Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control. 2 PETER 1:5–6
Most of us would agree that when it comes to the battle for the right kind of living, the biggest enemy is not out there. The biggest enemy is right here—ourselves. That’s why the principle of self-control is so very vital. It is that quality that makes it possible to achieve the goals God has set before us. In the Greek, the word temperance is kratain. It means “to grab hold of, to grasp.” I believe it’s the concept from which we get the idiom “Get hold of yourself,” which we use when we’re talking to someone who is getting too emotional. The word is used only seven times in the New Testament. In almost every situation, it is used to describe the importance of gaining control and reigning over our passions and desires. The matter of self-control is a battle fought in the mind. The mind controls the passions. The battle is fought in the world of thought. There is no conflict so severe as the conflict one goes through to subdue oneself. I’d like to suggest that the best way to deal with the struggle for control over your thoughts and passions is focusing your mind upon Jesus Christ. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
How often have you stopped to consider your thinking?
What you think about. Why you think about that which you do?
Why you accepted what you have believed?
The things you are passionate about, so why are you so passionate about them?
Are your passions God-honoring? Meaning do they bring honor to God?
Are the things that excite you God honoring?
In this world our battlefield is in the mind. It's not our blood pumping organ. It's only metaphorically speaking in the heart.
When Adam and Eve sinned they struggled greatly with the new concept they instigated of soul and spirit. God knows the division of that in all who have lived and do live and will ever live. Their sin made them want to hide. They believed that it was something to be seen. Guilt is something to be seen. Only confession can aid in removing it.
Your mind is indeed a dangerous battlefront in your life. We are taught in the Bible to guard our thoughts. To take every thought captive. We are basically told to be alert! Why? Because Satan is compared to that of a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.
We are being told in no uncertain terms that its a dangerous place!
You can set yourself up for failure by not taking the Scriptures seriously. I know for a fact that this much is true.
I, like you, am my own worst enemy.
I do myself the most damage by not even trying to rein in my thoughts. Try this...it is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Abraham Lincoln was attributed with saying it, and it's said he based that on something from Proverbs.
Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise. When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.".
We often find ourselves wanting to get away...to go somewhere where we don't have to think.
I have often said that thinking as much as I do just gets me into trouble.
Your mind is a dangerous place. In the life of a believer it was Christ who burst through the darkness of our minds to show the light of truth that saved us. Those who haven't believed are still in that darkness. The Bible says that those in that darkness...their deeds are evil.
You and I must wrestle with our thoughts. It's not easy!
We in our single mindedness cannot fathom the ramifications of where our thoughts can take us. It can take us straight into idolatry and we wouldn't be aware of it. It can take us into any of a number of sins and convince us its ok. We need to compare what we think with how God thinks of those things.
In our own power and strength we can't do it. The sin nature doesn't want us seeing the truth. We have to rely on the Spirit of Truth, which is the Spirit of God, to show us what we can't bring ourselves to know or understand.
Our minds will deceive us. We can easily be any of the Churches Paul wrote to in our behavior. We can easily be the 7 Churches Jesus wrote to in the book of Revelation. Having forgot our first love.
Consider the hard truth of your thoughts today. Consider what you have allowed yourself to fall victim to. As long as you are breathing there's hope to live in obedience to Christ Jesus.
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