Earlier today I had a thought that came out of the blue. I’m not going to say what it was, because it wasn’t something I would normally think of and not anything I would ever act upon. It involved an area of sin that is not one I regularly have an issue with at all. The thought surprised me and I wondered, Why would I even think that? There is nothing appealing or enticing about that so why would I think it?
This past Sunday our preacher spoke on Mark 5:1-20. This is the story of the man with a legion of demons living within him. The demons had led this man to hurt himself in a variety of ways. When the man saw Jesus, the demons begged that He not send them into the abyss. Jesus agreed and sent them into a herd of pigs instead. The pigs then ran off a cliff and died. The ESV study Bible I was reading on Sunday made a note that the demons wanted only to hurt and destroy man, God’s creation. When that was no longer a possibility, they asked to be cast into the pigs where they were able to destroy another of God’s creations.
Satan only wants to destroy us. He will do it from within or without, in whatever manner he can manage. Something I read recently, I think it might have been Lysa TerKeurst, said that the devil has had thousands of years to study man and to know how to manipulate him. The devil knows how to hit us below the belt without us even realizing he did it.
Which brings me back to that errant thought I had today. Satan knows how to speak to our weaknesses. To whisper thoughts we would never consider on our own and paint them into a beautiful picture that beckons us. He tells us half-truths, excuses and justifications that encourage us to dip our toe into the well of worldliness. It is so easy to listen.
Interestingly enough last week I began working on memorizing a Bible verse.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
Bringing into captivity every thought. Keeping a reign on what we are thinking.
I love that I had just learned this verse and today I saw how it is played out. Satan is always trying to get a toehold on us. We have to be vigilant and take control of what we are thinking. This unexpected thought was not something I could control, but I could make the decision not to act upon the thought. I brought the thought into captivity and held it to the light of God so I could see the truth of it. That is what we need to do with our negativity and false thoughts. We need to dwell on the truth and not on the lies the devil tirelessly feeds us.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8 (KJV)