Everywhere we go we are bombarded with "stuff"! Especially "stuff" that others want us to be aware of. Whether we want to be made aware of it or not has no bearing on anything. Sometimes I feel as if I should be walking around with my eyes shut! Some of the "stuff" I am confronted with is trying to pull me in directions I don't want to go. It is telling me to do things I don't want to do, and attempting to influence my thinking in areas that go against my upbringing and what I know to be right. Everywhere I go, fiction is being sold as truth, stories are told only from one point of view, and often these stories are slanted to suit the teller's desired aim.
Remember the movie "The Da Vinci Code"? A totally fictitious movie based on a novel (fiction made up) by author Dan Brown in which a murder mystery ends in a search for the Holy Grail. In this movie / book, Brown refers regularly to Biblical characters, and writes those characters into places and situations of his own imagining, that have no bearing on historical truth whatsoever.
To this day people will totally discredit the Bible after having seen this movie. They see it more as a historically accurate Documentary Drama than the fictitious story it was written as.
Why do we do that? Why do we so often take a story of fiction and presume it as truth? Is it that we have a need to believe in the unbelievable? Is it that it is written in such a way that in our minds this is conceivable, therefore it must be true? Or is it simply that because it is written about a historical character it must be true, whether history confirms it or not.
As a Christian, that would lead me to ask: then why is it so hard to believe the Bible, which has amazing and fantastic stories which are historically true and accurate accounts of God's chosen people and their journey to the ultimate promise of God?
One of my teachers in high school used to talk about the GIGO affect; Garbage In, Garbage Out.
What we take in, we put out. The Bible puts it this way: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" Prov 23:7.
I also like what Jesus says in Luke 6:43-45:
“ For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
What goes in, sooner or later has to come out. And this applies not only to the food we eat, but to everything we take into our bodies. What we see, what we listen to, what we read, what we imagine and dwell upon. When we take something in (digest it, whether physical or through sight, sound and thought), sooner or later it will affect and become part of who and what we are.
Years ago as a teenager, I was listening to some fairly heavy metal rock music. The music and lyrics were anything but honouring to God. As I lay there on my bed, letting the music feed my soul as it were, I began to get a heaviness on me. I had never experienced it before and have never experienced it since. It was like a huge heavy weight had descended on my body and it felt like it literally trying to push me through the mattress. It became difficult for me to even breathe. This was such an oppressive force, it really frightened me. With all the strength I could muster I started to call on the name of Jesus. Not much came out of my mouth at first, but as I kept calling out His name, each time the words came out easier and I felt lighter and soon the oppression left me all together. I destroyed the tape, and never listened to that music again.
What am I saying? Be careful of what you allow yourself to take in. The things I watch on TV or the Internet. The magazines and books I read. The music I listen to. The games I play. The conversations I sometimes am a part of. All these have an effect and are Part of the makeup of who I am and what I become. The jails are full of people who ended up there because of the influence that some form of media had on them.
In the Hebrew, the word Meditate has several meanings /uses: to ponder: — imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, utter; to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot.
When we dwell on something for a time or repeatedly think about it, when we constantly bring it to mind, we are meditating.
Last week I had something happen to me that was grossly unfair. For days all I could think about was this circumstance and how it was affecting me. The more thought I gave it, the worse it became in my own head! Why? Because it was my meditation. Instead of taking it to God, and focusing on the Holy Solution Provider, I was becoming obsessed with the unfairness of the situation. It made me angry, it made me upset, it completely consumed my thinking.
What we Dwell on
Whether we think so or not, when you look at the meanings of the term, we meditate all the time. We need to re-train our thinking to honour God, and to benefit our own bodies. A negative meditation will have a negative effect on our whole being. (I'm sure as you read this you can think of people who constantly seem to be depressed or in the doldrums). In the same way when we allow ourselves to meditate on the good stuff, (the God-stuff) it completely changes our whole being. The great thing is that when we meditate on the Answer, the answer is not far away!
Look at these scriptures:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
1 Timothy 4:13-16
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Meditate on These Things
8 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.
Have a great week!
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