“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, 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.” – Philippians 4:8 (NASB)
At the beginning of a new year, many individuals assess and establish goals for the year ahead. This year, myself and four dear friends committed ourselves to pursue and hold one another accountable for who we want to become as women of God. Our “to do” lists were discarded, and our “to become” lists were formed. One of my aspirations is to become a woman who commits God’s Word to memory. Not for the purpose of attaining knowledge, but so I might store up God’s Word in my heart, that I might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11) and to combat lies with Truth (Ephesians 6:17). Philippians 4:8 was one of the first verses I committed to memory this year. I did not realize at the time how often I would recall this verse in the coming months and be reminded to guard my spiritual health just as I would my physical health.
COVID-19. It is the illness you hear about on every news channel. It exists as a major headline on the front of most newspapers. Your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the majority of humanity are talking about it and living in fear of it. In a culture where social media is a prominent means of communication, and world-wide news is easily accessible, it is very easy to become inundated and overwhelmed by the excess of information. Coronavirus has stricken not only humanity’s physical health but also its mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It has overtaken and consumed the thoughts, desires, bodies, and purposes of man.
As daughters of the Almighty God, we must maintain our spiritual health in times of crisis by setting our minds on what is from above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). We must sit under the Truth of God’s Word and allow it to permeate our hearts and minds. Our intake of God’s Word should fill us to overflowing to the point where man’s word has no room to establish itself in the recesses of our hearts and drown out what is true. We should neither be ignorant of the present difficulties and needs of humanity nor should we be ignorant of the Glory and Power of God. Let us be women who are informed and knowledgeable of what is taking place in the world while allowing God’s Truth to be the guiding force of our thoughts, words, and actions. Let us be women who look upward!
What have you been dwelling on lately? Are you saturating your mind with Truth and meditating on God’s Word, or has your mind been waterlogged with man’s word? Is its weight crushing your spirit and drowning your joy? In Psalm 16:5 David proclaims, “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup.” Let us also praise and have confidence in Almighty God when we are unsettled and in despair!
What is influencing your thoughts, words, and actions? God’s Word or man’s? David continues in Psalm 16:7 to say, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Let us become women who are transformed and led by the influence of the Spirit (Romans 12:2). Let us not be fearful, but our hearts instructed and comforted by God’s Word in the midst of uncertainty and darkness.
Philippians 4:8 was one of Paul’s final exhortations in his letter to the Philippians. So in closing, I would like to exhort you in a similar manner.
Finally, my sisters, whatever your present circumstances, whatever you may be feeling, whatever fears are flooding your soul, whatever afflictions are causing you to suffer, whatever lies have infiltrated your mind and taken your thoughts captive, direct your eyes to the God of Truth! Seize every thought so that you might remain obedient to Christ. Dwell on what God has revealed and is undeniably true. Dwell on what is holy and acceptable according to God’s standard. Dwell on what has not been corrupted by sin. Dwell on the One who is worthy of your affection and praise!
All Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power be to the One who sits on the throne! Amen.