How does a person deal with the impure and intrusive thoughts that enter or bombard one’s mind?
This is a problem that many people have and sometimes it may seem almost impossible to control one’s thinking.
Our thought-life is a very important part of our life. Our thoughts can reveal who we are; our thoughts can change our destiny; our thoughts shape our life and it’s important that our thoughts be subjected to God’s word and God’s will.
Some people struggle with lustful thoughts; others with anxiety & depression; whilst others struggle with low self-esteem or suicidal thoughts.
So the question is – how do we deal with impure thoughts?
A TEMPLATE FOR WHAT WE SHOULD THINK ABOUT
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
What we learn from Philippians 4:8 is that God wants our thoughts to be focused on the right issues. In this particular verse God gives us a template of the kind of things that we should be thinking and focusing on. We should focus on what’s true; lovely; praiseworthy; virtuous; of good report and the things that are pure.
Therefore as we think on these kind of issues according to Philippians 4:8 – we will then begin to gradually develop a healthy and sound mind.
CAPTURE EVERY THOUGHT
2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
It’s been said that “you can’t stop a bird from landing on your head but you can stop it from building a nest on your head”.
What this means it that there are times in our thought-life when the devil will project certain impure thoughts into your mind with the intention of tempting you. Therefore nobody is immune to temptation. Even Jesus Christ was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11).
Even though we are not immune to temptation this does not mean that we should allow ourselves to indulge into our temptations. The Bible tells us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.
We practically bring every thought captive to Christ by measuring & filtering all our thoughts & temptations against the word of God.
When Jesus was tempted, He captured every thought and idea that the devil presented to Him by filtering it through the Scriptures. Just like Jesus, we can defeat every impure thought and temptation by confessing and obeying the Scriptures against that impure thought.
MEDITATE & OBEY THE WORD OF GOD
Therefore if you’re struggling with your thought-life, you could try the following
1. You need to cultivate a habit of meditating on the word of God. (Psalms 1:1-3)
2. You need to also cultivate a habit of capturing every thought and filtering it against the word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
3. It’s important to be obedient or a doer of the word of God. (James 1:23-25)
4. Focus on Jesus Christ and to fix our eyes on Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
5. Yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit who is able to help us overcome the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16)