Thinking about God
By Kent Heaton
“But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still: (Psalm 4:3-4).
Dee Bowman said, “It is hard to sin when you are thinking about God.” Sin always follows a familiar path. Desire draws the heart to a need that must be filled and if left unchecked with blossom into sin as a full-grown act of rebellion against God. The nature of sin will change with each temptation but the path is the same and the result is the same. Defeating sin takes great courage and the knowledge to identify the tools that will keep the soul pure. The psalmist David knew the challenge of sin and suggested when sin knocks at the door, mediate on things that will keep the door closed. Thinking about righteousness in times of peril can safeguard the heart from the destructive power of the devil. The mind thinks about one of two things: righteousness or unrighteousness; good or evil; truth or falsehood; God or Satan. Pressing the mind to consider the love of the Father will help protect the soul from falling into the trap of sin.
Building faith comes from the exercise of meditating on the word of God, His Spirit, constant devotion to prayer and right-mindedness. It will be more difficult to fall into the trap of unrighteousness when we are thinking about God. His presence will surround the heart with the protective care of His grace. The love of God is an umbrella that keeps the dark storms of temptation away shedding the light of truth in the soul. God knows the trials of His children and will hear their cries for strength to overcome. It is a wonderful thing to consider the Lord listens to His children and gives them the willpower to overcome sin. David says that anger can be controlled when thinking about God. Meditating on the grace of God is the power to defeat the lusts of the flesh. When faced with the trial to give into the wiles of the devil, turning the heart toward God will remove the desire and save the soul. He will not allow the saint to be tempted beyond what he is able to defeat and will always offer a way of escape. The reason that sin overcomes the soul is the wrong choice is made. Thinking about God during temptation will remove the desire to displease the Father giving strength to overcome.
It is hard to sin when the Lord is on the mind. As the child of God grows in faith their courage will also grow to sin less. It will never be possible to defeat sin completely but every child of God should strive to remove temptation from their lives and sin less and less. In time the strength of soul will solidify the spirit to overcome temptation more easily. What defeated the soul in the past will no longer have the sway of sin to fall after the wiles of the devil. Righteousness is the ingredient that builds faith in the heart of God’s people resisting more fervently the impact of sin. The child of God must realize it is possible to sin less. Trusting in the Lord and meditating on the Lord is the solution to sin. Thinking about right things keeps the heart away from wrong things. Keeping company with people of righteousness defends against the influence of unrighteousness. Putting God first in thought, action, deed and words will build a strong defense that will destroy the painful effects of sin. Think about God.
By Stephen P. Beck
Driving down a country road, I came to a very narrow bridge. In front of the bridge, a sign was posted: “Yield.” Seeing no oncoming cars, I continued across the bridge and to my destination. On my way back, I came to the same one-lane bridge, now from the other direction. To my surprise, I saw another “Yield” sign posted. Curious, I thought. I’m sure there was one positioned on the other side. When I reached the other side of the bridge, I looked back. Sure enough, yield signs had been placed at both ends of the bridge. Drivers from both directions were requested to give the other the right-of-way. It was a reasonable and gracious way of preventing a head-on collision.
When the Bible commands Christians to “be subject to one another” (Eph. 5:21), it is simply a reasonable and gracious command to let the other have the right-of-way and avoid interpersonal head-on collisions. “Submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble’” (1Peter 5:5).
Which Disturbs You the Most?
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame; who set their mind on earthly things” (Phil. 3:18-19). So, which disturbs you the most?
1. A soul lost in hell or a scratch on that new car?
2. A sermon ten minutes too long or lunch a half-hour late?
3. Missing the worship services or missing a day’s work?
4. The church not growing or the flower garden not growing?
5. Your Bible being unopened or your newspaper being unread?
6. Your contribution decreasing or your income decreasing?
7. Your children late for Bible Classes or late for school?
8. Missing a good Bible class or missing your favorite TV program?
9. Church work neglected or housework neglected?
10. Low attendance at worship or low attendance at a party? (Elton Dilbeck)
Truly, the things which disturb us reveal much about our interests. Let us not be more disturbed about problems in the material realm than those in the spiritual.