Each of us has evil within our hearts. It is a hard concept to wrap our minds around. We want to believe that we are born into this world with a pure heart. Not true! We are sinners from the start. Scripture tells us that we should not trust our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says this: ‘The heart is more deceitful than all else. And is more desperately sick; Who can understand it?’ Then we read in Matthew 15:19 these words: ‘For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. Sounds to me like this is the place where all these things start.
Once the evil has taken root in your heart and mind it is not long before just thinking about it is not good enough, we then find ourselves needing to physically act on these things. it is very hard to reign in a heart that is out of control. We fool ourselves into believing that we can handle it, that if we are in sin we can just stop at any time, what we fail to realize is we are not wrestling with normal things, we are very much wrestling with spirits and demons that we cannot and do not understand. We must take our thoughts captive and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives.
Romans 12:2 says: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ And then in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 it says: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ5.’ So, what does it mean to test the spirits and to take our thoughts captive? First, we must stay in God’s word, we must seek truth out of the riches of his Holy word and we must compare it with the lies we are hearing elsewhere. If we are grounded in his word, allowing ourselves to be lead, fed and grown by the Holy Spirit we will less likely be able to be deceived by the enemy, we are going to know when something sounds or feels off.
His word is living and active and we can find all the answers we need inside the pages of our Bibles. Second, we must pray, seek an audience with our Lord daily. Talk it over with him. If we do this He will be faithful to reveal the truth to us and keep us from wrongdoing. We must practice always reigning our thoughts in when we see they are going in a wrong direction, we need to examine ourselves to see why we are attracted to the sin and evil and ask for God’s help in rooting it out and getting rid of it.
The longer we dwell on a wrong thought, the harder it is to let it go. The more our flesh wants to fulfill its lust and have its way. We think we can trust our flesh, and that is one of our biggest lies we believe from the enemy. Is having a wrong thought sin, no, we all have times when our minds go in the wrong direction, but we are in sin when we refuse to surrender our thoughts and allow God to cleanse us, and when we like our thoughts and continue to allow them to stay or proceed in the wrong direction. Once we have allowed our minds to have their way, it drops into our hearts and takes root. Now we are in trouble!
We must daily walk the halls of our minds and hearts to see what junk we have stored up. God knows our thoughts even when we do not confess them to him. We are never hiding our sinful thoughts from God, we are simply fooling ourselves.
He will not judge us, he will simply give us his truth and help us as we desire to walk in purity of heart and mind before him. So, if you find that you are allowing something to keep your thoughts turned away from God and truth, or you find that your heart is already entangled with sin and evil; run to him and ask him to cleanse you, He will. He will never turn you away, never