New Furniture in the Old House
It's time for Monday Manna once again, hosted by our wonderful Joanne at An Open Book.
The passage for Monday Manna is Philippians 4:4-9. Joanne is celebrating her birthday today. As I read her post on this verse: "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice," I echoed her thoughts. How wonderful it would be to be able to tell others, as Paul did, to imitate me because in doing so they will be imitating Christ. I'm still working on that, and probably will be for the rest of my life.
What jumps out at me today is the list in verse 8. Paul writes: "Finally, brothers, 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." These verses are preceded by the instructions to not be anxious about anything but turn all those anxious thoughts over to God and enjoy his peace by doing so.
I remember the parable in Matthew 12:43-45, when Jesus reminds his listeners that once they kick out the devil, they need to replace that space with something else or the devil, and all his little demons, will return to make things even worse. I think that principle applies here. When I turn my anxious thoughts, my worries, my needs, over to God, I need to replace all that with something else unless I want that space to be occupied once more with all those thoughts.
What fits the description given to us in this list? What is pure, noble, true, right, admirable, and all the rest? Better question: WHO is all these things?
When I fill my mind with God, his promises, his character, his praises, there won't be room left for those anxious thoughts. And I will be filled with the peace that comes from being "occupied" by him.
It's a daily exercise, a daily challenge. It's also a sure recipe for victorious living.