Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
Relate: I’m working my way through a 21 day partial fast with my church back in NY right now and one of the things I personally cannot eat at the moment is apple pie. Fortunately, that isn’t something very easy to buy here in Turkey but I can actually make a pretty mean pie all on my own. To avoid the urge to do so, no matter what happens I am not going to think about apple pie. You shouldn’t either. Don’t think about apple pie. Don’t even imagine the apples being picked straight off the tree and then cored, cut and peeled. Whatever you do, don’t think about them being cooked to a crisp softness in an apple cinnamon glaze. Don’t think of the smell that would be wafting through the closed door of the oven as that apple pie is baked to perfection. Whatever you do, keep from imagining yourself sitting on a stool next to the oven waiting for the timer to ring as a means of letting you know that your hot apple pie is finished. Pretend you are not thinking about the way the aroma of cooked apples has permeated every nook and cranny of the house as that apple pie now sits on top of the oven cooling. Don’t even think about what it would be like to break your fork into that first piece and, as it is still steaming, raise it to your lips. Don’t think about apple pie.
React: So how did you do? What were you thinking about? If I were to really want to stop thinking about apple pie, I would have to think about something else. Or better, if I didn’t want to eat it I would grab something else to eat instead. Perhaps a nice juicy mid rare steak lightly seasoned with… well, you get the idea. (Problem is, I can’t eat that right now either.)
All too often we deal with temptation the same way we try to avoid eating apple pie. We know that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil but we are constantly thinking about money and finances, even if only to tell ourselves how bad it is. We know we shouldn’t snap at our spouse, but were dwelling on their faults all day long. Instead of thinking about all the reasons why we shouldn’t think about certain things, why not instead dwell on something better? Before the psalmist asks God to help him think and speak on the right things, he gives us a great list of better things we can fill our minds and conversation with. The law of the Lord is perfect. The testimony of the Lord is sure. The statutes of the Lord are right…
Help me to hunger for You more than the things I have stuffed my life with that have made me sick, fat, and lazy. Help me to fill my mind and life with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Saturate me with You.