“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” NKJV – Philippians 4:8
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” Amp – Philippians 4:8
Seems like just yesterday, none of us knew anyone who had contracted the Covid-19 virus. As I said, I live in New York State. Then the Governor decreed small businesses may only run at 50% capacity and no crowds over 500. Schools and colleges are shutting down, churches are closing, museums and Broadway has shut down, the business work for is initiating emergency protocol (I am in a healthcare field). I find myself with you all in this surreal landscape without education, arts, limited healthcare, and closed churches. And supplies are getting more and more sparse. Fear and worry and confusion have taken over the minds of so many. And I already know of a friend who has been exposed and is in actual home quarantine while the rest of us are in a state of social distancing.
I wrote about the sound mind the other day and yet I think everyone is losing their mind. Never have I thought we should not be wise and use wisdom in preventing the spread of disease – But I still can’t help but think this toilet paper shortage and shortage of supplies is over reacting.
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV
How do we bring every thought into captivity of obedience? Some are worry and fear based on this virus, some are the situations in our life and some are our own battle with flesh. Well, start with focusing on the things we are told to think about; like Philippians 4:8 up there at the top.
And “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 KJV
This applies in fighting the battle in our minds created by the press coverage of this disease. This also applies to every area of your life, and my life. And believe me, it’s not easy!
I could say, because I am neuro-atypical, having the diagnosis of both ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, that I am unable to harness my mind or bring it into captivity. I would be close to correct. In my fleshly nature I am not able to control much of my mind. I can hyper focus and get a bunch done (but my version of hyper focus means I am still thinking about a million things). Most of them made-up scenarios where I work out problematic social situation – I am a tad socially awkward. I have heard that normal people do this too – just not at the same time as thinking other things.
These imaginations can get carried away. For example: I had a situation at work where a person became upset with me suddenly and seemingly without cause. I thought: how can I fix this? I became fixated and in my mind ran imaginary dialog after dialog trying to find a favorable outcome. On a small scale it is a good coping technique. On a large scale – it drown out what God was telling me.
I saw 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 in my devotional and realized I needed to cast down my own imagination!!! Stop dwelling on the negative and imaginary situations that are just make-believe – and worship God. (Stop dwelling on the imaginary “what if” with this world pandemic; and I say imaginary, because it is not our reality at the moment.)
The next day I was supposed to meet with the upset person at my work (and had no idea how I was going to handle it – probably apologize), but she called out of work and stayed home. I went to tell my boss about it to see if my boss could assist with the situation. She already had.
See, I was trying to fix it when God already did. Cast down those imaginations, be it worry or fear motivated, or be it regarding your personal issues or the Coronavirus – Encourage your faith because GOD has already handled it!!
Every area! Did I say that?! Even the following area:
So, I have a flesh problem. Hard to confess, true none the less. Like the apostle Paul himself wrote about in Romans 7:19
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” KJV
And because of this the mind is a battle field of fighting for ground for Christ! We slip, we fall, it happens. (More on this flesh issue tomorrow)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NKJV
And while we take back ground in our minds fighting fear, worry, sin – thinking on the things of Philippians 4:8. And we begged for forgiveness of our sins but still remember them ourselves and feel unworthy of that glorious grace I keep trying to explain to you.
Seriously – I know this battle first hand and repeat “there is now no condemnation”! There is just GRACE! GLORIOUS GRACE!!
So, instead of worrying we won’t have enough toilet paper for this pandemic, or letting our imagination create drama in our mind, or let our flesh struggle and sins keep us condemned only in our minds – let us instead mediate on the word of the Lord. Resisting the devil though mindfully filling our brains with scripture.
Like this one:
Psalm 103 Of David.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul.”
Let’s really read and fill our mind with all the good stuff in this passage, above and see who your mind belongs to after thinking about this all day. All day. Every time your mind starts to wander, read it again.
Be blessed and full of peace that passes understanding, and I pray the Lord God be the King and ruler of your heart, spirit, and your mind! (mine, too!) Thanks for reading.