This coming Monday will mark the last week of my 28 day detox. I’ve learned a lot about commitment as I am determined in drinking more, and putting ON much more nutrition – and doing what is right to complete this plan. Annanias was also determined to complete God’s plan …in the beginning.
Don’t we all agree …in the beginning?
We hope our children can learn from (and hopefully skip) our mistakes. Studying disobedience (Biblical examples of those who did not listen, would not listen, refused to listen) can lead to our obedience. We can learn from others mistakes by recognizing ourselves.
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
To change and spend our life in pursuing new habits, we need the dreaded “C” word…
This involves a commitment to read God’s Word; a practice to come away from the cares of the world…. wherever you can draw near to God. Whether outdoors in creation, music, or the quietness of a private spot, all of these forms have a common strand – Worship.
How, in this busy world, can we find time for Worship? The Put-On practice simplifies the practice to focus on the character quality of God that we want to Put ON, while it strengthens us to resist the age-old battle of struggle and striving until “we” conquer the weakness.
An wise man translated the spiritual battle of the “old man” and the “new man” described in Ephesians 4 as two dogs. Asked which dog wins the battle, he quickly responded – whichever one gets fed the most. Similarly, if we think on our weakness, that will become our focus as we unknowingly “feed” and strengthen the very characteristic we wish to overcome. Rather, we need to focus upon – and commit to “feed” our thirsty souls with the Word of God, focusing daily on a different strength. Every situation can be tested with the EIGHT AREAS OF PHILLIPIANS 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (NASB)
So God’s Word says we can succeed by filling our minds and meditating on the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (The Message)
This phrase obviously indicates an application. This requires moving desire into action. That also takes commitment. It is interesting that ALL the “Put Ons” imply acts of doing or being that are incompatible opposites of passive results of being controlled – as Ephesians 4 describes as the “deceitful lusts” we want to put-OFF.
As we focus on the qualities of God, allow (let) Him infuse your life with His character. When we Put ON the character of Christ He will “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and (you will) be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (because you) put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 [bold emphasis added]
Draw Near Desire it Meditate on it
Meditate on God’s words, for they will produce Godly actions.
Be Renewed Think on it Activate it
Activate Godly actions, for they will become Godly habits.
Put ON Purpose it Practice it
Practice Godly habits, for they will become Godly character
Put OFF Repel the old Replace it
and Godly character will Repel and Replace the former conduct
These short challenges helps us to activate the characteristics of Christ.
One is to try to memorize the 8 qualities in Philippians 4:8. Remind yourself in each situation – to look for whatever is
Reputable (respectable / trust-worthy)
Have you ever been in that situation where you had to ask – is there anything good about this? Can you give an example of some common situation where looking for these qualities could change the course of events and as part of de-escalating a situation what can we put on to bring about change (usually in us and then in others)?