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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is shaping your life - Part III

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say that 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. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Fill your minds and meditate on…

Focusing our thoughts on anything requires deliberate choice. Our minds will go where we direct them to go. Engaging in contemplation and frequent reflection is a matter of choice. That which we meditate on will be that which directs our actions. Meditation is by nature a process whereby we reflect upon the actions of the author of those actions. We are laying our worries and fretful circumstances upon the author of the answers. In turn, he settles us down and reorders our thoughts to think in new ways.

Fill your minds and meditate on things true…

Things that are consistent and unchanging – how many times do we choose to allow our thought life to be filled with all manner of thought that is continually changing? Paul offers that we are to think differently – making wise choices about what we focus on our attention toward. Think on those things that are accurate - things that are according to the pattern defined in Scripture – the known character of God. These are the things that are without deviation or variation – too many times we think of stuff we’d do well to lay down.

On things noble…

Possessing outstanding qualities – what have you dwelt on lately that possesses outstanding qualities? The power of prayer is in more than in the expression of the petition – it is also in the expression of our praises. We are reflecting on the aspects of God’s character that are noteworthy – what we pay attention to often enough will become noteworthy in our minds.

On things reputable…

We are encouraged to be thinking on those things that have a character that can be held in esteem vs. thinking on all the things that have gone wrong, people that have disappointed us, or aspirations that have failed. We often hold people or things in high esteem that have not proven to have a good reputation at all – they were not reliable in the first place. God can be believed or considered to be of good repute because of his past actions – God is the only one that has consistently proven actions.

On things authentic…

Authentic things are those that are worthy of our acceptance or belief because they have proven to be trustworthy – they are authoritative. They are not imaginary or imitation – not made up in anyway, but actually able to be experienced. The reason we can rely upon these thoughts is that they are reliant on God. They are rooted in that which has absolute and total authority.

On things that are compelling…

Truth has a compelling effect because it draws us, keeps us, and transforms us. It moves us forward, draws us out, propelling us into what we once thought impossible. Too often, we allow our thought to be directed toward what is mediocre. We limit our progress forward by our backward thinking.

On gracious thoughts…

Those thoughts that are marked by kindness and courtesy – they are pleasing and acceptable, merciful and compassionate. Godly thoughts are mercy-filled. Thinking on “gracious” things changes our attitude toward others and will change our attitude toward the circumstance.

God will work you into his most excellent harmonies…

When we are willing to lay down our worries in praise and petitions, we are moving from chaos to harmony in our inner man. God moves the agitation of our present into the systematic arrangement and interwoven perfection of our future. All by his hand, all without our intervention, all for his purpose.