Saturday, January 8, 2011

If You Don't Like the Program, Change the Channel!

"Finally, brothers, 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

Our minds are a lot like television.  On any given day our thoughts and emotions are as varied as the programming options from our cable or satellite provider.  We experience fear, elation, depression, excitement, encouragement, anger, sorrow, regret, and joy -- sometimes even in the same twenty-four hour period! 

One Friday night I found myself angry and too tired to deal with my own emotions.  Although it was only seven o'clock, I decided the best thing I could do was go to my room, crawl under the covers, and just go to sleep.  Maybe you are one who gives up easily and does the same thing when life is just too stressful.  On my way to my room, however, I grabbed my laptop, Bible, journal, and a pen, deciding that I would do something productive instead.  After all, it really was too early to go to bed and I didn't want to give the enemy the satisfaction of having rendered me useless for the rest of the night.  I opted to change the "stinkin' thinkin'" channel and redirect my attention to something a little more beneficial.  After watching a helpful webinar on book marketing, I curled up in bed with my daughter and watched a musical on my laptop.  By simply making the choice to shift my focus from my anger and fatigue to a more productive use of my time and my mental energy, I found myself physically restored and relaxed enough to enjoy a good night's sleep.

Satan loves it when we become so defeated by the negative messages in our brains that we cave in, shut down, and become useless to God and to those around us.  I, for one, am tired of beating myself up for having a faith so weak that I buy into the enemy's plan!  Perhaps you are, too.  God's Word gives us all the ammunition we need to fight the enemy and beat him at his own game.  The problem is, many of us don't know the Word well enough to fight effectively against the enemy.  Perhaps instead of spending so much time in front of the TV, we ought to spend a little more time reading and memorizing God's Word so that we can more effectively fight off the devil's attacks.

If you really want to change the channel -- and the course of your life -- try spending a few minutes in God's Word each day.  One of my favorite passages is the third chapter of Colossians, which begins with the following verses:  "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things" (vs. 1-2).

It has been said that "what we think about, we bring about."  If you don't like what you are seeing in your own life, then change the channel and ask God to help you see his purpose and plan for your life.  "Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in his wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace" (Helen Lemmel, 1918).

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