time with the Lord, I often find myself quickly forgetting Him and everything
I’ve just read and meditated upon.
business personnel of my local health clinic, “discussing” why the
powers-that-be won’t honor my insurance discounts, or when I log on to Google
News and begin reading about how, in my estimation, the world is going to hell
in a hand-basket, or when I react (instead of thoughtfully respond) to a
statement made by my husband, it’s as if I had never spent time in relationship
with the Triune God at all.
volition—my thoughts to go down an ungodly path: thoughts that, when not
taken immediately captive under the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians
10:5) materialize into ungodly words and/or actions.
I don’t always forget Him, nor
forsake Him. But any time that I do
forget Him is one time too many.
born again Christians we’re no longer “only” human: we are in the world as the
people of God’s kingdom, not of the world’s kingdom.
glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but that doesn’t mean we accept that truth as a determiner and excuser of our actions!
aware of sin, and in fact warns us of
its imminence. But we have to listen to His voice in order to not act on our
own inclinations. I liken this process to the scenes in the original 1971 motion picture Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good
repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you
have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and
the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
to God to “do His will,” but very difficult to remain steadfastly and
unwaveringly dedicated to when the rubber hits the road.
full components of Philippians 4—within a right understanding of the fear of
the Lord—in which we humbly acknowledge that, outside of the Lord, all have
turned aside and become useless, and
there is none who do good, not one (Romans 2:12), we dwell on anything and everything else.
outside of the Lord, not salvation-wise, but self-wise. It all depends on what
we choose to dwell on.
imagined, supposed, expected to happen, surmised, feared, speculated, desired—is what
lusted after, vengeful, levels the playing field, gets even,
disrespectful, coarse, vulgar, shallow, hurtful—is what we dwell on.
what we eradicate, beginning with our thoughts.
always warning, always re-directing, always guiding.
right), our need to be the parent, our need to be
understood, our desire to have people commiserate with us, our desire to dig in our heels, our need for human affirmation, our desire for popularity, our obsession for a million “likes” on
Facebook, our desire to prove others wrong, our compulsion to find
fault, our habit to be critical, our wish to be pretty, our wish to be handsome, our need or desire to be______________________ (ill in the blank) but instead of.
we so often go our own way and do our own thing, perhaps not living terrible
lives, but incurring struggles, stress, conflict and victimhood where Christ’s
peace and contentment could reign, even in the midst of catastrophes, tragedies
and confusions beyond our control.
all else and it is this, Christ Himself:
give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
initially hang our trainee hat. So with the caveat that this is an entirely
secular portrayal, I do find value in the Wonka movie, often hearing Gene
Wilder’s voice corroborating that of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit says, “Stop. Don’t. Come back.”
The ending of the Willy Wonka movie also contains rather
“happily ever after” I am a fan of having life, and having it to the full (John
Christ is about.