Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The "Whatever" List

June 10th IOW

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. Phil 4:8

Paul in this particular chapter had just told those listening to not fret or have any anxiety about anything. What he wanted them to do was to continue to make their wants known to God. Doing so by prayer and petition WITH thanksgiving in any and all circumstances. Next assignment was to focus on the “WHATEVER” list that he gave them to think from and ponder over. It was a kind “whatever” test to see where they were in their thinking process or at least where they needed to be.

Where I work, every piece of documentation must pass a test. Each piece is required to stand on it’s own. It doesn’t matter what was documented yesterday or the day before or a year ago. The final rule being if it wasn’t documented it didn’t happen.

If you think about the test that our thoughts should be going through it’s quite similar. It doesn’t matter what we thought yesterday, what our thoughts were last week, or what our thoughts were a year ago. Each thought has to pass it’s own test and stand on its own. With some people we can get away with saying, “we didn’t think those thoughts!” However, with God all our thoughts are documented as they happen in a type of instant messaging system that reaches Heaven faster than we can think them.

In the ideal world every thought we think or deed we do should make the “whatever” list but sadly enough that isn’t the way it always happens. That’s where 2 Cor 10:5 comes in that tells us to “….bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” If it doesn’t make the “whatever” list then obviously we need to hold the thought captive in order to get it into obedience with what Christ would want us to think.

The mind being the battlefield and our thoughts often the weapons used to bring us down it can get very complicated. Frequently it seems like we are holding more thoughts captive than we are checking off the “whatever” list. Fighting occasionally a thought that seems to bounce around the inside of our head like some ping-pong ball using its “get out of jail free card” to run lose in our mind.

It reminds me of something my neurologist told me once about the orientation of my seizure activity. Brain waves would hit the scar tissue left behind from my brain surgery when I was 12 years old and go the wrong way and I would have a seizure.

Our thoughts hit the things Satan likes to plant in our heads and they go the wrong way and therefore we wind up in disobedience with God. Long before they have a chance to bounce off those substances we need to hold our thoughts captive. Keeping them confined until they make the “whatever” list. We are the gatekeeper of our minds, what goes in, will eventually come out in some form or another. The choice once again is ours for the choosing, garbage in, garbage out what’s it going to be.

CLOSING THOUGHT: The answer “whatever,” is often the reply used to get out of having to come up with an actual answer. A response we’ve all probably used at one point or another. A lot of time it is said in a somewhat disrespectful frustrated manner, “Ohhhhhhh whateverrrrrr!” When we hear that we pretty much know the subject is closed.

Not with God! When He gives us a “whatever” it’s only the beginning and we better be paying attention. He’s not trying to get out of answering a question. He says it to give us a point of focus to keep us on track. It’s not to make our life more difficult or to take away our “freedom of speech and thought” but to keep us free from falling into the snares of Satan instead of the blessings of God. The more we measure the thoughts going in, the better the outcome of those coming out.

Our host this week is Nina at her site, Mama’s Little Treasures hobble on over there and join the gang by adding your own or reading what others have to say.


MiPa said...

This post really blessed me. Thank you for sharing.

jamie in rose cottage said...

I like the "whatever checklist"!

Bonnie W said...

Karen I love the way you illustrate the thought process - every thought must stand on its own.
What a great way to combat worry and feaqr because they are totally unsubstantiated and can't possible stand alone. LOL!

Laurie Ann said...

What a wonderful focus point this Scripture is. God bless you for sharing your heart with us.