VILLATORO: Play the mind game to win

By Tracy Villatoro

Worship Leader, Victory Church Odessa

Most everyone knows this scripture:

Philippians 4:8-9 (ERV) “Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right, and pure, and beautiful and respected. And do what you learned and received from me – what I told you and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.”

Now, read this same scripture, but in The Message:

Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message) “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard, and saw, and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.”

The Message makes it stand out, and come alive, a lot more, doesn’t it?

First, we need to “fill” our minds with the things listed above. We need to fill our minds with “the BEST, not the worst.” I am not saying that every person who fills their mind with the worst is a complainer, but rather every complainer fills their mind with the worst. We have all complained, and during those times, we were filling our minds with the worst, such as thinking that nothing is going to work out right, feeling like everyone is against us, or believing that no one cares about us, or is listening to us.

Second, we need to “meditate” on these things. Look at each word(s) above, and meditate upon it. Think about what is true in your life that is good. Don’t meditate on something negative, or something that you are worried about. Meditate on beautiful things, not on ugly things. We need to be full of praise.

Third, after filling our minds with good things, and meditating upon them, now we need to “put into practice” (do) what we have learned from the Lord. Instead of dwelling on bills that you cannot pay, fill your mind with scriptures about the provision of God. Meditate on the fact that He has always taken care of you, that “He will never leave you, or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). If all you can think about is how bad your boss treats you, or even your children, or husband/wife, replace that thought with a different thought that is good. Start thanking and praising God that He loves you! Thank Him for the clothes, food, and job that you have. “Read and meditate upon the Word day and night” (Joshua 1:8).

Result: The Lord will give you peace! You will physically, and emotionally, feel better now that you are no longer thinking or meditating on bad or negative things. This is what makes you a mature spiritual person.