Pure in Spirit
Pure in Spirit:
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Every single day we're faced with hundreds of choices. We can choose to believe the lies we hear snickering in our ears by the adversary, or we can meditate on things that God says are true of us. We can focus on all the atrocious things of this world, or we can choose to dwell on the lovely and pure qualities of our Lord. We have a choice to make everyday.
"See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction." (Deuteronomy 30:15)
Dwelling on lies, impurities, and abominable accusations only leaves us dry and even more thirsty than ever before. This is primarily why Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4 to meditate on pure and praiseworthy things.
The phrase "meditate on" comes from the Greek word λογίζομαι (logizomai). This word is derived from the word λόγος (logos) which has a few different meanings.
One meaning of λόγος is the mind's propensities of thought processing and evaluation of information (i.e. routine reasonings, logical thinking, and calculations).
Remember when we talked about the dangers of using logic based on our own knowledge earlier this week? Well, this is another example of where it's very important to make sure your mind and emotions are submitted to the Holy Spirit.
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (James 3:17)
It is absolutely imperative to understand that we alone cannot control our minds by our own strength. Our thoughts take residence in our minds and are desperately in need of this submissive, sincere, and merciful wisdom of the Lord. The only way we can get our flesh under control is by submitting it to God.
Another meaning of λόγος is the Word of God, or the Word's spoken by God. In fact, the very first verse in John uses this word λόγος three times.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Every capitalised "Word" is referring to the living Word of God. Christ Jesus is the Word, as we can see in John 1:14.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
Aha! So Jesus is the Word (λόγος) of God, and He came from the Father filled with grace and what? Truth! This brings us to a remarkable conclusion. Our λογίζομαι (our inward processing, evaluation, and meditation) is rooted in the λόγος of God which is Christ, the living Word of God.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:6-7)
Colossians 2:6-7 is a very quoted Scripture, and for good reason, but have you ever taken the moment to read the following verse, Colossians 2:8?
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
Hollow and deceptive philosophy is the world's way, and it's also what traps us in cages of self-reliance. The word hollow in its original Greek word has the meaning of being empty and completely bereft of truth. That right there should reveal something incredible.
This world screams for independence, believing in your SELF, trusting in your SELF, listening and following YOUR OWN heart. All of these worldly philosophies are devoid! They lack the loving and passionate grace and mercy of God who is much more trustworthy, dependable, and pure than our own hearts and minds. We're easily lead astray, but God knows the way! He knows the path set before us, and He secures our feet on stable ground!
"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2)
The world is the mud and mire of tricky deceit and conceited systems, but the firm place on which God places us is His trustworthy and pure Presence. So, my friends, next time the negativity of this world starts creeping in, make the choice! Choose to deny the world's worthless and destitute desires, and jump into the joyful arms of God the Father.
Let the everyday action of λογίζομαι fill you with the fullness of the Lord's grace and truth. Dwelling on knowledge doesn't have to result in worry and fear. Dwell on the knowledge that GOD holds all understanding! His thoughts are higher than ours, so we need not try to comprehend everything. Simply rest in the peaceful truth that God has all of this under HIS control.
May the truth, pureness, loveliness, and goodness of God abound in you today. Meditate on Him and all that He is. When our focus is on our own capabilities we become anxious, but when we focus on all that God can do, we become encouraged and inspired. Fix your eyes toward the λόγος of the Lord and let Him, the living pure Word of God, be the anchor of all your reasoning and dwelling. Be blessed, every one of you.
-The Introverted Evangelist
Photograph Taken By: Raphael