Direction. Guidance. Encouragement. God’s road map to lead us to a healthy thought life-healthy life! Power from the Word of God. However, what does it all mean? What is noble and lovely? How do I apply this Scripture to my life…how do I live it out?
Growing up, to dull the pain I felt in life, I turned to food (the lack of) to make me feel better. I thought I would be able to control the circumstances around me through this (eating disorder) until years down the road, it controlled me. I tried everything to overcome it, but nothing worked.
I decided to give the control over to God and do it His way. Not easy believing what God had to say, through the Bible, about me and His plan for my life. Although, I can’t feel the pain anymore (PRAISE-that’s Jesus Christ), I remember that I decided to HOLD to God’s Word whether or not I believed it. It was certainly an act of trust in the beginning until I finally came to the point of realizing God knows what He is doing (He is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6). Recently, I attended an If:Gathering where I heard Bianca Olthoff talk about Scripture. She said to “Fake it, until you feel it”. That is exactly what I did!
So how does one digest Philippians 4:8 and move towards freedom in Christ?
What does it mean to “Fix” yourself to something? According to my google search it means, “fasten (something) securely in a particular place or position.” Like clamping or attaching yourself to God’s TRUTH. To be in a “fix” means to be stuck. That is the position we take when moving towards freedom. We want to “fix” ourselves (be clamped to, stuck to) Jesus instead of whatever else we are fixing ourselves to.
THOUGHTS? According to Wikipedia, “in one second more than a million thoughts are generated”. Wow, that’s a lot of thoughts! What do we do with all these thoughts? We take them to Jesus to sort them out. We look to His Word to find out what is true and what is not true. Why? Because “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Wikipedia, also goes on to tell us our “thoughts are the keys which determines one’s goal”. Basically, we will move in the direction of our thoughts. They will lead us to healing or they will place us in bondage.
So what are we fixing our thoughts to? Whatever is TRUE and whatever is HONORABLE. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that for something to be true it agrees with the facts: not false, it is real or genuine. We also learn that what is honorable is showing honesty and good moral character, fair and proper not deserving blame or criticism.
Are we listening to the lies of the enemy that tells us we have no value, no hope, no future (or that other people around us have no value..showing up in gossip, slander, bullying, and etc.)? Fixing our eyes on the Word, tells us we (and others) have a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), and that we (and others) are marvelously made by God (“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it”. Psalm 139:14 (TLB).
I love the Word of God! It is our sounding board to lead our thoughts to actions that will reflect what is true and honorable in the sight of God (for ourselves and others). God is able to helps us to think on what is Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable.
Recently, I read a great article that delineates on how to know something is RIGHT. We always want to make sure we measure issues according to what God has to say about them and to do what is acceptable and fair to all involved. Keeping our thoughts on what is proper, good and accurate. We can’t always go back and make amends for our wrong doing or wrongs done to us (if the person has died and/or it would not be safe to do so). However, when we know to do better (when we know to confess sin, to forgive or ask for forgiveness), we need to do better and do the right thing (think God’s thoughts in each situation). We only get to know His thoughts by spending time with Him.
When something is PURE, it is not mixed with anything else. It is clean, untarnished and 100% real! Ouch! Searching my own heart and circumstances, I know my own thoughts are not always pure. I can do something with good intentions, but my motive wrong or my timing is wrong. An article at, A Holy Experience, spoke to my heart and beautifully shows how unintentional we can be at doing the wrong thing.
We can also have thoughts that are not pure and lead us further into the corruption and the chains of sin. The children’s song, Be careful Little Eyes What You See comes to mind. What we focus on or lend an ear to is where we go and end up. We either move towards the pureness of God or to our own lusts.
What is LOVELY is pleasing and full of grace. Like the beauty of flowers or the grace of a ballerina.
It is attractive and good. It is moral and does not harm. Lovely thoughts are what I want to invite into my heart, mind, and entire being. How important it is to see the beauty God has given us and to have a grateful heart. Christian Ditchfield shares in her blog how focusing on the ugliness of fear (that leads us to worry) can keep us from experience the peace of mind God has for us.
We admire people for various reasons. Perhaps it is because of their accomplishments, abilities or the character qualities we see in them. Paul exhorts us in Philippians to make sure our thoughts are ADMIRABLE. He is putting us in check to make sure these thoughts deserve our respect and approval. Wow, how many waisted thoughts I take in and dwell on when I should quickly close the door! Such a powerful reminder to examine our thoughts to make sure they are worthy of admiration!
Paul goes on to point out that if a thought is not of any EXCELLENCE, we need not camp out with it. Only thoughts that are outstanding and superior have a place in our thought life. II Peter 1:3 encourages us that “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” Because God is EXCELLENT, we can lean on Him and He will help us move towards His excellent and outstanding perspective.
Someone/something that is PRAISE WORTHY commands our attention. What we praise speaks a lot about who we are, our character, because it has our attention, thoughts and heart. What we worship is part of our souls. Scripture reminds us in Psalm 18:3, “Because he is praiseworthy, I cried out to the LORD, and I was saved from my enemies.” “While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” (Psalm 146:2).
So together, let’s be stuck to Jesus. Thinking on what is real and without criticism, whatever is untarnished, full of grace and is moral. Keeping out thoughts on what is deserving of respect and is outstanding, commanding of our attention.
This verse brings such hope and life! God has given us the power to exam our hearts to see if what we think on, lines up with the truths and freedom found in Scripture. When those one million thoughts come your way, keep what is from the Lord and throw the rest away! “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” II Corinthians 10:5