As I draw inspiration from Ellicott’s Commentary for English readers on this Scripture, Paul draws to a conclusion, in a comprehensive exhortation to stand fast in all that is good on the foundation which he had laid in the name of Christ. The exhortation is marked by the reiteration of affectionate earnestness, in which, however, we may (as always) trace an underlying method. In each pair of attitudes there seems to be reference both to an inner reality and to the outward development, by which it is at once manifested and perfected. In both, Paul would have us grow up to perfection.
What we are supposed to think on whatever is true, honourable, worthy of respect, right, confirmed by God’s Word, pure, wholesome, lovely, brings peace, admirable, of good repute, of excellence, and of worthy of praise. When I understood this filter for my thoughts, it decluttered my mind and brought a lot of peace in my life.
So when I look into my past and see the fall or the tragedy that led me to my current situation, I use the filter. The devil will try one many times to bring condemnation and guilt because that is his nature. The only way to send him on his way away from you is by using this filter. A thought may come to my mind, “Oh God does not care for you, where is He now when you are going through all this suffering?” I immediately ask myself, is that statement true? Is it confirmed by the Word of God? Does it bring peace? And when the answer is no, I just cut off the thought pattern because that is not what God has asked me to think about.
When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he twisted the Scriptures. Because of our orientation to the life of Jesus through movies, we tend to think that the devil appeared as the two horned vampire looking demon. Far from it, Jesus was tempted in the same manner as we are. It was through those thoughts that embed themselves in our minds and hearts and refuse to go away. The only response they understand is the Word of God. So Jesus said in response to the temptation, “It is written…” I encourage you to let the Word of God dwell in you richly so that you have something to say back to the devil during your hour of temptation.
“Go away Satan, it is written…”