Are we filling our lives with thoughts of God? Better said, are we allowing God to fill our thoughts with Him?
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
James helps us put this verse into perspective:
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
The proof of Christianity is our relationship with the Lord Jesus in a daily walk with Him. He wants to fill us with Himself! If He is our Lord, then we will submit to Him and His leadership in our lives. We will seek Him in everything we read. How? By holding up what we are reading to the truths of God’s Word, comparing–sometimes contrasting–it to make sure it is worthy of our time and effort. We don’t want to be filling our thoughts with trash. Paul tells us this:
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died [your choices are no longer yours alone to make], and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
We will also seek Him in everything of which we are a part, whether civic, sports, political, business, and even spiritual. The clubs, teams, and other groups in which we might participate require a lot of our discretionary time, time that might be better dedicated to family, spiritual participation, and personal study time. We must remember what is important and what is at stake. 4 “When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Is what Christ wants the most important thing in your life? Have you asked Him about your participation in a particular group? Is that the best thing for you in your life right now? He will let you know if you ask Him. At the same time, there are certain things on which He has already given us His opinion if we would apply what we know from his Word to our daily lives.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. If any activity or group promotes or leads to any of these vices, STAY AWAY! Recognizing them for what they are is actually the Holy Spirit revealing them to you!
7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. A good test for ourselves is if the activity or group leads us to walk in holiness and righteousness or if we are constantly having to make excuses, be on our guard, compromise, or stand up (confrontationally) for what we know is right.
There is another area that is a bit more subtle. It deals with our attitude and tendencies toward uncontrolled feelings and desires.
8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander,and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
We are being renewed by what we learn about our Creator! We are being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). What we read, what we listen and watch, with whom we spend our time, and who we trust to tell us the TRUTH are important to our spiritual growth in the knowledge of God. What we know shapes us into His image. Yes, the Holy Spirit is daily transforming us into His image (2 Cor. 3:18 and 4:16), but we can help the process along by intentionally choosing to spend our time, money, and energy on godly things and activities, with godly people.
Let’s live smart for Christ. It makes a difference in this world and will make a BIG difference in the next one. More on that later.
Abba, I pray that we will all take very seriously our walk with You in this world as You lead us to the next one. I know that You are excited about getting us to where You are so that we can really enjoy what You have in store for us and what You had intended for us from the beginning. Thank You for not giving up on us! We look forward to Your Day of Redemption when You renew all things (Matt. 19:28). What an exciting day that will be! In the meantime, help us to be more like You moment by moment. Amen.