If you read the bible I'm sure you've probably read this verse before because its one of those ones that gets talked about..... but maybe take a second to re read it right now before reading on.......s-l-o-w-l-y!
I've been thinking on it a lot lately as we have walked through one of the cloud-ier seasons in our trans-atlantic move, calling out to God to keep me going! And isn't God so faithful to do so......
whatever is TRUE....... dwell on these things....
It was like God seemed to catch my attention with something about the order of things listed in this verse... the first thing on the list of things we are urged to dwell on is what is true. But how often do we do this 'first'? I guess its our natural instinct combined with the things we've been taught through the culture we live in, the people that surround us, our upbringings and the huge number of influences that constantly cry for attention, that so often our first response is to actually dwell on something other than this - like the way we feel about 'it' or the injustice or wrong, or the difficulty we face - and to clarify I'm not saying that these things are all bad (I know we need to get honest before God, I do, and we definitely need the freedom to be able to express this before Him and sometimes .....a good friend and cup of tea to process is more than helpful!) BUT I think more often than not, we get stuck in the place where we make excuses for why we feel or do the things we do. I can recall so many times when I've heard people say (me included!) 'I'm a angry person' or 'I just worry a lot', or 'I struggle with this so I can't help it' or 'well things just can't or wont change'..... and I think these are valid because its good to know how we struggle or what our weakness's are but I think this verse is calling us to something
beyond the naturalness of being a human.
What we are being called or compelled to I believe is making the choice in the moments we face struggle, anxiety, stress, difficulty, feelings, to dwell on the truth (and I think its helpful to do this pretty quickly.....like first!) because if we don't these things will strangle us, strip the life from inside us and we will become stagnant. The other parts listed in this verse definitely truly help us to keep our thoughts and actions in the right place us (and I'm sure you could write endlessly about them all!)...... but what God seemed to highlight to me whilst meditating this time was that 'truth' was listed first and as I thought about why I realised that I can often think of things that are lovely for example but then easily be lead into feelings of jealously or sadness because I don't/can't have them (just being honest!!). However if I dwell on the truth first then I can also dwell on these other things in the light of truth and suddenly my perspective changes - suddenly I start to get a little insight into how God might be seeing things.
I don't want to be stagnant, or drained or entangled or pulled low by what this world offers or by the natural responses I've been taught along my journey....... I want to walk the journey that is designed for me - That God ordained for me. I want the things that make up my life - the hard, the good, and everything in between to be the very things that help me learn and enable me to be a better 'dweller'.... that this would be the label I live under instead of the ones I've otherwise put on myself.
My prayer for myself and for you today is that we could all learn this - that we all become people who learn to walk out in the Truth , by keeping our eyes, and hearts and minds in a place of dwelling......... of dwelling on and with the One who is Truth and Grace and who empowers us and is cheering us on (maybe he's even doing a little crazy dance for you?!) to do this everyday, in each and every single moment of life that we walk.