Lesson 16: Things that are excellent.
In an age of sensory overload we are constantly bombarded with sights and sounds of things less than excellent. In the original language the word for excellence is aretē, and it means “a virtuous course of thought, feeling or action, virtue, moral goodness, as modesty, purity.” (Strongs, G703). There is a constant battle to elevate our minds, and in doing so our words and actions to levels beyond ourselves and the things this world has to offer. Excellence, as with any other train of thought, is a choice. Thankfully, we have help as Christ-followers.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
As you fast and pray during this 40 days, how excellent is your thought life? How are you harnessing the combined powers of the Word, the Spirit and the accountability of a few close friends to take captive negative, impure thoughts and free you to think positive, pure thoughts?
Charles Swindoll has reminded us, “The secret of living a life of excellence is really a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free.” Perhaps the better question, then, concerns what you are programming your minds with on a daily basis?
Program your mind through God’s Word. Program your mind through praise and worship. Program your mind through a refusal to view things that will prompt thoughts contrary to what the Spirit desires. Program your mind through being still, silent and letting God speak for a change. Program your mind through challenging reading on subjects that stretch your faith and your ability to communicate it to others. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s power to think with excellence and then purpose to do your part moment in moment, day by day surrender.