When my mind goes to thoughts that are ungodly and I cannot force it to make a U-turn, this verse usually gets me out of that place…
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Choosing right thoughts isn’t easy. I could blame ADD/scattered mind and its easily distracted tendencies. I could blame the many things around that pull my thoughts from focusing on any one thing. I know how that reality of “don’t think about an apple” works -- just the opposite of what I want to forget. There is only one way to have my thoughts please God (and me); I need to think about Him and His kingdom.
Today’s devotional writer says that the more we meditate on God and divine things, the happier we will become in our own minds. This is true and so is the converse; when I rejoice in the Lord, thinking about Him is easier and pleases both of us.
Meditation on God and the things of God sets my heart soaring, separating me from the stuff that pulls me down and puts me into the realm of blessing and inner peace. Sadly, as today’s devotional says, even though this Christian habit produces great and good results, there is probably no discipline more neglected. It is easier to read Scripture than ponder it, easier to listen to a good sermon than to digest it. It is also easier to respond to the needs of others than to go into a prayer closet and give our total selves to communion with God.
My wild and crazy thoughts calm down when I pray and after I pray. When I put my mind on God’s goodness and His ability to hear and answer prayer, the junk takes off for parts unknown and my heart draws near to Him. Only then is resisting temptation possible. It is also easier when my heart is yielded to Him
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:34)
I can resolve to think and talk the way I should, but resolutions and determination do not work. The only success comes from habitual communion with Him. For a fact, if my communion and prayer are interrupted for whatever reason, a battle with sin is right around the corner lurking in wait for me.
In this world of continual temptation plus my lethargic conscience, I need to be continually awake and awed by the magnificence of God’s face, but I cannot see Him in the smoke and mirrors of everyday life, never mind in those days of trial and sorrow. I must shut myself away from all that and pray to my Father. He sees what I do and think about in secret. He alone is my power to resist temptation, and even resist indulging in the thoughts of temptation. When I deliberately choose to continually spend time with Him, my mind and life are changed in ways that I could never imagine or do apart from Him.
Lord, the key to this peace of heart is trusting. When I forget the marvels of who You are or neglect to dwell on Your character and grace, then my inner calm is messed up. When I trust in You, the results are definitely from You. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) In that perfect peace, and only in that perfect peace, can my meditation be fixed on You and please You.