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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It All Starts in the Mind

Photo by: tiverylucky

          The next thing I knew, I was in his arms.
            I couldn’t help myself, it was there, and I put it in my pocket.
            It all happened so suddenly.
            I didn’t realize.
            After I tried it once . . . .

Excuses for sin.

(Oh yeah, we’re not supposed to call it “sin.” We might offend someone. What’s the politically correct word for sin, anyway?)

Did you know that the Bible says that sin is a process?

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:14-15).

Lust (being tempted mentally) leads to Sin (action). 

When Eve sees the fruit and listens to the serpent, the process unfolds: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Genesis 3:6). Eve reasons in her mind that the fruit looks good, she believes the serpent’s lie that it will make her wise. This is the temptation stage. Then, she reaches out, tries it, and gets Adam to go along with her sin. (To be fair to Eve, the Bible says she was genuinely deceived, and Adam fully understood what he did. 1 Timothy 2:14)

Read these other instances:
  • Anger and HomicideYe have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca (a strong form of “fool”), shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:21-22).
  • AdulteryBut I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:28).
  • HomosexualityAnd likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet (Romans 1:27).
  • FornicationFor this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
  • AnarchyBut chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities (2 Peter 2:10).

Do you see the progression? A thought entertained in the mind becomes a plan of action, leading to sin.

The good news is that there’s a way to deal with sin before it becomes a plan or action.

Everyone is tempted in his thoughts. It’s how he deals with it that matters. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

What is this “escape plan”? It’s abiding with God in the Holy Spirit. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Why should we want to go against our desires and resist thinking about and doing wrong? It’s because we want to please God. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:16-17).

And, if we think we’re good, that’s just the moment when we should be most on guard. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

A Plan of Attack: 
  1. Dismiss the temptation at once, when the thought enters your mind.
  2. Substitute good thoughts. Meditate on the goodness of God, thank God for blessings, go over pertinent Scripture in your mind. You’ll soon forget that first interest in sin.
  3. Renew your mind. The best way is to fill your mind with the Word of God. When your meditation is on what God thinks, it will change how you think. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).
  4. Think of the long-term consequences of sin. Do you really want to be divorced? Do you really want to pick up an STD? Do you really want to go to prison? Do you really want to die early? Of course not.
  5. Determine to glorify God in everything you do. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).


Please share your thoughts.