Happy New Year to everyone who has stuck around during my beginning of the year hiatus. I thank God that in the pruning that has taken place in my life He is still encouraging me to do this. He has even given me things to work on here. This is one of them.
I am a night owl. I have been for a long time. I got it from my mother, who for as long as I remember slept very little. It could also be that I come from a family of farmers. Who knows God made me this way and I like it. So since I am up most nights I also get the privilege of taking care of night time feedings for my children. Now for some having your sleep broken every few hours does not sound like fun, and it isn't, however it has given me a lot of opportunities to listen to God.
Now that isn't to saw that I always take those opportunities. I am a nerd and the internet can get distracting at time. Stumble, twitter, digg, blogger have sapped some of these times and my love of Video Games can also get in the way. God has a way, however, of making His presence felt and I have never come away drained because I spent time with Him.
So with all of that being said here is what God woke me to tonight
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say 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. -Philipians 4:7-9(msg)
As someone who reads lots of self-help books I immediately notice a major lesson that many of them try to teach. You hear about the law of attraction and they make it seem like it is some new concept but like it says in Ecclesiastes there is nothing new under the sun.
We are told in verse 7 not to worry or fret. We are also told to substitute our worries with prayer. By doing this our worries will be replaced by the wholeness of God's presence. You can't focus on your worries and God at the same time. When God steps in your problem melt away. His Love and peace totally overshadow any other issues.
Fill Your Mind
I have a friend who says that whatever is taking up space in your mind better be giving you good returns or start charing rent. What he means is captured in the second part of our passage. You have to fill your mind with things that strengthen you. If not you will get a bunch of squatters living in your mind that will weaken you.
Have you ever noticed that you do not have to plant weeds? However to have a lush lawn you got to work. God is telling us how to have a fruitful mind, body and spirit. What you take in is going to come out. If you pour in the good, the pure, the righteous, that is all that can come out.
So tonight ask yourself what are you focusing on. Are you thinking, "on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious"? Are you focusing on, "the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse"? If not that you should, "Put into practice what you learned... what you heard and saw and realized."And when you do that, "...God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."