Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Organized thought is characteristic of Type A personalities. As long as there is a plan, those of us who bear this quality can make it through the day. It is when the schedule is disrupted, the routine interrupted or the “to-do” list compromised that things get a little (or a lot) crazy. Spontaneity is a difficult concept for those who thrive on organization. It is very difficult to change directions on a dime and embrace the new destination. We have to know where we are going, how to get there, when we will arrive and what we need to take with us. Forget just winging it. This is my life. This is how I live. Most days it is how I survive. Planning and preparation is critical to our sanity level. Everything has a place usually a carefully labeled box. All activities are carefully considered. In the evaluation of human personality, the Type A person is usually successful because they get the job done but often considered not very personal. They are bossy and overbearing as the task at hand overshadows other humans who might get in the way. These people (including myself) do not know how to stop and rest. They are task oriented to the point of exhaustion. Worry and stress easily overtake them even though most are confident because their expectation is too high. There are other types of personalities in the world. In fact, God created a multitude of individuals with vastly different physical, emotional and spiritual variations. No one fits solidly into one category or the next.
We all have thoughts. Some lead to success. Others may fail us. From time to time, we have epiphanies and other times get stuck in a rut. God wants us to fix our thoughts today. He wants us to dump out our brain and carefully examine the ideas and notions hidden within. Why? Because He wants us to stop worrying so we can begin to pray again. He desires us to share our needs and deepest desires with Him to create the intimacy needed to hear His Voice and do what He says to have it all. The more we do this – the more we will know the peace offered by Jesus Christ to those who love and trust Him enough to believe in Him. It is time to organize my thoughts yet again…but this time I am asking the Lord to put them in their proper place. Like an overflowing drawer or crammed full closet, some things must go, others reorganized while the rest of them placed in proper perspective. I must label the boxes with words like “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable.” I have a lot of work to do…
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
I suppose I should just give up right now. His Thoughts are nothing like mine. His Ways are far beyond my comprehension so why even try? Will I ever fully understand what the Lord is doing and how He plans to do it? Probably not. I usually figure it out long after the work is complete. So why doesn’t matter what we think if God is going to do what He wants anyway? Oh, it matters. To attempt to know what God thinks and how He does things allows our faith to grow in the process. We have God’s Word to tell us what He will do. It carefully lays out the purpose of God’s Plan for our life. But let’s face it, if we knew exactly what He was doing, how He would do it and when it would come to pass, our humanity would definitely manage to mess it up. We would try to help expedite the process or do something for ourselves. I know. I am that person. God only lets me in as far as my obedience and trust will allow me to see and still wait for Him.
We have the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand what the Word of God means to us as He works out our salvation changing us from the inside out. (I Corinthians 2:10-12) God reveals things to us through the Holy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit so God could communicate to us intimately sharing His Deepest Secrets. What we need to do is think about the Lord! To truly understand the Lord and what He is doing, we must know who He is and how He operates. Cerebral function must be attributed to this thing called Christianity. To follow Christ, we must pay attention.
Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
God knows me. He made me. He has thoroughly examined me. I cannot move without the Lord being completely aware of my direction and intentions. Am I considering Him in each of them? Do I consider these things as much as the Lord does in a single day? I don’t…but I want to. What if I didn’t not take a single step without considering the Lord and His Word? What if I compared every attitude and action to His Plan, His Future and the Hope that He has given me for life? The Knowledge of God’s Love is too wonderful for me to ever understand. I cannot possibly comprehend the levels of grace that I have been given. The capacity of His Thoughts concerning me are indeed overwhelming and perhaps that is why we cannot fully believe or completely accept them as a driving force for our life. Perhaps, I know me too well and it is not possible for anyone to love me like that or so I think. To love God completely, follow Jesus committedly and live by His Spirit fully – we must stop and think about Him more than a couple days a week or when things bottom out. In every moment and with every breath, we should consider our God.
Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered. I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Before I think about God, He already full considered me. I cannot number the thoughts that God has for me or just how precious they are. I can respond to them, but I cannot change them. Nothing can or will ever separate me from God’s Love. I can choose to allow things to come between us but He is always working to remove every barrier and obstacle between us. My kids were debating who my favorite child is which to me as a mother, I find offensive as I would gladly without a second thought give my life for each one of them. However, our relationships are all different. The girls want a close connection. One of them would be perfectly happy if we were together all of the time. While another is okay with her alone time, but still loves to come by for a quick squeeze or head rub. Two of our children have moved away – one I talk to daily multiple times a day and the other is okay with limited contact. I love them both but obviously know more about the one who I talk to regularly. This does not impact my love for them – it is a matter of intimacy. I think about them all the time. I am their mother. God thinks about us all the time. Some have a closer connection with the Father than others, but it in no way impacts His Love for us.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
As I consider God’s Thoughts about me, it occurs to me that I want what God wants for me even though I am not completely clear today of what that is or where it will lead me. I just know I want Him. I have some anxious thoughts. I have worried some lately. I know that if I do not apprehend these thoughts, wrap them in His Love and let the Lord lead me from them that I will become distracted. I want what God wants. I am all in. Some days that means that I must reorganized my thoughts in order to continue on my way to finding Him.
Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT)
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Looking at my carefully constructed to-do list written in my thoughts, I am challenged to see what is at the top of the list. It’s funny how Jesus may be first but quickly gets pushed down by the things that seem to demand my immediate attention. My life is not just about me. I have an army of people who depend on me called family. I have a full-time job. I have other responsibilities that demand my time and invade my thinking. When all these “things” begin to produce worry and anxiety than I know I must reorganize my priorities and fix my thoughts again! To seek the Kingdom of God above all else is a concentrated and focused effort that demands our immediate and ongoing attention. They enemy will continue to clutter our life with unimportant details to distract and detour us so he can eventually destroy those who wander too far. My thoughts must be focused first and foremost on Jesus Christ seeking the Kingdom of God. This is not possible when I am dominated by the thoughts of unbelievers that produce worry, fear and doubt.
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
When we dump out the contents of our mind before the Cross, it is with the promise that those who do so will have perfect peace. The Mind of Christ will fill the void left behind in our complete surrender of our time, talent and resources before Him. He will not let us down but fill us with the wisdom needed to finish the course and secure the prize. We need to think like Jesus to be like Him. We must look for Him to find Him. I want to be found faithful. God looks beyond what I do and say. He knows my heart. The thoughts that I produce are directly connected to the contents of it. I must fix my thoughts today organizing every single solitary one according to His Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to work them through me. I must be grounded in His Love and Grace that surrounds my life. Jesus fix my thoughts today. Organize them as you see fit. Make them worthy of You today.
Life Goals for Today:
Psalm 17:3-5 (NLT)
You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.