|This fact is the basis for the form of our meditations. God's promises
are stated as present realities; I affirm of myself obedience to His Commands.
"affirmations" on this website were originally designed while I was working with addicts who were overcoming
the character defects that led to poverty and homelessness.
True enough, these meditations resemble flakey New Age "positive
affirmations" found in get-rich quick schemes and other hoaky humanist nonsense. But
Christians can't stop serving their children nutritious meals just because some wacko New
Agers do that. We must follow the Bible even if certain cults or schemers have picked up
some of the Bible's recommendations.
Consider the meditations of the Psalmists. Psalm 119 contains many model meditations.
How about verse 148:
My eyes stay awake throughout the night to meditate in Thy
1. I medititate on
this verse whenever I have trouble staying awake just a few minutes longer for evening
This is a "positive affirmation" of a fact desired,
namely staying awake. But it is also a "positive affirmation" of the act of
meditating on God's Word.
Taken literally, or in a technical sense, this verse is "untrue." If
taken as a literal universal assertion of historical fact about the life of David, it is
false. We know for a fact that on at least one evening (II Sam 11:2) David was awake,
sure, but he wasn't meditating on no Scripture verse! So are these verses contradictory?
Are our Bibles untrustworthy? Not at all. If our interepretation of the Bible leads to a
contradition, it is our understanding, not the Bible, which must be wrong. This verse,
therefore, must have some other rhetorical function than that of communicating
universal historical truth about King David.
I would like to suggest that rhetorically it functions not as history but
as oath or vow; it is something
of a promise; a promise to God and a promise to self. It is a statement of recognition of
God's requirements; the application of the requirement to the self as fulfilled is
kind of a goad or incentive. If we were to recall the insights of Meredith Kline and the
concept of the "self-maledictory oath," we might see this kind of statement as
an oath-promise to God that this is what I will be if You give the grace, and if I'm not
like this it is due to my own rebellion and I deserve what I get.
Perhaps we can only speculate as to why the Lord speaks so immediately as to phrase
future events as present realities.
But the "Why" is not nearly so important as the "That." That
it is legitimate to speak of God's future in the present tense, or of His Law as
fulfilled, is clearly seen in the example of the Bible. And the Bible is our
Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our
learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope
(Romans 15:4; cf. I Cor. 10:11).
New-Agers claim to have great success with "positive self-affirmation,"
wherein they repeatedly assert (or chant) that they are (present tense) successful,
they are rich, they are spiritual masters, they are reincarnated
frogs, etc., etc. While there are obviously some aspects of New-Age thinking which we can
trash, there are other aspects which we can see were taken from neglected aspects fo the
Bible, which we can salvage. "Positive self-affirmation" is obviously a
Humanized "Prophetic Trinitarian-affirmation," that is, a positive statement in
the present tense of a future reality (where the future for New-Agers is humanistic,
whereas for us it is Theo-centric).
Read the rest of the 119th Psalm. Read the rest of the Psalms. These "positive
affirmations" simply were not always true of the Psalmist. There were unquestionably
times when David loved the world more than the Word. But the Psalms contain more than
historical truths. They contain personal vows in the prophetic present tense. If we follow
the Psalmist's example, we will meditate on God's Word by affirming it of ourselves.
Promises fulfilled, commandments kept. Not vague generalities, but specific and concrete
fulfillments in our unique lives. This is how God speaks to us through the prophets, and
this is how the Godly seem to meditate (assuming here that David was at this point a man
after God's own heart).
Look at it this way: Just try repeating these personal affirmations twice a day
(minimum) for 3 weeks straight and not feel convicted -- not feel like a complete
hypocrite and reprobate liar -- if you don't start doing those things during the day,
given an opportunity. It forces you toward "epistemological self-consciousness."
And every opportunity to do is an opportunity for further growth through discipline.
I find this kind of "meditative affirmation" to be a powerful goad. I'm not
entirely persuaded of this yet, but just reading them has an effect. When I
actually say these things to myself before the LORD I feel like a total bogus believer if
I don't follow through. I have a heightened sense of the Presence of God's Law. It helps
me envision God's will. It makes me examine myself and face faults. It forces me to seek
And we have had have occasion to
examine the tremendous effects it has on the unconscious mind as well!
= God's Law.
Theonomist = someone committed to obeying God's Law (Matthew 5:17-20)
I don't think it's wrong to begin acting
like a consistent Theonomist.
Given what the Bible teaches about sanctification,
wholistic salvation, and the Edenification of the Earth, I believe a robust
approach to personal ethics is needed. The Theonomic vows of the Psalmist have been
humanistically deconstructed. I believe "positive self-affirmation" can be
We take as our starting point, Philippians 4:13,
I can do all things through Christ Who strengtheneth me.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded,
we have an idea of being "thus minded" -- continually dwelling -- meditating
-- on the salvation which God is working out in us (2:12-13). Our meditation takes the
form of the prophetic present tense.