| Sinning in thought|
1 John 1; 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 19 : 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Has anyone ever struggled with a sinful thought that will just not go away? Has anyone ever found themselves constantly praying 1 John 1 v 9 because of sinful thoughts? I know we will never reach sinless perfection and we are to cast down every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of Christ bringing it into captivity and making it obedient to Christ. But what if one thought will just not go away and becomes a sinful pattern which is born from our own lust, Can God still hear our prayers? Because if I regard inquity in my heart the Lord will not hear.
The thought life and unbridled tongue bring sin into one's life for example I will have a thought to steal that will not go away but I will not actually steal though I will constantly be bombarded by the urge to steal! When I pray I then confess my sin and ask for forgiveness only to think that thought again a few hours later!
Please help and share your experiences! Sin hinders our prayer lives and draws away from God and if we continue in sin we grieve the Holy Spirit and become servants of that sin. How can I pray for others and myself when there is sin in my life? I am so worried! Please pray for me!
| 2012/9/2 0:56||Profile|
Monroe, LA - USA
| Re: Sinning in thought|
This is a good question, and I imagine that every true Christian has struggled with the issue. James says:
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In my personal life, there were several things that helped me to gain the victory in that area. One of them was to cut off the source of bad thoughts. When I was 11 years old I was watching TV and felt bad because what I was watching was a source of such bad thoughts. TV continually bombards the mind (even in the commercials) with bad images that can later return and present bad thoughts.
Another thing that happened was when I began to reject the false guilt associated with bad thoughts. Often it is an evil spirit that is presenting the bad thoughts to your mind. It is not that you are TRYING to look for the bad thoughts. You are going along thinking on good things (Phil. 4:8) and all of a sudden the bad thoughts appear in the forefront of your mind. Then, after that happens (especially if it is a bad sinful dream that you have) you feel responsible for the thoughts. The same evil spirit that presented the thoughts to your mind ACCUSES you of sinning when HE is the one that presented the thoughts to you.
Has it ever occurred to you that JESUS HIMSELF had bad thoughts? In Luke ch. 4 you will see that he had several bad thoughts. The Bible says that he was tempted in all points like as we are yet WITHOUT sin. (Heb. 4:15) He didn't accept his temptation as guilt of sin. He ran the tempter off with the Word of God!
James explains the process like this:
Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jam 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jam 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
If we STOP the process before it becomes sin, we don't have sin to confess and repent of. We just have a tempter to reject and resist. As soon as we realize that we are having bad thoughts, if we resist and reject, and REFUSE to continue with the bad thoughts, we gain the victory over our enemy!
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
What you must learn to do is to rebuke the evil spirits. Ask God to make them leave. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Continually fill your mind with the Word of God. Listen to it as often as possible (on MP3 or something). Read it. Don't look at things that can put bad images before your mind.
GOD BLESS YOU!
| 2012/9/2 7:03||Profile|
Monroe, LA - USA
| Re: Sinning in thought|
Here is something that I wrote a long time ago in trying to figure out how it all works that may help you:
THE TEMPTATION PROCESS:
Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
1Ts 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Ts 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Ts 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
The Bible teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that we human beings are made up of 3 parts: spirit, soul and body.
The spirit of man which was made for communion with God, conscience open to God, and intuition from God is dormant or basically dead before a person is converted. The soul of man is made up of the mind, the emotions, and the will of man. The body of man has 5 senses (sound, look, smell, taste, feel) and various appetites which are developed in an effort to gratify those 5 senses which are all connected with the mind and the emotions of the soul.
In their initial state as God created them, such appetites are pure and useful to sustain the body and to continue the human race. Appetites for food and drink and other such substances are for the nutrition of the body that it may be sustained. When handled in a pure and wholesome manner these appetites help to preserve the body. The sexual appetite is for the preservation of the human race. When handled according to God's perfect plan (one man with one woman until death), the human race is preserved by the procreation and family nurturing plan that is perfect and best for all involved. Appetites for possessions which gratify the sight of man on a continual basis are good when handled in a manner of contentment with the basic necessities of life.
Before conversion, an evil spirit works from the inside residing in the soul and body of the person. At an early age, that evil spirit starts influencing how the mind and emotions will react to the stimuli that it comes across in life. At an early age such evil spirit starts twisting and distorting the appetites of the person warping them against God's natural plan, enslaving the individual in misused appetites. Due to the fact that such a twisting of appetites begins at such an early age, the person often concludes that he was created in that fashion, as David put it in Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. We inherited our our weakness and inclination toward sin from our parents (or rather from Adam and Eve), but God never created nor designed anyone to sin.
That evil spirit knows every button to push in the mind and emotions in order to bring about action from the will of the person. Each person is responsible for his own will, but the evil spirit who knows us from an early age knows very well how to influence our will. He knows by heart the mind's entire archive of image files, sound files, smell files, taste files, and feeling files. Over the years, he develops methods with the individual to temporarily gratify the appetites that he has helped to twist and distort against God's perfect plan.
At conversion, the spirit of man comes ALIVE and is in connection with the Spirit of God. At that point, the man chooses to allow his will to be led by the Spirit of God. His conscience alerts him of any possible danger. He is in communion with God continually, and God even gives him an intuition to avoid future dangers and to guide him into all truth. At that point, that evil spirit is abruptly ousted from his soul and body. He no longer has permission to enter, and is refused access to the heart or emotional center of the person.
After conversion, having years of knowledge and experience of all of the files (image data and emotional wiring, etc.) in the mind and having played the emotions like a master musician plays a harp, and having total knowledge of the control panel of the will, after conversion, he works from the outside, trying feverishly to gain control & entrance again.
In the temptation process, that evil spirit has permission to influence the mind and the emotions which are by nature connected to the body, therefore he can even cause the body to react with physical cravings for the sin, but it is up to the person whether we surrender the will in that intense moment. Many, at that point, give in because they consider the effect on the flesh a signal that God no longer resides inside and they go ahead and give way letting their will be controlled again by the evil spirit. On the other hand, if regardless of the outcry of the flesh, they cry out to God in that moment for help, and resist and reject those sinful inclinations of the flesh, God responds from heaven, and gives the POWER to overcome the temptation.
The flesh will ALWAYS have the ability to crave whatever form of perversion that it was introduced to at youth. It has to be crucified by being DENIED access to the pleasure that it craves.
When the will gives permission to the mind & emotions to cooperate with the distorted appetites of the flesh and gratify the flesh with sinful, already stored memories (whether images, tastes, smells, sounds, or feelings), at that point lust has conceived and brought forth sin, even if the physical act hasn't taken place. For example, the person who once was a drunkard is reminded by the evil spirit of the parties that he once participated in. When the evil spirit drags that memory out of the mind's trash, the person can either continue the train of thought and revel in the past, or reject and refuse it, and throw it back in the trash where it belongs. The same is true of whatever inordinate and twisted appetite: sexual sin, covetousness, bitterness, hatred, etc.
When the evil spirit gets new images, or stimuli to work with, he immediately goes to the trash and tries to revive all of the emotional habits of the past, and connect it with the presently offered perversion. For example, a young man who once wallowed in whoredom is in town. A seductively dressed woman passes by. Immediately, the emotions are alerted. Images and feelings of the past are pulled out of the mind's trash by the evil spirit(or his backup copies) and they are all exploding on the forefront of his attention. The body reacts with cravings for the misuse of an appetite that God created for holy and pure use. AT THAT MOMENT, he can choose to continue to look at her and entertain those feelings and thoughts. When he does so, he has sinned (Mat. 5:27-28). OR, he can cry out to God for help, resist those thoughts, and look the OTHER direction. When he does so God is faithful (1Cor.10:13) to give him the power necessary to look the other direction instead of looking upon her to lust after her. Often, the new Christian feels that because of the explosive moment of temptation, and the reaction of the flesh, he has already sinned. NOT SO, if he rejects and refuses the temptation. Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin. He is our example in how that we can reject the temptation and overcome our adversary through His power.
When we are saved, our memory is not erased. Those inordinate and ungodly well formed appetites are still in place for our enemy to try to stimulate (from the outside). As time goes on, and we learn the tactics of our enemy, we learn to immediately reject his temptations, thus continually crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts, and living and walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
The comforting reality is that after we reject his offers, the evil spirit has to depart for a season. Intense temptation is a passing thing:
Luc 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Another wonderful thing is that when we form the habit of rejecting temptation, the intensity and the attempts of the (once controlling) evil spirit eventually become less frequent, and overcoming becomes a way of life.
| 2012/9/2 7:08||Profile|
| Re: |
I think there are 2 things to this for us to get over it.
1) James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2) Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
Could it be that you are having a particular difficulty in live eg: money shortages. If so we have to keep praying to God for us not to worry as He will provide for us. Keep praying to God on this. Thus, your treasure will be in the right place, and by that you are submitting yourself to God and hence, the devil will have to flee. Thus, God has provided a way out of the temptation.
Well, at least this is part of my learning process. Hope this helps.
| 2012/9/2 11:32||Profile|
| Re: Sinning in thought!|
Learn and Lorddoitagain thank you for encouraging words! You are both right in that the way resist temptation is by submitting to God and the devil will flee!
Lorddoitagain you wrote "When the will gives permission to the mind & emotions to cooperate with the distorted appetites of the flesh and gratify the flesh with sinful, already stored memories (whether images, tastes, smells, sounds, or feelings), at that point lust has conceived and brought forth sin, even if the physical act hasn't taken place. For example, the person who once was a drunkard is reminded by the evil spirit of the parties that he once participated in. When the evil spirit drags that memory out of the mind's trash, the person can either continue the train of thought and revel in the past, or reject and refuse it, and throw it back in the trash where it belongs. The same is true of whatever inordinate and twisted appetite: sexual sin, covetousness, bitterness, hatred, etc."
You hit the nailed the matter on the head! That thought had formed a stronghold because it was not dealt with immediately at the beginning! So submitting to God in Prayer Asking Him to rebuke the enemy is the way to overcoming the sinful thought pattern!
My question is when we are going through this process does God answer and hear our prayers for other matters? What I am trying to say is when we pray we confess our sins so we can receive forgiveness and cleansing! Can we then pray for others confidently trusting God will hear and answer us despite the perpetual sin in our life?You can resist temptation for a while maybe a day or hours only to be attacked again by the evil spirit so that you are in constant battle striving against the sin that is ensnaring you!
| 2012/9/2 11:54||Profile|
| Re: |
I am not Lordoitagain but yes to your question. The Lord knows your heart. Especially if you are not aware of the problem or how to deal with it, God will help you find out either through other people or through Him showing it to you yourself or a combination. Doesn't mean that it will be easy though.
Also, if He feels that you still need certain areas of 'improvement', He may use different methods such as putting certain bible verse on your mind so that you know you need to do something before you can pray for others.
There is no surefire method. He can use different methods at different times or a combination of methods. Time to settle this is also different.
Well this is base on my experience which is still ongoing, so take it for what its worth :)
| 2012/9/2 12:38||Profile|
Monroe, LA - USA
| Re: |
Amen, Learn, The Lord uses different means on different children as all children are different.
lindi208, as to your questions ...
When we ask for forgiveness, we MUST believe that he forgives and cleanses, as His word declares:
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
HE is faithful and just. HE WILL forgive and CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness! He has never failed anyone, and He will not start failing human beings with you. He will cleanse you. You must believe that with all your heart. When He cleanses, he doesn't leave any filth hidden in the closets of your heart. That doesn't mean that he erases your brain. All you can do about your brain is to continue to fill it with good things to the point that the old clutter stays so far back in the background that the devil has a hard time reaching it.
Once you have prayed and believed for your forgiveness and cleansing, IT IS DONE! You don't have to wonder then if God is hearing your prayers for others. Of course He is!
Being in constant battle DOES NOT MEAN being in constant defeat! Just because the bad thoughts are coming DOES NOT MEAN that you are sinning. If you begin now to reject the bad thoughts as they come, and each time pray for God to make the enemy back off, HE WILL!
When the enemy whispers : "I own you still" tell him: "Jesus bought me with His precious blood, and I belong to Him".
Whatever you do, don't accept defeat. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Read Romans ch. 8.
Also read Romans chs. 6 & 7. In chapter 6 he talks about reckoning ourselves DEAD. Verse 6 says: Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Consider your old man CRUCIFIED with Christ. When the thoughts come, claim death to that. Refuse to participate. Reject the devil's claim over your life. Chapter 7 describes the situation that you have been going through. You know what is right and what you need to do, but you end up not doing what you know you should not. If you apply what is in chapter 6, reckoning yourself dead to sin, then you will not have to live in the defeat of chapter 7 but in the victory of chapter 8 ...
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
You have to BELIEVE what Romans 6:6 says with all your heart. You may even have to do like I've had to do many times: "cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24) and He will ... just like He did in that case.
When you BELIEVE with all your heart that your old flesh is crucified, regardless of the thousands of evil thoughts and fiery darts that your adversary throws at you, that shield of faith (read also Ephesians ch. 6) keeps you from going under. Regardless of the bad thoughts that your enemy throws at you, you choose to believe that the old flesh is crucified. Regardless even of how your own flesh reacts to the thoughts that are thrown at you by your enemy, you refuse to doubt that God has crucified your old nature and nailed it to the cross with Jesus.
What I'm talking about is stopping the cycle of defeat through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
God bless you as you win the battle through Christ!
| 2012/9/2 15:05||Profile|
| Re: Sinning in thought|
Brother Michael, you wrote something on another thread that was Absolute Truth and I'd like to post it here as well.
Quote: "Later, I learned when thoughts came to my brain to not accept the guilt for them but to RECOGNIZE who gave them to me and rebuke him in the name of Jesus! When the devil would come trying to wake up the dead man ... I've even told him: "that old man is dead! Get out of here in the name of Jesus!" After a while, he "departs for a season" and the seasons get longer and farther apart, the more you assure him that you know that the old man is dead and you are a new creature!"
It's not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted. As the old saying goes, a bird can land on your head, but we don't have to let it make a nest there.
Many times [or most times] the enemy will 'lie' to the Redeemed Child of GOD and convince them that his thoughts are their own thoughts.
Your solution quoted above is absolute truth.
"New Creations in Christ" can tell the devil where to get off.
| 2012/9/2 15:48|
| Re: Sinning in thought|
Thank you brother and sisters for your edifying words! You have helped bring to remembrance how to overcome and reject evil thoughts! It's clearer to me now that I am dealing with the enemy!
I think because I am weary and tired hence it's his "opportune time" so to speak so hence the fiery attack! Somehow I know that the Good Lord will sustain me during this time! I have never experienced temptation with such intensity before so I know it is an attack and its all new to me! Thank you for reminding me I am a new creature and the old man is crucified with Christ! I am dead to sin and alive to God! Praise be to Jesus!
Much love in Him!
| 2012/9/2 16:01||Profile|
| Re: |
I would love to send you a free copy of my book "Understanding Mortification" which deals extensively with Satanic thought-warfare and strongholds. This is a very real area of battle where multitudes are defeated daily. The information I present in the book (which is totally inundated with scripture) will open your eyes to this element and provide you with what you need to know in the Word of God when combating spiritual wickedness in high places.
Satan's forces attack the mind. This is the gateway. If they can make a breach and gain a foothold there, it will not be long before they subvert the heart. If you know how to gird-up your mind in Jesus Christ, and keep it girded, you can experience the unbroken victory and joy of the Lord daily with a pure heart. Please let me know if you are interested. My email is email@example.com.
Sincerely yours in Him,
Paul Frederick West
| 2012/9/2 16:15||Profile|