Take Inventory.November 21, 2011
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
These traits (in bold) are faith’s focus. To “dwell” means, in this context, to “take inventory.” In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes that we are to “be anxious for nothing” and then, in verse 8, he gives the very steps and cure for worry: Dwell on or take inventory of these eight attributes. Imagine two shelves: one shelf full of anxiety-producing items and one full of peace-producing things. Don’t keep examining the peace-stealers—hurtful things people have done, shortcomings of the past, regretted actions. Instead, constantly write down and think about the incredible acts God has done in your life.
in•ven•to•ry – noun
A detailed, itemized list, report, or record of things in one’s possession, especially a periodic survey of all goods and materials in stock.*
Have you noticed that when you start worrying, your incentive to pray declines? Dwelling on the good equips you to avoid the pitfalls of worry, and when you trust God, His peace can guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:8). That’s why Paul emphatically writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). In Numbers 13, the Israelites murmured and chose to focus on the giants in the land, but Joshua and Caleb took account of the good report and held to the way of faith. Because of their faith, they saw the Promised Land. Anyone can shoot out words of doubt, but it’s a special individual who can speak faith in an overwhelming situation. That’s a person who has taken inventory of the faithfulness of God.
If you’re taking a worrisome approach to life, step back to a place of faith. The position of the believer is to forgive, forget what is behind, and move forward. Surround yourself with testimonies. Say, “God, You’re faithful; You will see me through.” This is not naïve optimism but courage because we know that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). As you meditate on God’s faithfulness, “The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Remembering God’s goodness,
Copyright © 2011 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. *The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.