Today we begin the last leg of this journey by turning our attention to the last point of, training your thoughts.
For a simple review: The series “Doing what you MUST to conquer lust” explains the practical approach we need to take for both external temptations and internal temptation.
Two thoughts drive this approach:
1. Make external temptations extremely difficult.
2. Intentionally address internal temptations.
Nothing will be more intentional than the training of your thought life. It has already been well documented the affect porn has on the brain. Take the time to learn if you haven’t. ( click here for help)
There is always a two pronged approach to training your thoughts: defensively and offensively
a) by taking captive your thoughts
“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 Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Cor. 10:4-6
Now, where ever you believe these thoughts originated from (our own sinful hearts, the devil or the world- I think it can be all three), is not as important in the war for our thoughts. Where many Christians get caught up in the battle of the mind is focusing too much on where the thought came from instead of where our thoughts need to go. Don’t get me wrong, there is a value for us to know the originator of where our thoughts come from, in order to fight through the little battles of deception, doubt and discernment.
What I want to emphasis in this post is the act of training your thoughts by taking captive your thoughts. When we recognize a tempting thought or a line of reasoning which begins dragging our attention to an end result of sin or unbelief, we need to grab hold of it and stop it. We need to command our thoughts to come under the obedience of Jesus Christ and the truth of Scripture. Our feelings may be real but they are not always right.
Force your thoughts and attention to go towards the truth Scripture and a biblical worldview. If it’s a temptation reject it forcefully- have a Scripture memorized to thrust it toward that temptation until it is gone. Sing songs of praise and worship that have deep doctrinal truth being proclaimed. Get that song stuck in your heart- not just your head!
More defensive strategy coming next time.