“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Satan slithered up and spoke with a simple, soothing voice, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”
The setting: The Garden of Eden.
Today’s target: Eve.
The consequences: Potential fatality for all humanity.
For the human race that has had thousands of years to consider the consequences and ponder the ‘what-if’s’ it is easy to point out what Eve should have done:
Do Not Listen,
Do Not Engage.
But Satan can act craftily.
And although answers are easy to point out for others, they can be oh-so-difficult to practice ourselves.
When Eve naively engaged with the not-so-simple snake, she had no idea where he was guiding her: to a difficult life and a spiritual death, to a separation from God.
Do I ever allow him to construct barriers to my blessing and slowly slay my spirit?
Do I ever let him drop negative thoughts into my mind and permit him to plant them there? Maybe he planted, but it is I who gets to choose whether to water and fertilize them. And it is I who determines if they ever get transplanted from my mind to grow within my heart.
One thought. Maybe not straight out of Scripture- but really- what’s the harm, he whispers.
Like Eve, we can’t fathom where Satan is trying to take us, or just how he hopes to undo us, but as history indicates, he has his own agenda for the human souls, and it’s nowhere we want to go.
So, how do we thwart any of his planted negativity from growing roots?
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us exactly what the measuring stick is: If it’s not true, righteous, noble, pure, admirable, or lovely- we must weed it out.
Letting it linger secures the roots. The moment we notice it’s there, pull it out! I’m not talking about a mere weed-whacker here. We need to get down on our knees and wrestle it out by the roots through prayer, and a constant renewing of our minds using Scripture.
If we notice certain people, places, or situations make it challenging to remain godly and positive we should: RUN– don’t go there, or if we have no choice, go in strengthened through prayer and the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17)
Refuse To Listen – Refuse the thought any planting space, or any space at all!
Refuse To Engage – Refuse to respond, whether audibly or mentally to the thought. Don’t leave any room for argument back and forth.
Eve was snared as we often are. Thankfully each day dawns anew with opportunity to become better stewards of our thoughts and better gardeners of weed-like negativity.
When I consider Eve’s reaction to the infamous snake, do I ever relate to her choice to stand there, listening to and engaging with a false voice?
Why are we instructed how to think in Philippians 4:8-9? What are the possible consequences when we don’t?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your clear guidance on how to take control of my thoughts. I don’t need to fall victim to them. Please give me discernment and rapidity recalling Scripture as I go through my days. Help me to yield to Your guiding of those days. Amen.
Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, October 26, for the next post.