by Marcus M.
What if I told you that you were going to get into one of the biggest fights of your life? Who or what would your opponent be? How would you imagine him, her, or it? Now what if I told you that one of your toughest opponents wasn’t even external to yourself however it was your former self, how you used to think, your old desires, your worldly wants. Our old mindset as believers in Jesus can present the most challenges in our walk with Christ. Our Father in heaven actually cares about the way we think, and what we choose to allow our minds to dwell on. It isn’t okay to fantasize about things that we know are not pleasing to God. This includes lust, fear, doubt, and unbelief which are all sins of the mind before they even become an action. Jesus said whoever looks at a woman to lust after has already committed adultery with her in his heart. See everything starts with a thought in the mind first before it reaches the hand and becomes an action. Jesus is God and He knows the makeup of His creation. The book of James chapter 1 verse 13-15 reads
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:13-15
Before sin is physically manifested it starts out as lust (or any selfish desire). God’s Word testifies of this truth. If we want to overcome sin, worry, or dead faith, it is time to start taking our thought life very seriously. We have to literally wage war on all negative sinful thinking. God has not only given us the power and ability to have victory over the flesh and our old nature but we also have the grace to overcome the devils mental attacks as well. As soon as a thought that falls short enters into our minds we must take that thought captive! We cannot be passive when it comes to this. Our thoughts must be intentional. If our God and Father tells us to be anxious for nothing then we shouldn’t allow our bank accounts, jobs, and certain relationships consume our thoughts. If The Bible describes a disciple of Jesus as more than a conqueror, then we must reject a victim’s mentality. These thoughts should not be allowed to take up real estate in our minds. Scripture clearly tells us to “cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5. According to the aforementioned scripture we will have thoughts that try to enter into our minds that are against God and His Word, however when those thoughts come we are supposed to actively cast them down and take them captive! Some of us wouldn’t dare let a person talk to us any kind of way. Some of us would check that person quick (which most of the time is prideful by the way). However we need to have that same mentality when it comes to thoughts that try to enter into our minds when we KNOW they aren’t of Christ. Check those thoughts immediately. It is literally a fight. These wicked imaginations oftentimes are birthed from the things we take in on a daily basis.
Television shows, movies, magazines, social media pages, you name it. The devil has something for everyone. What are you feeding your mind regularly? If those messages don’t have an effect on the way you think and in many cases act, you are kidding yourself. The eyes are the windows to the soul (or mind) and gazing at the wrong things can corrupt us. In addition to the things that we taken passively, our thoughts can be corrupted by engaging in the wrong conversations with the wrong people. Yes gossip corrupts the mind. Scripture tells us to speak evil of know man (Titus 3:2). Participating in gossip and even passively lending an ear to it can have a negative impact on how we view other image bearers of God. Which is a skewed view of the person most of time. Gossip is evil and God hates it, it should be avoided at all cost.
Now with that being said, controlling our thoughts doesn’t stop at preventing wicked imaginations, it also includes intentionally thinking good things. There should literally be a list of things that you can dwell on that are positive, uplifting, and encouraging to your soul. Some examples are the birth of your child, spending time with a loved one, answered prayer, receiving a random act of kindness, show compassion, and most importantly meditating on the Lord Jesus Christ and His goodness. The Word of God literally commands us to think this way. Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” You see, your thought life is an active fight that is real and God and satan knows that there is a fight for your mind first before either righteousness or sin becomes a reality. Knowing this, be a “blessing counter” today and fight selfish unclean thoughts and desires, spend time in prayer, and watch how God operates in your life.