More About What You Think About
Last month I just touched on the importance of having the mind of Christ. How we think – not just what we think, but more importantly how we think, how we reason, how we work out our problems or we deal with suffering, persecution and stress is critical for the Child of God. The unrepentant mind will not be able to think as Christ thinks – because to think as Christ thinks is to put God first; to comply with His way of doing things, His way of working through a problem, His way of looking at the world around us. Romans 8:6 states “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” So, optimal is the mind controlled by the Spirit.
Once we are living with a mind that is controlled by the Spirit, what are the things that we are to think about? What are we to meditate on when we are at home, at work, at play? What do we envision when someone has spoken harsh words to us, or pointed out our faults in a spiteful way? What goes through our minds when we’ve gotten devastating news from the doctor, or banker, or even immediate family members? Hebrews 3:1 tells us to fix our thoughts on Jesus. We live in a world of wonder and great possibilities when Jesus becomes the target of our thinking. Psalm 145:5 states I remember the days of long ago, I mediate on all your works, and consider what your hands have done.” What would it mean for our faith, and ability to handle devastating news if we remembered the ways that God worked with His people long ago? If we remember that God heard the cries of his people when they were in the land of Egypt and being treated horribly? I know, they were there 400 years before God acted. But I suspect that they had not been crying out all of those 400 years. And I can understand why they had not been – until the last Pharaoh show up, they had it good. They were respected; they had a land that offered them all they needed, (It wasn’t the Promised Land, but it wasn’t a bad land). I would even venture to go so far as to say they were happy up until the last few years of those 400. Then the new pharaoh became afraid of God’s people, started miss treating them, they cried out and God delivered them. Think about God’s ability to rescue when we are under persecution or life has gotten too hard to handle.
“…I meditate on all your works.. Think about his ability to provide with manna and quail, or His ability to make time standstill, or to keep the hungry lions’ mouths shut when Daniel was tossed into their cage, or remember the time that He kept Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego safe and unharmed while in the fiery furnace! “… I remember the days of old…” Some might say that’s not for us today. But the God we claim is the same yesterday as He is today. If He can shut the mouths of hungry lions, He can shut the mouths of our most harsh critics. But we probably can’t remember that when we are being attacked, if we don’t fix our thoughts on Jesus and meditate on our God’s works when we are at home, at work or at play. Daily we are to think about the things of the Lord, not just when we are in trouble and need Him. Part of having a mind that is controlled by the Spirit, is meditating on all that the Bible has told us about the God we claim and cling to.
I love the encouragement from Paul in the book of Philippians ☺ Chapter 4 verses 8-9:
“8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” There is nothing more excellent or praiseworthy than our Lord Jesus Christ. So as we fix our thoughts on Him, mediate on all that He has done, may we experience the powerful peace of a mind and life controlled by the Spirit of God!
May the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, My Rock and my Redeemer. Ps 19:14. 3