"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." - Philippians 4:8, ESV
What are you thinking about? Yes, right here, right now. What about this morning - what were you thinking about when you woke up? What thoughts kept you awake last night? What has been dominating your thoughts and shaping your mindset over the last few days or weeks?
I realized that for the majority of the past year, my thoughts have been in a rut - going over and over details in the past that I can't change, unable to enjoy the new things God was doing around me, and hitting a wall when it comes to seeking God's will for next steps. I heard Cissie Graham Lynch speak a few weeks ago, and she was talking about things that keep us from praising God. And I realized how hard it has been for me to truly, freely praise God - I made it hard for myself, by cluttering up my mind and bogging myself down, not leaving any room or saving any energy to praise my God.
I know the Bible says to "be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God" (Romans 12:2). I want that - to be renewed and be able to discern God's will again... So I started praying that God would show me ways to transform my mind. And I've learned that that is exactly the kind of prayer God loves to answer!
A few weeks ago, I read Philippians 4:8. It's very familiar to me - I memorized it as a kid. But I've decided to try to really obey it, as a daily habit. Each day, I focus on a different adjective in this verse, and meditate on it. Sometimes I find or recall Scripture; sometimes I hear a song or a story; sometimes I have experiences or conversations with others, and sometimes God reminds me of times when he has revealed these things to me. It's kind of crazy, the effect that it's had on me - my mindset, attitude, and perspective! So I thought maybe I would do a mini-series on my blog, to share some of what I've learned so far. I hope you will be blessed and encouraged, and that this will help to renew your mind, too, and lead your heart to praise.