Stop! Check Inventory!

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, 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. (NIV)

For years, it has been a pattern. Evening comes, it's time to get ready for bed, and into my mind come memories and thoughts from the day or the past. Every one is tainted by hurt, and at its heart, by self-pity or my desire for self-justification. Then, with my mind in turmoil, comes the struggle to get to sleep.

In a recent Bible study, as we discussed the enemy's work of robbing us of peace, suddenly, Ted broke in, declaring, "Stop! Check inventory!" He gave counsel: he, you, and I — we have all faced trials and attacks. The hurt that these caused is very real, and our memories can recall the pain in all its intensity. But when old resentments and fears come up, the enemy is putting a wedge between us and God, robbing us of peace. So, first, let's stop! Just stop! And next, let's check our inventory! — God's promises in His Word, preserved for all His children, which includes us. When we are stung by hurt, we often forget that He has given us an inventory of words of comfort and wisdom, which speak to our very situation. What verses have we already memorized, because they touch us deeply? We need to think of them again. Would the anguish and the faith expressed by the psalmists remind us that we are not alone? His Word promises that the Lord "will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6b and 8b NIV) How often I have needed to stop and remember that Jesus, in His death and resurrection, has already freed us from the power of the past, and we do not need to go back there again!

Paul's words in today's verse are not a suggestion that we try to hide in a never-never land of nice fantasies. It is instead a command and a divinely-inspired counsel to turn deliberately from old habits and patterns, and to rely upon what God promises and what Christ has done for us. Jesus said, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36 NIV) He did. We are.

Prayer: Loving Father, help us to turn, in Your strength, from old patterns to find new life in Your words, and thus, to grow each day to be more like Your Son. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Amen Don!


    May we do just that, Don.


    Thanks for this meaningful writing.


    I appreciate your devotional today and thank you for sharing.


    Now that is a powerful reminder – well put. Thank you so much for this, just when I needed it most.


    Dear Don Lipsett,
    Thank you for a very helpful devotional, and right with the GOOD NEWS of salvation.


    Dear Don – this phrase is very helpful and your whole devotional continues to make the point of peace. Wonderful for me today.


    Don, Philippians 4: 4-9 has been showing up a lot in the last few days! You think maybe God is trying to get His point across? Yep, I do too. Thanks for writing this devotional. Blessings.


    Don, thank you for the reminder to remember scriptures of comfort when experiencing hurt and attack. I needed to hear today that Jesus has freed me from the pain of the past! God bless you.


    Thank you, Don. You reminded me that several years ago I created an acronym from this important verse: PLANTREP, a nonsense word for pure, lovely, admirable, noble, true, righteous, excellent, praiseworthy. A quick utterance of it can get me back on track.


    Good morning Don,
    Good devotional this morning. You touched me with your words. I often think of all the things I have done in my life and it seems that the “Not so good” (Bad?) always seem to surface first. Yet I know that I have been forgiven, through the death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. I wish that the good things I have done would crowd out the bad.
    Thank you for writing.


    Greetings Don,
    Many thanks for writing this very meaningful devotional this morning. Yes, we can get so much comfort reflecting on the thoughts and words of God’s ever-present love for us. The abundance of His grace and mercy is readily available when we call on Him. Truly He will “never fail or forsake us”.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)