Phil 4:8-9 (MSG) “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Many battles we face throughout the day start in our minds within the first few moments after waking up. Let’s get real for a minute! We’ve all had those internal conversations where we end up feeling anxious or worried. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m continually there! But it’s realizing that I have the power to not stay there that makes a difference.
I have power to change what my thoughts are full of. We’re meant to meditate on GOOD things, “the best, NOT the worst'' (verse 8). When we allow our thoughts to take over, we are giving it power. My grandfather used to say “You are master of the unspoken word, but the spoken word is master over you.” Ouch, right? Our thoughts, whether good or bad lead in the overall health of our lives.
It’s a choice to allow what may be a “simple thought” to take ground and then sprout into a crippling mindset; anger, frustration, and offense. Those mindsets affect you and the people around you. “As one thinks, so they become” (Proverbs 23:7). Your mental state affects every aspect of your life! Your physical health, your language, your perspective, your relationships are all impacted by the mindsets you maintain. So why then do we allow our thoughts to be full of negativity?
Pastor Ed has shared this golden nugget many times, “Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to behavior. Behavior leads to character.” It all starts with our thoughts! I know for me, my mental game is the thing I focus most on. It’s taking action, making a choice, taking hold of my thoughts and replacing them with things that are “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; beautiful, not ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (Phil 4:8). It’s filling the gap with trust when the first assumption in my mind is distrust. It’s choosing to put the full armor of God on DAILY, starting with the first moments of my day (Ephesians 6:10-18). It’s not easy, no no no… but is it worth it? Absolutely!
As you take control of your thoughts each day, starting first thing in the morning, watch as that pattern grows into a habit that produces change in your life. Pastor always says “divine patterns produce divine results”.
Telling yourself to change your thinking won’t change anything. You must take action. Pause throughout the day and evaluate your thoughts. Keep repeating the prayers in this devotion series and intentionally think on good things. Read over these scriptures and remind yourself you are in control of your mindsets. You determine what your thoughts are full of.
Lord, Your Word is clear, that You will keep in peace, a perfect peace, all who trust in You, for those who dedicate their hearts and minds to You. Today, come invade my thoughts. Help me to take hold of what is not good and replace it with true and noble thinking. May my eyes be fixed on you and not the distractions around me. As my gaze is fixed on you, so are my thoughts - pure and holy, glorifying you. Give me strength to refuse the negative thoughts and allow your good to come in. Holy Spirit, be my companion today, leading and guiding me. Amen
Remember by Brian and Katie Torwalt