This is an excerpt from a recent Daily Hope video. You can find all these videos and more on YouTube by searching “Brandon Cannon, Daily Hope.”
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:8-9
Did you have chores when you were growing up? Do you still have chores? I do. One of my chores is to take out the trash. I have had this chore since I was about 10 years old and I have never really enjoyed it. However, there was a season when I was a kid that I really, really hated it. This was a season when I was constantly at war with the neighborhood dogs. They didn’t actually go through the trash. They just thoroughly enjoyed knocking over the cans and spreading out the trash. This was really my fault because my parents would constantly admonish me to tie up the trash bags before placing them into the can. However, for whatever reason that is only rational to the mind of a teenager, I simply did not have the time to be bothered with such things. Instead, I quickly place the trash bags, unsecured, into the can and head on with whatever I deemed more important at the time. Then, later in the evening, my enemies would come, knock over the trash cans, and spread out the mess.
It took me a long time to notice that they never really messed with the bags that had been secured and tied off. They only messed with the ones that had been left open. The trash was also twice as nasty the second time I had to touch than the first. Eventually I learned that if I would prepare before the attack came, I would be spared a lot of trouble. I couldn’t always keep my enemies from attacking, but I could keep them from making a big impact. I think our minds are a lot like that. The enemy is going to attack our minds and do his best to not only steal our hope but also spread anxiety. What can we do? For one, we can prepare before hand by making sure we think on the list given to us above by Paul. He knows that the dogs are coming so he is trying to teach us how to ’tied up our minds’ with good thoughts and not be an easy target for the enemy. How about you? How can you prepare your mind beforehand so that when the enemy comes, you are ready? We cannot stop the enemy from attacking but we can make his job a lot more difficult by preparing before the battle. By the way, eventually I got the upper hand with those dogs. I got some cans with lids and locks.
- I will consciously focus on the good things of life today.
- I will prepare before the battle comes.
- I will make a list so that I am prepared.
“Thank you, God, for making me aware of the enemies schemes. This gives me the chance to stand up against his attacks with the weapons you have given me. I will think on the good things that bring hope and faith.”