So the question is, How do I do that? Humans are not naturally God-lovers. We are disgustingly in love with ourselves. Just think of how often your speech or others includes the words I, me, mine...
Elizabeth George, in her book LOVING GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIND, points readers to Philippians 4:8 as the starting point: "Whatever is true , whatever i honorable, what ever 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 word dwell is translated think in the KJV. The literal translation is ponder on these things. Ponder means to consider, think about, wonder about, brood over, contemplate. It gives the idea of spending time in thought...but thoughts of what?The first thing Philippians 4:8 tells us to think about is "whatever is true". We find absolute truth only in God's word. It is His love letter to us. Now what can I do to dwell on God's truth? Elizabeth George states, "one key to loving God with all our mind is not dwelling on the past or on unpleasant memories." She gives three specific practices to cultivate that will help us dwell on truth:
- Memorize Scripture-tape Bible verses to your fridge, above your sink, on your mirror.
- Meditate on Scripture-turn the verses over in your mind, this is deliberate concentration.
- Master Obedience-as we are committing the verses to our mind, it is of utmost importance that we do what these verses tell us. The ultimate evidence of love is obedience. We should not just know what God's word says, we should do what it says.
" Disciplining our thought life by focusing on God's true and reliable Word is a giant step toward truly experiencing the love of God so that we can love Him with all our mind."
Next time, "taking every thought captive", 2 Corinthians 10:5. Meanwhile, how about using Philippians 4:8 as your memory verse goal?
First printed July 2005 in The Freedom Reader, a publication of Spring Valley Freedom Baptist Church, Huntington, WV.