And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 NLT
We decide each day what we want around us, what we want influencing our lives and our thoughts. You might have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” And that couldn’t be more true than when it comes communing in the bread of life and redeeming blood of Christ’s life.
Each day, we choose whether we prefer the carnal influences of this world or whether we prefer the godly influences of righteous living. We decide what life we want to eat of. We decide which master’s hand we want to be fed from. And whatever we are feeding ourselves and influencing our minds and our flesh with as an example – is what is going to come out in our words and our actions.
When I was immersed in the distractions and the food of the enemy that can be picked up easily and in great quantity from television, books, conversations, movies, magazines, and music – I walked and talked and lived like what I was consuming. Now I am not saying those things are bad. What I am saying is whatever content we are choosing to consume through those things is going to influence our lives. In fact, examining the type of content that we are choosing to consume can tell us about our desires. And learning about our desires can many times indicate distractions that need to be replaced with more spiritually profitable alternatives.
Am I saying that we “have to” live perfect lives? No. Am I saying that we should “want to”? Yes.
We are meant to have Christ living in us. We are meant to be following in His footsteps. We are meant to be becoming more like Christ.
But just because we are meant for something, just because we are intended for something, just because we are purpose built to win a race – it doesn’t mean that if we never put the right fuel into our lives that we are going to reach our potential.
Let’s choose that fuel of a righteous, obedient life, seeking to fill our lives with “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable”.
Those influences that tell you, “You don’t have to. Enjoy your freedom. Live how you like.” Understand which direction these influences will guide your life. Understand what these influences will have on the potential of your life. And yes, if we value those things spiritual and eternal over those things worldly and carnal and temporary – won’t we walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh?
Remember whether or not it is a conscious decision, we each choose today who it is that we will serve. Have you examined your life to be humbled by where your time is being spent? Have you examined your finances to be humbled by where your money is being spent? Have you examined the content that you, are consuming to be humbled by where your life is being influenced? Were you motivated and convicted to do anything about it?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Hebrews 12:1-13 NLT