Meditation: The Five Phases
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them;
that thy profiting may appear to all.
It was a bright day in Statesville, North Carolina. As I sat in the living room of my mentor and friend, I asked him a question. “How do I get the truth from my head to my heart?” He put his finger on his forehead and then on his heart, he said, “Keep thinking and speaking the truth over and over again until you know it is coming from your heart.” In other words, meditate. In my book, Learn the Language of the Spirit, I have a chapter about meditation: the five phases. Meditation walks a parallel path to relationship.
The ancient practice of Biblical meditation is not just a state of mental or emotional stillness, but a continual focus on the name, personality, word, and ways of God. When Moses interacted with God in face to face meditation, he descended Mt. Sainia with his face glowing like a brilliant sun. When God engaged Joshua, preparing him to lead Israel into the promise land, he gave this instruction,
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth; but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Since relationship is the ultimate goal of God throughout the universe, the process for nurturing relationship unlocks a natural pathway for meditation. Do you remember the beginning of your most satisfying relationship? I think you will agree with these five observable phases that produce a mutually satisfying bond. The sequence may differ, but this pathway charts a course for meditation.
Phase One: Adoration
The first phase in relationship and meditation is Adoration; the romance of seeing life through a fresh set of eyes. This inspiration cycles with a new person, a new mystery, and a new set of stories that inspire. Partakers share a state of near-constant bliss, and invest time to know one another. The psalmist David said,
I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul follows hard after thee: thy right hand upholds me.
Through the focus of Adoration on God, praise will fill your mouth, and a new glory will enter your life. The Father made your soul to process through meditation.
Phase Two: Adaptation
The second phase of meditation moves across the Adaptation of your life to the one you love and pursue. In a personal relationship this is about control. Every time you meditate, you will see a facet of His personality that challenges your status quo, and calls you in. As the newness of inspiration wears thin, the reality of life settles in with the disciplines required for meaningful interchange. Adaptation merges God’s life into the human life through agreement. King David chose meditation and scripted his adaptation in the book of Psalms.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. …I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
As you adapt to Him, you will discover that He created you to be like him. He is a dreamer and gave you the dreams you possess. He glorifies you so you will glorify him.
Phase Three: Submission
Submission, the choice to handover your control to make decisions to the one you love, is the third phase of meditation. For the first time individual motives will be challenged. As the meditation deepens, God reveals his purposes, as well as your minor disagreements, the belief system arguments, and the self will motivations. This once tender loving, and effortless relationship evolves into a power struggle.
Meditation tunes your soul spirit experience to the frequency of heaven. Therefore, you will recognize that God is love and has your best interests at heart. The psalmist cried out,
I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to your word unto your servant. …Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause; but I will meditate in your precepts.
Through contemplation you learn to appeal to authority and develop the negotiation skills of bargaining, problem solving, and conflict resolution.
Phase Four: Ascension
In phase four, the heart ascends from the position of evaluation to a desire for connection. At this juncture, you recognize the link between what you learned in your family of origin, and how that imprint colored your interaction with God. As your perspective matures and you see your loved one with new eyes, a sympathetic re-awakening emerges. David experienced this,
I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate also of all your work, and talk of your doings. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? You are the God that does wonders: you have declared your strength among the people. You have with your arm redeemed your people… Selah.
As you encounter the Word and Spirit in meditation, an invitation to the throne of grace appears. God becomes more than a truth to study, or a being to read about.
Let us therefore Come boldly unto the throne of grace… You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
As you focus your attention and affection on His presence, you will experience the realm of His Spirit,  and walk as a child of light.
Phase Five: Communion
The fifth phase in meditation is face-to-face communion. Communion integrates the needs of self with the needs of another. You maintain an equilibrium between individuality and unity. You take responsibility for your own life and provide support for the one you love. Conflicts will arise from time to time, but as a result of the struggles from the previous stages you resolve them quickly. King David meditated on this reality.
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
As you integrate your heart, soul, mind, and strength with the presence of God, communion emerges with a passion that enraptures the soul. Earthly treasures become shadows in the love of his magnificent glory.
The brightness I sensed that day in my mentor’s living room was God’s excitement for His children coming to him in meditation. God’s favor was not affirming the shadow of the ritual, but the reality of the relationship. Meditation requires time, focus, and discipline. Those who walk in the Spirit and absorb his love will be his sons and daughters, and will share the secrets of eternal truth.
 1 Timothy 4:5 KJV
 Joshua 1:8
 Psalm 63:6-8
 Psalm 1
 Psalm 119:9-16
 John 17:1-5
 Romans 8:28
 Psalm 119:75-80
 Psalm 77:10-15
 Hebrews 4:16
 Psalm 16:11
 Revelation 22:17-19
 Ephesians 5:8
 Psalm 119:14-16
 Galatians 5:16-26
 Romans 8:1-6