Learning to think of God…

Do you ever wonder what really goes on in your own thought life?  We have busy days and not so busy days, so during those times what goes on in the brain of yours?  The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, 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.”

Our minds and imagination runs wildly all the time.  They never stop!  There are things we share with others, but there are also things we don’t.  But we can control our minds.  How?  Meditation.  A lot of people think that meditation requires a time of quietness to breathe in and out and get rid of clusters of thoughts.  I think the opposite.  Sometimes we get so busy in life, yet we can practice meditation during the process.  Meditation is not passive or powerless.  It is reflecting, considering, pondering, and contemplating.  This requires active and deliberate effort to do something involving both the mind and the heart.  Then we follow with action.  Meditation is a learned skill to focus and concentrate on reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture.  In the above verse, Paul teaches us to force our mind to purposely fix its attention to God – and His works, world, and Word.  Meditation works during the quiet times and during the busy times.

Sounds easy?  Actually, it requires focus and practice.  Our mind can be powerful and controlling over our behavior and actions.  It takes self-discipline and willingness to put forth into action.  As Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” There will be thoughts that you know is not right and you must put yourself into practice in transforming that thought to what is right.

So, how do we transform our minds?  We must fill our minds with the Word of God – read and memorize Scriptures, reflect on what you have read, and praise God through all circumstances.  We must practice what we read in the Bible and make it a habit in our own lives.  For the past several years I’ve been practicing filling my mind with the things of God.  It is quite possible to be meditating while you work, exercise, eat, or even sleep.  There have been times when I found myself praying as I go to sleep and when I wake up the next morning, I’m still praying!  I don’t know how this happens, but I think it’s become a part of me.  Every morning I wake up and take time in prayer, devotion, reading His Word, and journaling.  But it doesn’t end there because I try to meditate throughout the day from what I have read that morning or even from a few days ago.  I rehearse verses in my mind or even put key verses on my blackberry log-in page (so that every time I enter my password, I see the key verse right there).  I’m not saying that I have perfect thoughts going on.  I do struggle with keeping my focus on God some days and you will too.  This should be an encouragement for us to practice on overcoming that battle and relying on the Lord even more!

I encourage you to fill your thoughts of God.  Do not conform any longer to the things of this world.  Transform your mind.  Put it into practice.  The same goes towards anything in life – whether we train for a race, it requires practice; or change our eating habits, it requires practice; and filling the thoughts of God, requires practice.  I hope this is a blessing to you today.

Lord God, I want to fill my thoughts with Heavenly things.  Forgive me when there are days I allow my mind to drift away from the good.  Help me to be consistent in my transformation process.  At first, practicing meditation may seem like work, but eventually it will be a part of me.  Help me to stay focused and meditation on the things that are pleasing to you.  I thank you, Lord, for your mercy, grace, and love!  I give you all the glory and praise, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

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