You know the saying "Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil"? (Not sure if they are in the right order) Well I'm going to add one, "think no evil".
What does that even mean, think no evil? How hard is it to purify your thought life? To answer those two questions there are two answers: 1.)It means to capture your thoughts before your brain runs with it and 2.) leaning not on our own understanding and trusting the Lord's ways. And yes it is very hard.
Defining impure thoughts.
Any thought that comes to prick the area of your heart and mind that causes you to stumble. My sin has been laid out in small measures in the past few posts. I sin with food. But also several other things that I will share in the future.
Capturing your thoughts
I was looking through some old notes from a women's group I was in. One line said "the mind set on flesh is hostile to God." All the thoughts that I struggle with on a daily basis are about me. Me me me me me me. I want that food item that's bad for me. Why did that person say that to me? What does he/she mean by it? What did I do wrong? I want you to do that the way I want you too. Etc. I get so sick of me!
How do you capture thoughts? When something pops up, think of the Truth. It may take a million and two times before it goes away, but it will go away. I sometimes struggle with old ugly memories (see last purity post) and I wrestle with them. When those things come up, I speak the Truth that I'm saved, redeemed, and made clean. Be gone, in Jesus name! When insecurity pops up, the Truth is that the Lord made me wonderfully and He loves me. The Creator of the Universe loves me! Kinda overwhelming.
Trusting the Lord
As these things pop up I typically try to work out on my own. Which leads to failure. Why? Because I'm leaning on my own understanding. I think the Bible says explicitly not to do that!
After all is said and done and I've exhausted my thought process by letting my imagination run rampant, I look to the Lord. Why didn't I do this from the beginning? Because of trust. Do I trust God as much as I need to? If He has an answer for everything and will work things for the good of His people, why can't I lay down my own understanding about things and give it to the Lord? Do I think I know better?
The reality of it is, I do think I know better. Not conciously, but subconciously. That is a thought I would never have at the forefront of my mind. When I place trust in myself over the Lord, I'm telling the Lord, it's ok, I got this.
Trust is a very soulish battle waged in "logic", which is past experiences, facts and figures taught by human teachers, and the culture you live in. Logic is focused on the here and now. Trust is focused on eternity. Peace comes from an eternal perspective.
When we get these two areas, trust and capturing thoughts, in submission to your spirit, you become freer and freer. It will take awhile because it always does. I always feel like I'm at the beginning until I come to something that makes me look back to how far I've come.
For me it was this past week at VBS. I was so worried about temptation and wrestling with memories, but the Lord is so gentle and good that He showed me "look, it's not even there anymore". What a freedom!