There are a thousand things demanding our time and energy. There are a thousand messages that run through our heads, but something has always stuck with me, and I read it this morning in Philippians.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, 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. (Philippians 4.8 NIV)
I think a previous part of the letter gives us more insight into how to do this.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3.12-14 NIV)
Intentional thinking is hard. Distractions are plentiful. Smart phones alone keep us distracted 24/7 if we didn’t sleep. Add to that all the other stimuli that demands our attention, and it’s a wonder we pause long enough to hear the voice of the LORD. “We live and move and have our being” in God, but when lies overtake us our shame shouts. Shame, guilt and rejection drive us more than we’d care to admit, but when we lean into the unconditional love of God we are given a stability that nothing on this earth can shake.
He loves me as if I am the only human being on the planet. He knows every single detail about me, and yet He persists in loving me 24/7. That ultimately drives me. I know my failure. I know my sin. I know the odd things that make me me. He knows all that too, yet He still loves me. He continues to take this heart of mine to make it His, and that comfort is hard to put words around. I don’t have to. His arms are around me when the whole world is against me, and I can sigh in a happiness that this world can’t give me.
When I lean heavily upon the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent things He has put into my life it makes everyday thanksgiving day.
I know how hard and unfair life can be. I’ve felt the rejection of mankind. I’ve been at the end of a mean girl’s staring a whole in my head. I know what it is to shoot myself in the foot, and I know what it feels like to put both feet in my mouth. Believe me, I know.
I also know what it means to have my cup running over because “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Great pain can precede great victory I believe, and that’s why I don’t give up.
He seems silent at times, and maybe He is, but I’d like to see it as a mutual partnering where what He has already put within us is directing us to think what is right.
Silence can be a wonderful tool of transformation because not only are we left alone with the filth that passes through our minds, but we can also get rid of it with the words of Christ.
And Philippians was that for me today.
Grace and peace beloved.