Perhaps one of the biggest battles we face in life actually comes from inside of us – our thoughts. We often compare the application of this verse to a set of gates. The first gate is “true,” the second is “honorable,” then “right,” and so on. When we have a thought come into our heads, it must be able to pass through ALL of the gates of this verse before it is allowed to remain in our heads. So, we can ask ourselves, “is this thought true?” If so, then “is this thought honorable?” If at any point a thought cannot pass through a “gate” from this text, then it must not be allowed to remain in our heads. Now, what do we do when we recognize that we are dwelling on something we shouldn’t? We must work to replace that thought with something – anything – that is God-honoring. This is where the true battle begins, and it’s hard work, but we must do what we need to in order to keep our thought life under control. In time and with faithfulness in this fight, we will find that we can have freedom over our sinful or unbeneficial thoughts and their destructive outcome. Slothfulness and idleness do not bring any rewards. Think about it – how is a man going to achieve any gains if he spends his days sleeping? Those who are unmotivated end up suffering. While we need sleep, too much sleep will render us useless. In the same way, we need food, but those who are idle do not work. If one does not work, then he will not be able to eat. In your spiritual life, these same metaphors apply. Those who do not care about their spiritual lives will suffer and perish because of it.
Father in Heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I am not under the curse. He came to redeem me. I am the head, not the tail. I am above, not below, no weapon formed against me will prosper. Please fill my heart with your goodness that I may glorify you in everything I do. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Dear God, it is easy to have days when we do not want to do anything, but we know having this attitude can have long-term effects. Help us to seek you rather than grow stagnant or complacent about you. Forgive us for the times when our slothfulness has kept us from doing as we should and prevented us from growing in our spiritual lives. Thank you for your forgiveness and for renewing our spirits. Help me to be motivated to give my best to my job, studies and spiritual life in order to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen, Amen.