I’ve been trying recently to get myself back on a positive focus when it comes to life and things of God, even the “church” as a whole. I’ve found that making positive thoughts a habit does help during times where life throws blizzards your way. The scripture that comes to mind is Philipians 4:8
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So I’ve been really moved to think on this verse a lot. It is something that tends to consume me. More and more I’m bringing thoughts into line with this. Its not easy, especially when life throws distractions your way but I think this has to be one of the best scriptures for day to day practical living, even when life hits the fan. There is another scripture which really goes hand and hand with this, from one of my favorite books of the Bible.
“5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ”
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Proverbs 3: 5-6
I really see these two scriptures as being companion tools per say in your toolbox to handle life. Proverbs 3: 5-6 was one of the very first scriptures I memorized. It is almost a life motto for me in some ways. Something that I had lost sight of for awhile but is now heading back. “And lean not on your own understanding”. That hits me every time. Trust God, don’t think, just trust him.
All this begins to paint a picture for me. One that what I go through, is not something I always will understand. And if I trust in my own ability, or my understanding and knowledge I will fail. My plane will crash in a spectacular show of flames and debris. To prevent this, one must follow a few principals.
- Trust God with all you have. Trust him beyond your comprehension and knowledge. This means you must relinquish control of both what you want to think on and what you do, this is the main meaning I take from Proverbs 3:5.
- When you trusted Him with your thoughts, you must acknowledge him with your walk. James 2:26 Tells us that the faith is dead without works. This is a what I get for the meaning to Proverbs 3:6.
- Mathew 12:34 tells us that our mouths speak out of an overflow of the heart. This is probably the most critical step to success. Guarding your heart. Back to Philippians for a quick quote.
“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- So one might ask how does one guard one’s heart? That is where Philipians 4:8 comes in. It’s a guide to guarding your heart. To put it into more meaningful terms consider it a filter. It filters the thoughts and speach that don’t fit within those confines. Think on the good things, the pure things, and especially things worthy of praise. One thing really fits that bill, God. The best thing to do when going through a dark time is take some solo time with the Big guy. Get your favorite praise CD, or Music, I highly suggest Third Day, and put it in and go for a walk or just sit in listen. Sing along if it moves you.
I would in all this give one quick word of advisory. I highly suggest staying away from prolong times of discussion about the bad side of what your enduring. Not that you are to ignore it. But even when in prayer, focusing on how you feel, and what should have happen, why your wronged for enduring such, these things are counter productive and not truly inline to the steps outlined in Proverbs 3:5-6.
Ever been driving in a car. An accident is on the side of the road that draws your attention, you turn your head to look at what it is. Ever notice that if your not paying attention to the road, that your wheel is drawn toward your view? What you focus on is where you will walk. It is something I’ve seen and a mistake I’ve made myself many times in my walk with God. Focus on the good, the pure, the virtuous. Focus on God. Give up your understanding. Embrace His gift, embrace His Lordship, and let go of the bad. Lastly I leave you with one of my favorite passages, one of the keystones for being a Bondservant of God.
“1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. “