Friday, June 20, 2014

Chew the Cud

When I say the word memories are you filled with joy, or are you filled with regret? Did you know the Scriptures command us time and time again to remember? But God didn't just tell us to remember. He told us WHAT to remember. We are to remember His faithfulness, His goodness, His mercies, His lovingkindness, His commandments, His ways, His presence, His character, His forgiveness, etc. You see, God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us the ability to CHOOSE what we remember. We can choose what we dwell on. Like many of you, I have a lot of terrible memories. I used to let those memories consume me. They would awaken me in the middle of the night filled with terror.  I would find myself so distraught, sometimes to the point of not even wanting to function for the day. After a lot of wasted hours, I realized that the Lord desires for us to deal with our past and its memories and move on. Why revisit it over and over again? Why dwell on the injustice of it all? Why wonder why abusers go unpunished? What does it profit you? Does dwelling on these things bring justice or relief? Quite the contrary.
One of my very favorite portions of Scripture is Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS  (and weigh and take account these things [fix your minds on them]) ."
The human mind is so powerful. It can simply imagine a scenario and cause the feelings related to that scenario to arise within us. For example, if I am thinking of relaxing on the beach, reading a great book, I can sense the peace that would accompany that experience without even actually participating in it. The things we choose to meditate on take root in our hearts. This is why we are encouraged in the book of Philippians to think on good things, on Godly things. We can be filled with Godly emotions and His characteristics can fill us and flow out of us as we meditate on Him. You know the old saying, "Don't be so heavenly minded, you're no earthly good."?  Well, I encourage you to be so Heavenly minded (Godly minded) that you are of great earthly good. The Bible promises us in Isaiah 26:3 that He will keep us in perfect peace as our thoughts rest on Him. In other words, when you meditate on Godly things, He rewards you with peace.

To meditate means to ponder, regurgitate, think aloud, consider continuously and utter something over and over again. You've heard the phrase "chew the cud" referring to meditation. Well, chew the cud is referring to the process a cow uses to digest its food. It will chew it's food, swallow it, digest it and bring it back up again to re-chew, re-swallow, and re-digest. In this way the cow can extract ALL the nutrients and benefits from what they are eating.  I know this sounds disgusting but you can see a very important spiritual application here. When we meditate on the Word of God and the things of the Lord, we are chewing them, swallowing them and digesting them as spiritual food. And throughout our lives we bring back up those things that we have learned and we apply them repeatedly to our lives and thus extract all the great benefits and rewards of living a Godly life.

I challenge you today dear sister, dear brother, take authority over your thoughts, over your memories. Align them with Scripture and walk in newness of life.

Romans 12:2: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. "

1 comment: