Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
Meditation. Thinking. Thoughts.
Thoughts, unlike any other human characteristic, have tremendous power. There is little doubt. What I think about and what I choose to feed my mind with, has a major impact on my ability to imitate the Christlike standards that I am called to live. Thoughts affect what I pray about. They affect whether I even pray at all. They have power over the words I share with others. Life-giving and encouraging words are impossible to share with others unless I am thinking life-giving and encouraging thoughts. Thoughts determine my actions. They determine my level of obedience to God. overall, they are the difference between really living as God purposed me to live or living for myself only.
Far too frequently, I underestimate the power of my thinking. Too often, I am spending my time focusing on the questionable things in this world. I fill my heart and mind with rubbish and I get distracted and seduced by what that the world offers instead of what God offers in His Word. This is destructive and I cannot grow closer to God and seek His face if I insist on this pattern of thinking.
Paul’s reminder to think about things that are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of anything that is of virtue and praiseworthy, challenges me to look deep inside my heart and my mind and consider my thought patterns. But there is something very interesting about this list of things to think about. They all have one common denominator. They are the attributes of Jesus Christ, Himself.
It is Jesus I must make as the focal point of my thinking! He is noble. He is the Just One. He is the only pure individual that has ever walked on the earth. He is lovely and gracious. He is beautiful. He is the one of good report and of virtue and strength. He is the only One who is worthy of my praise. He is the One I need to think of and focus all of my thinking and meditation on. Jesus. To love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength begins with controlling my thought patterns.
I must think less destructive thoughts and set my mind on Him. Only Him!
O Lord, how awesome…how incredibly beautiful you are! My heart sings praises to to you! I am overwhelmed by who you are and all that you have done!
Lord, I know that you live. I know that you are great. You have allowed me to taste and see so many times how wonderful and amazing you are. But Lord, I am human and my heart is wayward. I need you to help me stay focused on you. I pray that you fill my heart and dominate my thinking with thoughts of you and your majesty and beauty. Rid my mind of worthless and worldly things! These are false gods! Completely remove these thoughts and stamp them out! Give me instead, thoughts and meditations that are pleasing to you so that I may not only seek your face more and be closer to you, but also so that you may use me more.
Lord, I know the truth. The Word is clear! If I truly set my mind on you and your greatness, I will not be able to help but tell others of how awesome you are. Finding you and knowing you intimately and deeply will create in me a light, YOUR light, which will shine for all to see how beautiful and majestic you truly are. I want nothing for myself, Lord. I am yours and I wish for you to move in me and overflow your love in my mind, my heart and my lips so that your love splashes out to everyone I come in contact with.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
I kneel before you and offer this vessel as a love offering, with abounding joy in all of my heart!
I love you, Jesus!