Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Each day, we are called to think about all the good and holy things in this world. But often Satan uses the events of everyday life to pull us away from all that is good. This is especially true of women. We focus on dishes our husbands left in the living room, the child who's behaviour is disrespectful, our expanding waistline... You name it and our minds can be drawn to it over and over again against our will. This happens to me more often than not.
As I was going over this verses, I realized that I was only fighting half the battle on this. When something is bothering me and I can't shake it, I first make sure I set it right. If that's not possible or doesn't apply, then I hand it over to God and pray for the person or situation. The part that I've been lacking is all the whatevers. When I finish handing this over to God, I need to refocus my mind on whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable and whatever is excellent and praiseworthy. I need to grab a scripture and hold onto it. Maybe it's one of God's promises or some other wonderful thing he's recently done in my life or something he's been wanting me to do. It doesn't matter. I need to stop leaving my mind free to wonder back to the things that I've handed over to God and actively move onto serving my Lord in mind and/or body.
This week I encourage all of you to find that thing that God wants you to focus on. Not only does he want you to focus on it, he wants you to put it into practice. Just like idle hands, an idle mind can become the devils playground. Don't let Satan slow you down. Paul goes on to tell us at the end of verse 9 that by doing so, the God of peace will be with us.
God help me to hand over all my worries, fears and concerns. Remind me to leave them with you if I try to take them back. In addition, please help me focus on whatever I have learned or heard or seen in you and to put it into practice. My greatest desire is to serve you.