Mind over Matter



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Philippians 4:8–9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


The mind is a powerful tool. We know that where the mind leads, our bodies and actions will follow. When we dwell on areas of temptation and hold on to ideas that direct us in ways that are not holy, our entire lives can be dismantled because sin has already taken root. Yesterday we saw how the enemy will use regret to get us off course, and today we see that he can use the thoughts in our minds to do the same.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he addresses a problem we all have, controlling our minds. Like an unattended toddler, our minds can get into trouble within seconds. We get distracted. We see something exciting. We get bored with what we have and—poof—our mind has latched on to something it shouldn’t have. The best way to steer a child away from what will harm them is to put something better in front of them. Remove the heirloom crystal bowl and replace it with a sturdy interactive book. Turn off the television show full of violence and replace it with education or music.

The Philippian church was one of the first churches Paul started in Eastern Europe and they were facing opposition. Paul wanted to remind them that their lives were to be an expression of Jesus and so they needed to keep their minds focused on Christ. If they could guard their minds, their actions would follow—they needed to cling to thoughts that were true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. This would be a common encouragement of Paul. He told other believers to “set your minds on things above” (Col. 3:2), “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5), and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).

Jesus also knew the power of our thoughts to lead us either toward Him or away from Him. When Jesus healed the paralytic who was lowered through a roof by his friends, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to question in their minds how Jesus could forgive sins. Though they did not address Jesus directly, He knew their thoughts and chastised them saying, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?” (Luke 5:22).

Jesus is everything Paul listed for the Philippians beginning with the truth. If we are to be altar’d by the Holy Spirit, we must surrender our thoughts and grasp hold of the truth of Jesus. When you begin to feel your mind wander, pull your focus back to Paul’s encouragement and ask yourself if your mind is over all other matter.


Lord, our minds so often wander. We are tempted by what we see and what we hear, but we also know that You are the way, the truth, and the life. Guide our minds back to You so that what we do is a reflection of where we have focused our minds. Amen.


What thoughts are crowding out the truth of God’s words? In what ways have your thoughts kept you from being fully committed to Jesus and what can you do this week to replace those thoughts with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. All of us are tempted in some way to dwell on something other than Christ and his Holy will for our lives. When we give in to that temptation, we provide a foothold for a demonic force to take hold and lead us astray. Personally, I find it hard to flee from all the constant bad news available on the internet. I don’t want want to bury my head in the sand, but on the other hand it’s so easy to take in way too much toxic information from the internet. Much of this stuff is nothing more than cleverly designed “fear porn”. It’s purpose is to distract us from thinking on the things that Paul lists in this letter to the church at Philippi, in order to turn away from Christ, and from engaging in Kingdom expansion. I believe the best way to prepare against these Satanic attacks is to be an active participant in some sort of small group gathering such as a class or band.

  2. Jesus didn’t rise just to make you wise. He rose so that through “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” you can rise to whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy and let Him empower you to put it into practice. Jesus didn’t rise to hide in distant skies. He rose so you can gaze at Him with your inner eyes and make His presence your prize.

  3. Being IN Christ, the devil’s authority is kaput. Yet, he still has His power of influence to separate us from God in our minds moment by moment.
    Worry, anxiety, stress, and fear are his favorite darts.
    Philippians 4:8 starts with, “Finally.”
    What is before “finally?”.

    Phillians 4:1-7
    Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
    I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Stand firm.
    Book of Life.
    Rejoice always in the Lord.
    Pray instead of worry,
    Be gentle and thankful.
    IN Christ, God’s peace becomes the force field of our hearts and minds.
    When the evil one bombards our minds with defeated thoughts, don’t let them linger. They will become thought squatters. Give them to the Lord and watch them float toward heaven, disappearing into the sun, The Son!

    Staying 💪’n Christ
    Ephesians 6:10
    Finally, be strong IN the Lord and IN His mighty power.

  4. Think of a triangle. On each tip of the triangle is a different word. At the top is “Thoughts”, next, “Feelings”, next, “Actions”. Also seen as “Head”, “Heart” and “Hands”. When we seek out a posture that is focused directly on God’s word and His call for us to draw near to Him, our thoughts will then affect each of the other two things.

    Posture is the crux of our opening prayer of consecration.

    When you think upon these things… is where it all starts.

    Be blessed today my sisters and brothers in Christ.

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