What Are You Listening To?

My husband, Joe, and I were spending the day cleaning house recently, when he put on some music we used to enjoy when we first met many years ago. When I heard it, I froze in my tracks. The lyrics were offensive to me, and I yelled at my husband, and demanded that he turn it off immediately. He was stunned. “You don’t like it?” he asked, incredulous. “I hate it, and I don’t ever want to hear it again!”

As I resumed my cleaning, the realization that I had loved that music in years past sickened me. How could I have listened to—and actually enjoyed—such dark, depressing, and degrading music? How it must have grieved the Lord’s heart when I devoted my attention to it the way I did. I began to hear the apostle Paul’s words in my head, saying, “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, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NASB) Paul knew that what we listen to goes into our spirits and becomes part of us, often forever.

The simple truth is that we can’t “dwell on” the things of God, or the good things in life, if we are feeding and programming our hearts and minds with worldly thoughts and ideas. Filling ourselves wrongly will steal our peace and joy, and it will make it hard for us to hear God’s voice, and to receive from Him.

You and I have a high calling from God on our lives, and we can’t afford to compromise our walk with Him in the name of “entertainment”. Ask yourself today, “How serious am I about receiving God’s best?”

Think Like Jesus

Before I began devoting myself to regularly studying the Scriptures, I believed that I had to accept every thought that popped into my head. I didn’t realize that I could reject wrong thoughts, and refuse to let them take root in my mind and heart. One of the Scriptures that opened my eyes was First Corinthians 2:16 (AMP), which says: “But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” In other words, once we have committed our lives to Christ, and received the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we have the ability–and the responsibility–to think like Jesus does.

Nowadays, when a wrong thought comes to mind—a thought of self-pity, selfishness, or unforgiveness, for example—I often hear myself say, “Jesus doesn’t think like that, and neither do I!” The apostle Paul talked about the importance of rejecting wrong thoughts when he said that we should “cast down imaginations” that don’t line up with the Word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV) Why is this so important? Because we will go wherever our thoughts lead us. We can’t walk in forgiveness while thinking thoughts of bitterness, resentment, and retaliation. We can’t walk in love when we’re thinking critical or judgmental thoughts. We can’t walk in faith when we’re thinking thoughts of doubt and unbelief.

You have the power to think like Jesus. Study His Word and meditate on it day and night. (Joshua 1:8) Pray and praise the Lord continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 34:1) Cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the renewal of your mind. (Romans 12:2) And you will walk in the same peace, joy, and victory that Jesus did!