Have you ever noticed that it is impossible to keep your mind on one single thought consistently? Pick something to think about and see how long you can keep that thought at the fore front of your mind. Go ahead, I’ll wait... How long were you able to do it? Now, think about all the different things you do in one day’s time. From the time you get up to the time you go to bed, it is said that you will make about 35,000 decisions. You’ll make some decisions to take an action, and some decisions to not take action. Think about all the different things that come into your view and across your path in one day. That is a lot of noise! It is impossible to think about one single solitary thing for longer than just a few short minutes.
Our thoughts are as fluid as the waves of the ocean. They cannot be turned off. What do you do when your thoughts begin to spiral downhill instead of uphill? When you are worrisome and “What If” statements take over your mind and eventually control your life, sending you into a tunnel of fear. Is God still Holy? You. Bet. He. Is! Even though our thoughts are always moving, it is up to us to control what direction they are moving in. Learning to practice the scripture in Philippians 4 is a big help to control our wondering thoughts!
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. 9 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.
Philippians 4:8-16 NIV
Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite Monastery monk from the 1600’s and author of The Practice of the Presence of God wrote, “Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave him not alone.” You see it is possible to control your thoughts as Brother Lawrence tells us here. He is suggesting that we intentionally set our thoughts on God moment by moment and in all areas of our life. That written encouragement is important because we know that thoughts can move in the wrong direction if we don’t take responsibility over them.
King David writes an eloquent example of how to do just that in Psalm 103. In the next few days, may I recommend that you pop open your bible to read Psalm 103 three times, slowly without pausing? You will see the power of King David’s pen stir your soul to joy. As an older man, David is very aware of the gravity of his sin verses the tender mercies of his consistent and loving God. It’s with this perspective that he deliberately focuses his thoughts to bless God. As we read his Psalm, we journey with him as he intentionally stirs his own soul and eventually creation itself to adore God. His writing is packed so full of God’s love for us that Charles Spurgeon says that, “Psalm 103 is a bible itself.”
So what if you started every day looking upward? Be encouraged to begin a practice of discipline each and every day by contemplating the goodness of God. Adoring Him. Bless Him with your presence. Acknowledge Him for being present with you every single moment; even when your fluid thoughts are all over the map with those 35,000 decisions you make each day. It is impossible to think of God every moment of every day. Be intentional to dedicate your first thoughts to Him and stir your soul to joy!
1Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)
Sheri Page has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. She has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles with in the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5 year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be the one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: https://thelordsdwellingplace.com/