Learning to think about God...
Our mind is continually active, running constantly...even while sleeping apparently the mind is active, though thankfully it is in a more relaxed state. Throughout the day, we are up to our ears in busy-ness... daily activity, business, hard work, deadlines, responsibilities, decisions, choices, children...what to have for dinner and the list goes on. Then there are those moments of ease when we might catch ourselves using our imaginations...maybe even day dreaming and/or reminiscing...the mind is in a relentless state of activity.
So in all this busyness of daily life, what is the follower of Jesus to do? One part of the answer is to find those moments like Jesus did when He went away to be by Himself and spent time with His Father. But what can we do when the busyness does not relent? This is where learning to think about God becomes an essential tool every follower of Jesus.
This is meditation” ...try and forget about the baldheaded mystic sitting in some weird contorting position and hmmming himself silly, trying to empty his thoughts. Biblical meditation is learning to think about God in the busy-ness of life.
In Philippians 4:8 the apostle Paul tells us what to spend our time thinking about. “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if there is anything excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Look at the statements he makes:
Think about what is true...for followers of Jesus truth is embodied in Jesus Himself and in His Word. Therefore, if we are to think about the truth...we should spend time thinking about Him and His Word. Think about what Jesus said and think about what Jesus did. The issue of worry enters here, because a lot of what we worry about is actually not true. Satan is a liar and he is the father of lies and he wants to corrupt our
minds with things that are false. And whenever we believe one of his lies he takes over. We are bombarded with so much that is false. Every day there are slurs and slams against what I believe and the things that I hold dear. So as I read my Bible I must counter the untruths I face daily with the truth of God’s Word. I need to ask the Holy Spirit to control my min though truth John 17:17; 1 John 5:6 The promise stands... and deserves to be proven that He will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3).
Think about what is noble and right... Watching the news every night we are confronted with violence, lawless chaos and mayhem. We need to be very careful because all of this around us can colour our thinking, our attitudes and even our own desires. How do we think about what is noble and right? Another translation puts it
“whatever is worthy of respect and right.” We can start by filling our minds with God’s Word. At the end of this post I will post five practical things you can do to help with this. By the way, this is not “burying our heads in the sand” and pretending the displeasant things of life are not true...but rather it is a choice that we make...not to dwell on those things that are not worthy of respect and right. Let what is noble and right control our
Think about what is pure...Guard your heart from evil and lust. We are bombarded 24-7 with pornography and we live in a society that is based upon lustful desire. We have it all at the click of the finger, in every media technology. Try not to open those sites you do not know anything about. If you accidentally open up something...get out of it quickly. Run like Joseph away from the temptation. (Note: There are effective filters for computers...especially in your home. BSECURE.com and CovenantEyes.com )
Guard the door of your hearts.
Think about what is lovely and admirable...This deals mainly with our relationships with other people. Look for the good in them. Don’t spend time thinking about their bad habits or what they have done that may have been offensive to you. This causes us to become cynical and critical...and as a result we become miserable...(Hey those almost rhyme!) Guard your lips and pray for the people that may irritate you and may even provoke you.
Think about what is excellent and praiseworthy...What does this look like? This is thinking about the characteristics of God...who, by the way, is totally excellent and He is praiseworthy. Reflect on His goodness, His greatness, His beauty and His majesty...guaranteed you will find this to be overwhelming. Point your mind and your heart to the excellence and praise worthiness of God Himself.
Think, think, think...use the brain God gave you. So how can we think about God in the hectic, busy mayhem of our life? Here are five practical steps...
1. As you read your Bible...stop and reflect on what you have just read...try underlining verbs and circle the nouns... Take a sticky tab or a journal and write your thoughts down beside that verse. Then think about them and pray about them as they apply to your life. Scripture is key to our thinking. (Check out Psalm 19:7-9) Make no mistake if you fill your mind with God’s Word you will have a built-in EARLY DETECTION WARNING SYSTEM...a radar for detecting wrong thoughts.
2. Memorize key Scriptures...and review them during the day...even while you are on the construction site, at your desk or driving your car...or at your locker at school. Write the verse down on an index card and carry it in you in your back pocket.
3. When you are out for a walk in the beautiful fall colours look at creation and think
about how it was God who made them all. Are you surrounded by people at work or at school? Give this a try...look at each face today and remind yourself that God made that face that person unique. (Even if they have a nose ring or two.)
4. Remember, reminisce about how and when God has led you in your life and learn to be thankful for all of the ups and downs of your journey with Christ. Deuteronomy
8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.”
5. Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians
Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what Your hands have done.”
“Sow a thought...reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit...reap a character.
Sow a character and reap a destiny.”Warren Wiersbe
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