This post appeared first on Jacqueline Heider’s blog at jacquelineheider.com.
Well, we’ve come to the end of our study on Philippians 4:8 and now it’s time to put everything we’ve learned into practice. I told you on the first week that when we got to the end of WHATEVER! I would show you how to replace the “Whatevers” with something extraordinary, so today that is exactly what I’ll do.
Let’s be honest! Many of the negative thoughts about ourselves, thoughts about others, worries, and vain imaginings that we have, come not from the light of Christ, but from the Prince of Darkness and our fleshly nature. These thoughts captivate us, lie to us, destroy relationships, and make us miserable. So, how can we “four-eight” these sinful attitudes of the heart and mind and come up victorious?
We can replace them with a very powerful weapon – PRAISE! That’s right. We can, in the very moment a WHATEVER! thought comes into our mind and before it is birthed on our tongue, choose to replace it with praise to God and ask Him to show us Truth.
Before we go any further though, let’s define praise. When referencing praise to God, praise simply means to call attention to God’s glory. To bless, extol, magnify, or commend God for who He is and what He has done.
Read these verses about praise:
- Psalm 100:4
- Psalm 95:2
- Exodus 15:11
- 2 Samuel 22:4
- 1 Chronicles 16:9
- 1 Chronicles 16:29
- 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
What do you learn about praise from these verses?
Our thoughts are conceived in one of the most powerful battlefields on earth – our minds! And because our thought-life can be an out and out war zone at times, we must use our most powerful weapon – praise. Here’s what praise does …
Praise takes us into God’s presence, and God’s presence sends the enemy running!
I want us to look at a passage of Scripture that illustrates this thought. It’s one of my favorite passages because it shows that praise truly does spark victory!
Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.
Take special notice of verse 15. The Lord said, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
And I say to you and to me, This battle of learning to control our ‘WHATEVER thoughts’ is not ours, it is God’s. We only need to heed the promises and commands of verse 17 … You will not need to fight in this battle, stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the lord on your behalf.
Here comes my favorite part. Did you catch what Jehoshaphat had the worshippers do in verse 21? He had them stand at the front of the army and sing praises to the Lord. Then in verse 22 the Lord began fighting for them. He set ambushes against their enemies and then confused the armies so they began fighting each other rather than Judah.
So how does this idea of using praise to spark victory work in our WHATEVER! moments? Here’s a real-life example.
Let’s say I’m having a negative thought about myself. I’m frustrated with my lack of organization at home, so I’m thinking all kinds of negative things about myself. Instead of continuing the negative thoughts, I can “four-eight” them and think on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. And the best way to start doing that is to begin thinking about God and how wonderful He is. So I stop and I praise Him. I say God, you are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely,commendable, excellent and worthy of all of my worship and praise. You are the creator of the world, and You created me for Your glory and honor. I desire to honor You in all things. I’m really down on myself right now God. Help me see what is lovely in me. Help me be more organized. Help me honor You in my home.
As you go through this time of worship (because that is what your WHATEVER! Moment becomes when you choose to praise God), you enter into God’s presence and repel the negative thoughts of the enemy or your flesh. You replace the ugly with the beautiful and turn your thoughts and your situation around.
Now, it’s your turn to put this into action. I encourage you to practice and practice this until it becomes your default in all situations. Don’t get discouraged, friend. This takes time. Go back and review our the last five devotions in this series. I’m still working on this and will be for a long while. But I truly believe we can defeat the WHATEVERS! if we will stand firm, praise our Lord Jesus, and watch the enemy run!
I’d love to hear your stories as you learn to replace your WHATEVER! Moments with praise. Comment below or email me!
Until next time, think on these things, my friend …
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8