October 24, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"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." Philippians 4:8
Many thoughts invade our minds to our dismay and regret. Satan infiltrates our mind with vain thoughts, and if encouraged by our imagination, run rampart on a disastrous moral course. Paul challenges us to "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
David was a victim of yielding to his vain lustful thoughts that was the cause of his fearful fall. His idleness opened the door to temptation, as he strolled onto his porch and saw Bathsheba taking a bath. The beauty of her body stimulated lustful desires, and David began to plan the adultery. He was not in control of his thoughts, but was receptive to Satan's cunning and insidious ways. The consequences of his sin left scars on his life ever afterward.
Paul recognizes the frailty and weakness of our mind to be easily influenced and persuaded to yield to our fallen nature, and subtly attracted to fleshly desires, and those actions that appeal to our ego and self-gratification. He says in so many words, "Don't be carried away by your imagination, don't let your base nature run its course, which seeks to exalt and crave those things that satisfy our selfish nature." Paul says, "Cast down imaginations," turn from the alluring attractions that have but shallow earthly values and of no eternal value. They are deceiving, disarming, and detrimental to your spiritual journey. He challenges us to think clearly, soberly, and godly...and admonishes us to focus our minds on things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, things of virtue and praise. THINK ON THESE THINGS!
WHY? Because those malicious thoughts exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and lead us away from all God wants to do in and through our lives. You might say, "I think I can handle my thoughts. I'm the master of my ship, no one is going to control my thinking." Paul said, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he stand, take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). Satan's approach is to make us think WE can handle whatever we encounter in OUR strength. We must realize we are up against an enemy that is greater, wiser, stronger, more powerful, and more determined than we are, and his chief end is our defeat and destruction.
We need to be discerning in this liberal free-thinking world, where man puts SELF on the throne of his life, where Christ has been destined to rule as LORD. We are lulled to sleep, not realizing "our heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9), "...for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts" (Matthew 15:19). From the evil promptings of our heart proceed our thoughts that control our attitude, and our attitude controls our actions.
Paul says we must engage these destructive thoughts and CAST THEM DOWN, bring them under control by the power of the Holy Spirit. Think on things that will be uplifting, productive, stimulating, positive, encouraging, and glorifying to God. Seek to have the "mind of Christ," so we will walk in obedience to Christ.
David said, "I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned to your statues. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands" (Psalm 119:58-60).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-24
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