How to Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind Philippians 4 8 Use #Philippians48 to fight with #SpiritualWarfar and #LoveTheLordYourGod with all your mind. This will bring #AnxietyRelief and #PeaceOfMind with #ChristianLiving

How to Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind: Philippians 4:8

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Can I shoot straight with you? Every New Year pulls me into the culture craze to set goals and reset priorities.  And I really do stick with it for a few months… then the Summer hits and I get lax in my commitment.  When Fall slides on the scene I realize I’m barely having a quiet time at all and guilt finds me.  Can you relate? 

What happened to that New Year renewed energy? I do have a deep desire to love God more – but I need help staying focused all year.

Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment”

A few Years ago I had an Aha Moment as Summer turned into Fall and my quiet time was dry and sporadic.  It’s not enough to know the greatest command in scripture – to Love God will all my heart, soul, and mind – I need help to fulfill that Command.  I need help to love God with my mind and stay the course.

We’ve talked this year about this passage (Click on the words in the verse to go back and refresh your memory if you need too – I’ll wait).  We talked about Loving God with our Heart.  Then we covered what a soul is and how to love with our Soul.

But How do you love God with all your mind?

Can I love with my mind?  That just seems… Well, it sounds hard…  and there goes that renewed energy from all my New Year’s resolutions!

The problem is that my mind gets filled up with a lot of stuff.  Can you relate?

  • To Do lists
  • Lists of things I never get to
  • expectations I fall short of
  • Expectations I’m angry at hubby for falling short of
  • writing ideas
  • a bit of jealousy over things I missed out on
  • fear of all the things I could be missing out on

And Anxiety…  My mind turns to goo sometimes when this very unrelenting mental illness strikes!

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Can I ask you a question? 

Do those things (that fill our minds) show God love?

A mind is a tricky place, but I am learning to take my thoughts captive and replace them with thoughts that honor God – One Thought At A Time.

Philippians 4:8  is an amazing verse that tells us exactly what thoughts show God love.  Don’t you love it when the Bible gives clear direction!?!?!

I really enjoy a good word study (Can you tell?).  Word studies help me go slow with my Quiet time and better understand what I’m reading.  I get to know God so much better when I understand the Bible (instead of just reading it fast to check that task off my Religious To-Do list).

A Recap of Philippians 4:8  broken down word by word.

Click on the words to study with me and find practical ways to apply each word to your thought life.

  • Finally, brethren, whatever is…
    • This piece focuses on what types of thoughts we can change.
  • True
    • Is this thought Factually True or filled with emotion?
  • Honorable
    • Is this thought of the highest Opinion of the person or situation?
  • Just
    • Is this thought of the Right or Righteous things to do?
  • Pure
    • This is all about Fighting the Enemy for Purity of thought in a sex-saturated culture.
  • Lovely
    • Is there an acceptable, pleasing quality to this thought about that person or situation?
  • Of good repute
    • If this thought left my mouth, would it ruin a friendship or the persons’ reputation?
  • If there is any excellence
    • Is that Thought Morally Good?  How do we know what is Morally Good?
  • and if anything worthy of praise,
    • Does this thought lead me toward Worshiping God?
  • dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB)
    • We’ll finish off with this bit today 😉

Is it really possible to Love God with All of My Mind?

This seems like one of those Church questions.  The answer should be Yes, by just trusting God more.  Right?!?!?

But raise your hand if you (like me) need a real answer to walk out and live in…

Yes, our Mind can love God.  Our thoughts can glorify and honor God.  But How?  To get there we need to focus on that last phrase.

dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB)

Dwell is not a word we use much today.  When I think about it, dwell puts in my mind a home.

  • My home is where I dwell.
  • I live there
  • I spend most of my time there.
  • The things and people I love most are there.
  • There is value in the place I dwell.

But I can’t dwell in a thought… Or can I?

How to Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind Philippians 4 8 pinIt Use #Philippians48 to fight with #SpiritualWarfar and #LoveTheLordYourGod with all your mind. This will bring #AnxietyRelief and #PeaceOfMind with #ChristianLiving

What does it mean to dwell on the thoughts that Love God with all your Mind?

To dwell (as the Apostle Paul said it) means to calculate, to weigh, to meditate on those thoughts.

Hm…  Meditate is a word that comes up in the scripture a lot – have you noticed?

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

To Dwell or Meditate on those thoughts means – we should be continually thinking through the good thoughts; (the true thoughts, the honorable thoughts, the just thoughts, the pure thoughts, the lovely thoughts, the friendly thoughts, the excellent thoughts, and the praiseworthy thoughts).  When we do, it will leave no room in our mind – or time in our days – to dwell on the negative things that destroy our Peace.

How to Dwell on Good thoughts and love God will all your Mind?

All of that sounds well and good but I love a good example don’t you?  Let’s take my Marriage for an example.

Did you know it’s with permission that I share about my Marriage regularly at HopeJoyInChrist?  The hope is that if our mistakes can help at least one other couple – God will be glorified.

Work is a common issue in a Millennial Marriage

Going into this Marriage I knew my husband had not finished High School and struggled to hold down a job for long stretches.  At the time – starey eyed and optimistic – I was sure it didn’t matter.  I was a workaholic on a career path – ambitious and self-motivated.  Can you relate?

It took a few years to realize the drain this revolving door of jobs was having on him and me.  The thoughts in my head were nasty – certainly not peaceful.  And those thoughts came out of my mouth regularly.

When our youngest was born we decided it would be best if I stayed home for a few years to raise the kids.  Talk about a trust fall.  How could I stay at home if he couldn’t hold a job?

That was about the time all the pieces began to fall apart in our Marriage.  They were barely holding together as it was, but the demands of motherhood took any ability I had left to fight spiritually.

Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment?  

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One of the biggest problems at the time was my Anxiety.

I struggle with Anxiety, but alone all day with kids left too much room in my mind for negative thoughts to seep in – and they were left unchecked.

It wasn’t until I began to practice Philippians 4:8 (and forgive my husband) that things changed.

This is how I applied the process:

  • Finally, brethren, whatever is…
    • Every single thought that came into my mind about Bud was taken captive and examined the first few weeks.
  • True
    • Emotional thoughts like “He should be able to do this by now” and “We’ll end up homeless if I depend on him to provide” were given no room.
    • True thoughts were written down so I could replace the bad.  “He is trying to find a good job” “He loves us and is doing his Best”  “God will take care of the gaps he can’t cover – because He always Has provided for us“.
  • Honorable
    • Low opinion thoughts were given no space
    • I had to brainstorm for a long while to find thoughts that held a good opinion of him.  “He put himself back through High School to do better.”  “He hasn’t just left us but is still trying to figure this out.”  Honorable thoughts.
  • Just
    • I wanted to lash out at him everytime he changed jobs – because it hurt our family.  But anytime a vengeful thought came I stopped it in its tracks.
    • Instead, I reminded myself that God had called us to this new life (as a Stay at Home Mom) and that was the right thing for our family.  Also, that God was still in control and would be growing hubby through each hard situation.
  • Pure
    • As you can imagine, I had no desire for him for a time – because all I thought about him was bad.
    • I had to commit to not think of anyone else (no books or movies to distract me here) and pray for God to heal this area of our marriage.
  • Lovely
    • Looking deeper than the outside was also hard because all I saw were the bad things.
    • Instead of seeing his ratty clothes on Sunday I had to look into his heart and be thankful he would go to church sometimes.  Instead of criticizing the mistakes he made at work I had to listen to see what that revealed about his character – I saw him as a just person highly offended when others are taken advantage of.  All lovely things about who he is as a man.
  • Of good repute
    • He did not have a good reputation in my mind.  I thought only of all his faults.  To stop this was so hard but I said to myself “If I wouldn’t say this out loud I can’t think it either.”
    • Instead of anger about his job hopping, I thought of the day he was saved.  Instead of anger at his lax parenting style, I thought of him sitting to read a story to the girls.  Slowly but surely I thought good things about him.
  • If there is any excellence
    • A wife I see all his moral failures.  It’s easy to focus there.  But honestly I also fail morally and I had to learn to extend him grace.
    • When a thought came about his mistakes I remind myself Christ died to forgive him and I should too.  And I focused on the small areas I was seeing him grow – they are there if you look hard enough.
  • and if anything worthy of praise,
    • When my task-driven thoughts or critical thoughts had gone too far – I struggled to shut them off.
    • Instead, I would read a scripture (I keep them taped up in many rooms of the house) or turn on a Worship Playlist from YouTUbe to redirect myself (Works every time!)

I’d love to hear how you Love the Lord with all Your Mind in the comments below!

in HIM,

Tiffany

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany is a wife and mother who is passionate about Encouraging and Equipping Women through Biblical Discipleship.

7 thoughts to “How to Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind: Philippians 4:8”

  1. I love this, Tiffany! I am actually leading a Bible study on this right now at my church. Would you mind if I used this as one of the lessons?

    1. Not at all. That is why I write. I teach a lot of this at our church 😉 This is the last in a series on the great commandment that lead us into Philippians 4:8 to better understand loving God with our minds. So glad it blessed you!

  2. These are some great thoughts! It is not easy to capture every thought, BUT it is probably one of the most crucial skills we can develop!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I know it must be hard to be honest about the thoughts you had about your husband but it helps those of us who might have had similar thoughts to know we are not alone. Not only that but you showed us how you got OUT of that habit. Awesome.

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