation calls for spiritual communion with God.
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates an inner journey to find the center of one’s being, Christian meditation calls for an outward focus on the objective revelation of God in Scripture and creation.
Unlike eastern meditation, which advocates mystical transport as the goal of one’s efforts, Christian meditation calls for moral transformation as the goal of one’s efforts.
Christian meditation is the practice of feeding and filling our mind, imagination, and spirit with truth—the truth of who God is, who we are, and the story He is telling in our lives and in the earth. And because Truth is a Person—the Spirit of Christ, who leads us into all truth—meditating on truth naturally leads into a relational interaction with Him.
In my experience, these encounters with truth often involve the following:
Fresh revelation of something I’ve never seen before that the Holy Spirit wants to teach me
Reminders of truths I’ve forgotten that bring me fresh courage and strength for my current circumstances
Exposure of areas where I’m believing lies and need repentance and healing
The result? Deeper intimacy with God, inner healing, fresh strength, and transformation!
There’s an App for That!
There are a lot of great resources out there to help us with meditation—devotionals, recordings of people reading Scripture, etc.—but one that is particularly effective is guided meditation. In a guided meditation, someone leads you through a series of points to ponder, Scripture verses, and questions for reflection and prayer. Whether you are new to the practice of meditation or have been doing it for years, guided meditation can be a great tool to help you interact with the Lord around certain truths.
Of course, with guided meditation you need a guide! This means either attending a live session or listening to a recording. Thankfully, some friends of mine in the UK have come up with a way to put guided meditations in the most convenient place possible: your smartphone. They’ve built a new meditation app called Soultime, which launches next Monday, June 25!
My friends also did me the honor of asking me to record an exclusive series of guided meditations for Soultime on some of the themes that have emerged through my own intimacy with the Lord, and which now form the basis of everything I do to equip and encourage the body of Christ.
I’m excited to be able to share a preview of one of these guided meditations with you!
Click the icon below to listen to “Identifying the Orphan,” which is Part 1 of a 6-part series called “True Identity.” You can also read the transcript of the meditation below:
Hello, and welcome to this first session in this guided meditation series called “True Identity.” This session is called “Identifying the Orphan.” My name is Danny Silk, and I will be your guide. During this time I’ll be asking you questions and sharing my thoughts to help you become more fearless, secure, and empowered person. Find a quiet place. Settle in. Close your eyes, if you can. Take a deep breath or two, let them out slowly. Relax.
My hope for you is that you learn who you are in our Father’s eyes. I hope that you learn to live in a fearless love, knowing that you are forever grafted into an eternal family who loves you completely and forever.
When we consider the approach to building anything of substantial size, like a skyscraper, for example, we must think about the effort that goes into the depth of the foundation. Our lives are no different. A healthy life, building a lasting legacy, requires some deep work on our foundation. Everything we live is rooted in our identity.
A faulty foundation is catastrophic for a tall building. A false identity is the ruin of a great calling. We are called by a powerful, limitless, loving Father to show the world who He is, so the world in turn can fall in love with Him and be saved from the destruction of our enemy.
Our enemy’s job is to distort the image of our Father, to distort our understanding of our relationship with Him—ultimately, to confuse us deeply to our foundation.
One common lie is that your Heavenly Father is disappointed in you. He is so holy He can’t even look at you. You need Jesus to intervene to prevent God from doing what He really wants to do to you.
Another lie is we are orphans with a Father who doesn’t really want us. Or, we have a Father who is not pleasable and doesn’t want us. Or, we have an absent Father we don’t know because He really doesn’t want us.
Orphans have a common worldview: We are here to survive.
Let me ask you a few questions:
How common is fear for you?
Do you worry about being abandoned or rejected by those closest to you?
Is there a theme of feeling unvalued or insignificant in your life?
Do you struggle with being competitive where it is destructive?
How common is depression or loneliness in your life?
These are feelings and perspectives that orphans naturally feel. These experiences are familiar to people who feel like survivors.
Let’s ask our Father a question:
Father, have I put a face on You that I got from my earthly father?
What lies am I believing about who You are?
Who do I need to forgive?
If you’re willing to move ahead with this, let’s pray a forgiveness prayer. Go ahead and just repeat after me:
Father, I realize that I need some work on my identity foundation. I want to start today. I know that I cannot move forward until I leave the things that keep me held to my past. I forgive [Name] for giving me a false identity. I forgive them for distorting how I see You. I forgive them for being unable to fill this place of true identity. I release them from my judgments and punishments. I’m not their judge or their punisher. Father, please forgive them. Bless them with peace, hope, and love, just like You have for me. Thank You, Father.
Father, what do You want to say to me about how You see me? (You might want to write this down.)
Hey, let’s check in. How are you feeling? If you made it all the way through this, you’ve done some foundational work. So please just let me pray a prayer over you:
Lord Jesus, please bring peace of heart to my friend. I ask you for a blanket of comfort and love. Surround them and their thoughts and feelings today. Loving Father, I ask you to show them that You are with them throughout their day today. Open their eyes to the work of Your Spirit all around them. Amen.
You can join the Soultime app waitlist on your smartphone or at their website: https://soultime.com.