I was just sitting here thinking how badly I needed a good dose of God. Something to set me straight, to clear my thoughts, to relieve my anxiety over all that's going on. I have Christian music playing from my iPod, but it's just not cutting it. Then I thought of the daily devotionals I get in my inbox, and I had gut feeling (or maybe a "God" feeling?) that if I opened today's up, it would help me out.
Sure enough, God's word was waiting there for me. The message was exactly what I needed to hear. :) (So neat when that happens. Talk about an answered prayer.) Here was what He had to say (courtesy of Greg Laurie devotionals)...
What We Think About Is Important.
In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul gives us an extensive list of things that we should focus our thoughts on:
"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."
Another translation puts it this way: "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse" (The Message).
What we think about ultimately affects what we do. Therefore, we must nip in the bud any thoughts that are impure, spiritually harmful, or that feed the beast of worry.
This means refusing to play the "What If" game, driving yourself to despair.
You remember the first temptation, when Satan came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1 says, "Now the Serpent was more Cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
He did not introduce himself by saying, "Hi, I'm the Devil, the enemy of God, and I have come to ruin, destroy, and pull you into hell with me and my demons!" He may be wicked, but he isn't stupid!
When the Devil comes to us, he comes with subtlety, snake-like, slithering in when you least expect it. That's why we need to keep our guard up at all times.
Now don't even tell me that wasn't God helping to calm me down and direct my thoughts. God is good. :)