I don’t know about you, but sometimes I see a long list of characteristics and traits in the Bible and struggle to slow my brain down enough to reflect on each word.
It’s easier to skim over the entire list and continue forward to the next sentence.
Enter the Acrostic – a delightful creation that pulls the first letter from each intended word and uses it to form a memorable message.
Today I started reading Philippians 4:8 and realized the robust nature of the list Paul gives us of things to think on.
Why are they so important?
Well, in the previous verses Paul is talking about how to avoid anxiety – by prayer and petition – and reminds us of Christ’s peace that passes all understanding, which is capable of guarding our hearts and minds. (Read more about guarding our hearts here.)
Then he tells us, finally…
As in, here’s the conclusion.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t be anxious”, but it’s more helpful to point to the practical.
Philippians 4:8 is Paul’s practical, and its a powerful practical, at that!
As I reflect on this, it stood out to me that Christ’s peace doesn’t come when we allow the anxiety to run rampant in our hearts and minds.
Anxious falsehoods first need to be booted out.
When we read in 2 Corinthians 10:5 of “taking thoughts captive” its really an active, aggressive approach, and it fits with the concept of spiritual warfare as well as with clearing out the crud rolling around in our inner beings. (Read more about taking thoughts captive here.)
Choosing to fix our thoughts on things that are…
…Is choosing to align our thoughts in obedience to Christ.
It’s from this place of Christ-centered obedience that His peace can dwell with us, and even more so, stand guard around us.
So, here it is: My Acrostic to actively engage in the battlefield of my mind.
Never Let The Enemy Pluck A Precious Root
Clever? Kinda, actually! But honestly, as long as it does the job – equipping my brain to reset from “funk-mode” and blast ahead in the truth of God’s Word that has the power to transform us from the inside out.
This acrostic has a nice ring to it, and reminds me of a few things:
- The preciousness of truth, hope, and love that Christ has rooted in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
- The abhorrent nature of the enemy, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
- The power each of us have, in Christ, to stomp on that evil snake rather than let him win.
So I can recite it when my mind and heart feel burdened and heavy, and therein also recite the list of things to think on instead.
- Never – Noble
- Let – Lovely
- The – True
- Enemy – Excellent
- Pluck – Pure
- A – Admirable
- Precious – Praiseworthy
- Root – Right
(Pardon the pun, but I had to…)
Knowing the list is one step closer to freedom. The final step is choosing to replace the unwanted thoughts with those that line up with these truths.
Time to walk it out! And watch the victory – that’s already been won for you – come alive!
Be blessed, Friends!