The heart and the mind are strongly connected in the Scriptures. The heart is the seat of our emotions. The Bible says that it is out of our hearts that our mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). The Scripture says out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks. When we became a sinner, we were not rid of our sinful nature. Those remain in us. As Christians, we have thoughts that are holy and righteous and we have thoughts that are sinful. Think about the last time someone cut you off on the highway, did you have some unholy thoughts rise up out of you? Yeah, me too. But the key is to not allow those things to become abundant in our hearts. The word ‘abundant’ means to be fertile. Fertility means it is prone to give birth. We cannot let the negative thoughts overwhelm us to the point that we act upon them. The temptation of yelling and screaming at the guy who did not use a blinker but cut over to your lane as if he was the only person on the road is not a sin, but if we allow that anger to remain so strong that we might act on it, this is something we must guard against.
Very often, we have been taught whether directly or indirectly that temptation is a sin, but if that were the case, then Jesus, who was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15), could not have been sinless, but we know that He was (Hebrews 4:15). We cannot always control what thoughts come into our mind and we will never stop all unholy thoughts from coming into our mind because that is what temptation is. But, we can work to guard our hearts and keep these thoughts from pushing us into sin. And this brings us to our Verse of the Day:
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things
Here, the Apostle Paul is clearly calling us to exercise discipline in the mind, in our thoughts. We are to work to keep our thoughts away from the unholy and to focus on that which is holy. This is work, but the Holy Spirit gives us this ability. Though our sinful nature will always stir up unholy thoughts that we don’t actually choose to have, we do have the ability to make sure these thoughts are hemmed in by asking the Holy Spirit to help us think on things that are holy and right. In other words, the Holy Spirit gives me the ability to choose what thoughts I allow to remain in my head. Thoughts of depression, sadness, anger, jealousy, and the like may pop up when I least expect it, and I can’t control this. But we can take captive every thought, apply God’s truth, and force our mind to the right place.
How well do you exercise the power of the Holy Spirit to counter thoughts that go against the Word with the Truth of the Word?
Leave me a comment. I would love to hear how you are doing and pray with you.