Have you ever thought of the fact so many thoughts you have are influenced by what you see? In fact there is so much evil in this world today which comes instantly through us through the newspapers, film posters, the internet, mobile phones and the like. People’s thoughts are negatively influenced by this evil.
If your mind is not properly guarded (Proverbs 4:23); if constant watch is not kept; evil that we see will lead us into sin and sinful habits. These sinful habits have the power to destroy our lives and lead us straight to hell.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, wrote saying: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (4:8 NIV)[emphasis added].
Here Paul is giving us guidelines to have resources ready to protect our thoughts against evil. On the one side we have to keep our minds closed to evil; on the other side we have to feed our minds with positive, clean, pure and encouraging thoughts that build our faith in Jesus Christ.
We need to remember that evil spirits come back with greater force when they find the house clean but unoccupied (Matthew 12:44, 45). So it is important to think on the things listed out by Paul and fill our minds with lovely thoughts. That is how we renew our mind and not let it be fashioned according to the tastes of this evil world
We need to constantly remember the words of Jesus Christ to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41). This is important because the devil is going about like a roaring lion trying to find out whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Remember again that Cain sinned because he did not guard his mind against the evil he entertained in his mind about killing his innocent and righteous brother Abel.
Remember that the godly King David sinned greatly when he allowed sinful thoughts to play in his mind when he saw a woman bathing while he walked lazily on the roof of his palace. It led to adultery and murder and many evils within his family as well.
Likewise today so many youngsters struggle with sexual sins. They are confused as to what is right. The world and its different forms of entertainment; their friends and reading materials they enjoy tell them that sexual pleasure outside of marriage (between a man and a woman) in its various forms is not wrong.
All these sinful ideas come from the devil whom Jesus called a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). It means that whatever reasons he presents to you to make you sin, to make sin appear pleasurable is a lie! Remember, his main role is to make people doubt the Word of God by asking, “Did God really say?”(see Genesis 3:1).
Now what does the Word of God really say. It says that a young man or woman can keep his or way pure by hiding God’s Word in one’s heart and thus not sin against God (Psalm 119:11, 13).
The Bible tells us the words of Jesus who said that being angry is equivalent to murder and the lustful look is equivalent to adultery (Matthew 5:22, 28). What Jesus is emphasizing here is that thoughts have to be guarded carefully because it is these thoughts that are acted out as sin.
Further the Word of God reminds us that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:18—20) and we should live in an attitude of keeping our bodies holy as if it were being offered to God as living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).
Paul also wrote that it is God’s will that we should avoid sexual immorality and thus please God (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1). He said clearly,“Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
In the light of all these, let us try our best to fill our minds with the Word of God and think and meditate on it day and night so that we will think good thoughts leading to right action before God and men.