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Powerful Thoughts and Passions
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Do you at times have powerful thoughts that come as a flash into your mind which you know are not pleasing to God? Sadly, those wrong thoughts and passions are a part of our lives. Usually they are in the form of fantasies. Sexual gratification. Hurting somebody. Conquest. Grabbing money. Escape or running away. Whatever it is, you know that these thoughts and passions, if carried out in real life, will only damage yourself or others.
Yet these seductive, destructive, and evil thoughts may still linger into your mind. It's evidence of how sin has deeply embedded itself into our human nature and condition. This is where James brings up the idea of "personal responsibility" when he writes, " ...each one is tempted when, by his own desire, he is dragged away and enticed." (James 1:14). Paul says we're personally responsible when he reminds us that the natural man gratifies "the cravings of our sinful nature ... following its desires and thoughts" (Ephesians 2:3).
However, those wrong thoughts and passions may also be instigated by the evil one and influenced by the values of the world. When we got married and onwards, my wife Imelda and I have faithfully devoted ourselves to vocational pastoral/spiritual work. But somewhere along the way, the enticing offers of the marketplace plus the advances of internet technology entered our home. The world and the evil one began to pounce on particular points of our personal weakness. We almost got sidetracked. It was at this point when the Lord has to teach us to appreciate the way our hearts and minds can be tempted or aggravated by "the ways of the world" (Eph. 2:2) and the devil.
Because of these negative spiritual influences around us, we therefore need God to protect our minds. We need to confess to Him our wrong thoughts and passions and replace them with what is true, pure, noble, and right (Philippians 4:8). We need to resist the devil and spiritually discern the influence of the "ways of the world" in instigating those wrong thoughts and actions. We need to walk by His Spirit so we will not gratify the desires of the flesh and the devil (Galatians 5: 22, 23). "...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5).
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07 Jun 2006
Satan is walking to and fro, seeking whom he may devour the Bible states. We must all watch and pray. There is no time to let our defenses down. Thank you for this excellent article. Thomas
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