God’s Battle Plan for the Mind by David Saxton

God's Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical MeditationGod’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation by David W. Saxton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meditation for Christians has become a neglected discipline nowadays, often because of the connotation that it has with New Age and Eastern religions. But Biblical meditation is a necessary part of Christian growth and sanctification. In this book, the author goes through what Biblical meditation is NOT to explain how it differs from the world’s idea of meditation. He explains the benefits of meditation and how it is an essential part of a growing Christian’s walk. Using the Puritans and their writings, he gives practical advice for how to meditate and counters excuses that people use for not meditating.

“What does it mean to meditate? It means to think personally, practically, seriously, and earnestly on how the truth of God’s Word should look in life.” Meditation takes the truth of God’s Word and applies it to our lives. “…the believer fills his mind with truth so that his life becomes governed by the attitude of the Savior.”
Today, meditation has all but become non-existent. We live in a busy world filled with so many distractions and taking time to think deeply is not a regular part of most Christians’ lives. Another reason for meditation falling by the wayside is “…a lack of confidence in God’s Word to sufficiently deal with the issues, problems, and temptations that believers face.”

This was an excellent treatise on what Biblical meditation is and is not and the importance it plays for the Christian’s growth. So many gems in this book to take away (I needed to make sure I had a pen handy to underline as I was reading!). This should be required reading for any Christian who desires to grow in their relationship with God. Meditation on God’s Word would also help the growing crisis of Biblical illiteracy that is rampant in America.

Thoughts to consider:
“Whenever any notion or form of spirituality fails to be tied back to the written Word, the end result inevitably tends toward unbiblical mysticism and religious sentimentality. This eventually leads a person to greater darkness rather than light.”

“…Protestants who fail to emphasize biblical meditation because of fear of falling into mysticism are simply overreacting to unbiblical forms of meditation.” I know this is something that I need to work on.

“Because of the depravity of our hearts and tendency to self-deception, the divine testimony of Scripture must always govern our biblical spirituality and meditation.”

“…contemplative prayer is an unbiblical form of meditation that seeks a spiritual experience through some kind of existential encounter with God apart from His written revelation….The contemplative prayer movement seeks to experience God’s voice apart from His written Word. This movement is a product of a larger evangelical departure from an absolute conviction in the sufficiency of Scripture.”

“…biblical meditation does not seek to empty one’s thoughts. Rather, it seeks to fill one’s thoughts with Scripture, fastening them to the objective truths of God’s Word. Rather than seeking to arrive at a plan of self-actualization, biblical meditation seeks to think God’s thoughts after Him. It seeks to grow in appreciation that all of life is lived before a great and mighty God. Biblical meditation realizes that thoughts reveal beliefs.”

“…Christian meditation is the scriptural plan to keep from thoughts that diminish the glory of God.”

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Reformation Heritage Books through Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for my review.

Living in Reverence

Several women from our church are doing the True Woman 201 study this summer, which is basically a study of Titus 2:1, 3-5. Last night’s topic was on being reverent. This is an attitude, a character trait that is not cultivated in our culture these days. Being reverent, respectful, honoring… these are traits from the past that don’t have much place in a me-first, individualistic society. The holiness of God is an attribute that isn’t much talked about. We’d rather focus on God’s love than on His holiness.

The Bible resounds with the holiness of God. Some books in particular, such as Leviticus and Isaiah, shout with His majesty and holiness. In our attempts to be personal in our relationship with God, we’ve reduced Him to a buddy, a friend, and downplayed His holy, awe-inspiring character. While it is true that through Jesus Christ we can now have a relationship with God, we must never forget that He is a holy God. He cannot tolerate sin. Like Isaiah in Isaiah 6, when shown the glory and majesty of Who God is, we should tremble and realize how sinful and wretched we are before Him. How much more beautiful is Christ’s death on our behalf in light of our sinfulness compared to God’s holiness?

This is an attribute of God that has been hitting home for me over the last couple of years. Does my lifestyle reflect holiness? What am I allowing myself to watch, to read, to listen to? Is it respectful and reverent toward God? Does it honor Him? Do my words, my actions display a reverence for God? This is a convicting subject and one we do well to ponder on. Who or what is foremost in our minds each day? What do we spend our time thinking and talking about?

This study has been good so far. And I just started the chapter on discipline/self-control. Oy! Talk about convicting! So many areas that God wants to grow us in, changing us to be more like Christ, to be His representatives in a culture that denies His existence.