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Clarksville, TN – Satan didn’t try to force Eve into disobeying God. He simply maneuvered her into thinking about it. He suggested the benefits she should consider. Eve thought about them and then looked at the forbidden fruit with new interest. It looked good, but it always looked good. The fruit hadn’t changed. Only Eve’s thoughts had changed. Satan strategy worked then and it is still working now.
Evil forces have skillfully gotten us to believe we aren’t responsible for our thoughts. Educators and teachers have indirectly taught that man is responsible only for what he does with thoughts that come to him.Few have tried to explain where these thoughts originate. If a man can have that one flash, that one lustful moment, he is then willing to accept the teaching of Jesus and to cut off his immoral thoughts. Men have supported one another in this theology so they can continue to enjoy this brief disobedience to God.
The teaching comes in many different packages. “You can’t help what you think. After the thoughts comes to you then reject it. God will hold you accountable if you dwell on wrong thoughts. He knows we can’t keep from having such thoughts, but He requires that we cut them off as soon as we can.” These efforts are attempts to excuse us for directly and willfully disobeying God. Thoughts of adultery come from no place other than a man’s heart. We can’t blame the opposite sex, pictures, movies or our circumstances.
The prophets of the Old and New Testament have spoken. They have told us that God wants our hearts, minds, and imaginations to be morally pure. If an immoral thought is free to work in our minds for one brief second it is wrong. Consider that one second from God’s perspective. The Bible says one period of time can be as one thousand to Him. At that ratio an immoral thought that seems one second to us could be over an hour to God. Of course time isn’t the issue at all. God requires clean, pure, holy thoughts and our goal must be to become what he wants, no matter how much our old nature may resist.
The following are a few of the scriptures, which make it clear that Christians are responsible for thoughts that come unto their minds for any length of time:
1) Search me, O God and know my heart: try me, and know my THOUGHTS, and see if there be any wicked way in me (Psalm 139:23-24)
2) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I THOUGHT as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things (I Corinthians 13:11)
3) And Jesus knowing their THOUGHTS said, wherefore THINK ye evil in your hearts (Mathew 9:4)
4) For to be carnally MINDED is death, but to be spiritually MINDED is life and peace (Roman 8:6)
5) Let this MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
6) Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their MIND and conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15).
7) If a Levite comes… with all the desire of his MIND… then he shall minister in the name of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:6)
8) I know the things that comes into your MIND, every one of them… ye haven’t walked in my statues, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen, that are roundabout you (Ezekiel 11:5-12).
We as Christians may try to use the excuse that we can’t help it, but God has given us authority over our thoughts. We can decide what we want to think. God wants to restore in us the power to control the thoughts that flow through our minds. Man and woman in the beginning had total control over what they thought. Through the “fall” mankind lost that ability, and now the Holy Spirit wants to help us “renew our minds”.
Neatly, the mind has side stepped the issue. It has excused its actions so it can continue to do what it enjoys. The truth is we think what we want to think. The Bible makes us personally responsible for every thought we have. We were created by God, in His imagine as free moral agents. This is why God says, “Everyone shall give account of himself to God (Roman 14:2.)
The alcoholic continues to drink because he wants to. He may be aware that his body is suffering from the effects of alcohol, but he finds some way to excuse his acts. The person misusing drugs may know his mind and body are being destroyed, but he thinks, “I can’t help myself.” The Christian who thinks immoral thoughts usually knows he’s damaging his spirit. He feels guilty and wouldn’t want anyone to know, but he thinks, “I can’t help myself.”
Man has never been clever enough to disobey God and not eventually suffer the consequences. So often men think, I’ve thought wrong thoughts often, and nothing drastic happened. God is patient, kind, and longsuffering, but He can’t violate His own word. “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” (Galations6:7) Our natural mind does not want to be controlled by God? The Bible put it this way, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Roman 8:7). But by cleansing our thoughts we open the door to many things the Holy Spirit wants to do in our life.
We can hide our will over impure thoughts even from ourselves, but in times of great danger, problems, stress or death, what is hidden in the heart will surface. Sometimes when men and women seek a new relationship with the Holy Spirit, their expectations are even higher, and their guilt even greater, when immoral thoughts creep back into their minds.
Eventually, we have to face the reality that God has given us the responsibility of cleansing the thoughts of our hearts. The Holy Spirit and God’s word are available to help us, but each person must decide for himself what he will think and what he will imagine. Being created in God’s image requires that we be responsible for our thoughts.
The secret of learning how to have a clean mind requires two things: first, learn what the Bible says about the mind. Second, let God’s words move from our minds down into our hearts. To me the heart means the center of who I am. That “center” has to be convinced before I will make any important changes in my life.
Jesus said, “If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, it’s better for thee to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes and be cast into hell fire.” (Mark 9:47) In Matthew, Jesus went as far as to say that even wanting adultery was an act of adultery in God’s eyes. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”(Matthew 5:28) When a man or woman accepts Jesus as Savior, they are told, “We will come into Him, and make our abode with Him.” (John 14:23) If a man looks on a woman who has God living in her, and has adulterous thoughts, he is wanting to commit adultery with God’s temple.
If a man wants to be delivered from immoral thinking, he has abundant resources. The Bible has so much to say about God’s will on this matter, that if we meditate on these Scriptures frequently, the Holy Spirit will provide all the strength we need to flee this sin which God has spoken against so strongly. God said, “Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)
There are many scriptures that clearly say immoral thoughts and desires are forbidden by God and that He may bring severe suffering on those who disobey. Receiving Christ as Savior is much more than accepting Him with our minds. It must be a decision of our hearts. The decision is a compete surrender of self to Jesus as Lord.
Accepting the Holy Spirit as Lord of our thinking habits is more than a mental decision. It must be a complete surrender of our hearts. This decision commits us to a permanent stand against immoral thoughts. Once this complete commitment is made, the Holy Spirit then moves to help us do whatever we can’t do for ourselves.
We may wonder, “What happens if we make a commitment to God to think only clean thoughts, and then slip back into our old thoughts?” The answer is found in the very encouraging promise. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” (I John 1:9) John also assures us that when Jesus sets us free, we are free indeed!
Excerpt from Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths written by Richard “Reason” Garrett
Copyright © 2011 Liberated Publishing Inc
City Councilman Richard “Reason” Garrett has gained extensive business knowledge and negotiating skills as the Executive Director of the LEAP Organization. LEAP Org provides youth development services. As a licensed realtor for Keller Williams Realty, he is known for his tenacity, perseverance, honesty, and fairness. A proud APSU alum, Richard graduated with Honors with a Bachelors in Public Management.
Richard is a former active duty Marine, father of 4, and a husband with strong ties to the community. He is a graduate of Leadership Clarksville and a member of Clarksville Rotary, Clarksville Area Ministerial Association, Chamber of Commerce, Clarksville Association of Realtors Public Relations & Charity Relations Committees, and Clarksville Community Partners Group.
TopicsCreated to Believe, Created To Believe: The Power of Praise Through Practical Biblical Truths, Heart, Imagination, immoral thoughts, Liberated Publishing Inc, Reason, Richard "Reason" Garrett, Richard Garrett, Sin, thinking
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