Think On These Things. 04/04/2014 (Evening thought)

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This passage of scripture outlines for us the principles we should follow in what we permit our minds to dwell upon. The things we see and hear or speak about have a direct impact on our thought processes and inevitably affect our actions, and thus it becomes necessary to guard well the portals through which the various types of information enter our minds.

The many different shows and soap operas, and the violent video games now available at our fingertips all play an important role in influencing the way we think and what we will do, and thus they become the most important tool in satan's arsenal in indoctrinating the young and old alike. For instance, many young children are afraid of the darkness and some cannot sleep without a night light for fear that some "monster" under their bed or in their closet may come out to harm them whilst sleeping.

After watching some of the scary presentations on Nickelodeon, or being exposed to horror movies at a young age, the natural result is an attitude of fearfulness in the minds of those, who having viewed the terrifying imageries are unable to sleep properly as a result. One of the reasons why the scriptures strongly advise us to dwell upon uplifting themes is because our minds were designed by God to store lots and lots of information, including what we see hear, touch, eat, and smell, and our minds also have the ability to pull up at random any of this stored information without our consent.

That's one of the reasons why we sometimes have very graphic dreams of persons or places we may not remember ever seeing. The fact is that our minds were recording information unbeknownst to us in our sub-conscious and the information was being stored without our knowledge. Hence the reason why many big companies advertise using subliminal messaging to put their products directly into our thoughts without our permission.

God who made us understands this, and that's why He cautions us to dwell on themes that elevate instead of pull down, themes that will enable our minds to think noble upright thoughts instead of encouraging the evil and the vile.

Very many people, both young and old alike are hooked on pornography, and try as they might to free themselves from this soul-destroying vice, they just can't seem to escape its deadly grip. In the overwhelming majority of cases it began with a simple viewing of that which their eyes should never have been exposed to, and its only by the grace of God, much prayer, and severe conflicts that this vice can be overcome.

Job knew and understood this and that's why he made a decision to avoid the temptation of beholding and dwelling on nudity. Let's read:

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

Job was simply following the instructions that he had learned from God, who in many verses of scripture warned his people to avoid scenes of nudity. Lets read:

Leviticus 18:7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.  15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.  17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.

This injunction also applies to those Christians who serve at the altar but dress inappropriately, for the principle is one and the same. We should not deliberately expose our eyes to that which is unbecoming, neither should we encourage others to do so by the way we dress. Let's read:

Exodus 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

In our day there is great need of constant vigil, lest we permit our minds to wander onto forbidden themes, and that's why the instruction given in Philippians is so pertinent to us today. If we feast on God's word daily, our minds do become changed and accustomed to that which is uplifting, sacred and holy, and it's only in this way, coupled together with the power of the Holy Spirit, can we avoid the many vices that knock on the door of our hearts seeking entrance.

We therefore end with a passage of scripture that should encourage us to study the word of God daily so that our minds may be renewed by His grace. Let's read:

Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

If this instruction is faithfully followed every day, God will grant us the victory over all of our besetting sins. May this experience be ours as long as we live. "Good night" and God bless!