Summary: Cultivate purity in our thoughts. You need conviction and commitment, confession and cleansing, you need to forsake and flee, and to renew our mind and revive your spirit.
We need to protect our mind, because we are what we think.
• It will be garbage in, garbage out. The more trash we put in, the more trash we would see in words and deeds. You reap what you plant.
• We need to set up this “greenhouse” of the mind - to make sure that no virus or pests enter.
2 Cor 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Rom 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
That’s our battleground. Not with guns and bullets, but with the truth of God’s Word.
• We are fighting against the pattern of this world. It is a mind game between God’s truth and the devil’s lies.
• We are confronting arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.
Paul wrote to the Philippians and urged them to keep their minds full of the good things of Christ. "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." (Phil 4:8)
• Our mind is a magnificent gift from God. It is perfectly suited for life and growth, but it has to be managed.
• Prov 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
• CEV puts it, “Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.”
THIS IS MY HOUSE
Suppose I ask you to take care of my house while I am going for a trip to Japan. You promise to keep the place in great shape. But when I return, I find the place in shambles. The carpet was torn, the walls are smeared, and furniture is broken.
Your explanation is not impressive. Some tourists from Thailand needed a place to stay and so they came in, they sleep, bath, and cook. And then your school pals came for a year-end party, they drink and eat the night away.
When I return, I am going to ask you, “What happened? Why did you let them in? This is not your house.”
Do you think God wants to say the same to us? What are you letting into your life, and into your mind? This is my temple, the Lord says.
We need to make conscious efforts to guard our minds, with the same prudence we give to guarding our space, our room, our bed, our cubicle at work.
• If we are so caught up about management - business management, human resource management, time management, or financial management - then all the more we need to take not of our thought management.
• I want to guard what goes in, that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good (cf. Phil 4:8).
• If a condominium ward off harmful people with a security post at the gate, if a country does that with custom checks at entry points, then we need to guard our minds right at the gate of entry.
This is God’s plan for us, to be JUST LIKE JESUS.
• Are we able to do that? Yes, because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
• God never requires what a person is incapable of being or doing. The moment God calls you (to become a Christian), He enabled you.
(1) Conviction and Commitment
God has already started a divine work in you at conversion.
• When we accept Christ as personal Savior, we are cleansed from all sin. God makes you a new creature,
• The Holy Spirit indwells you and a new nature desiring to be right and pure is imparted.
• 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
(2) Confession and Cleansing
1 John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
• Each time we admit our sin, we are saying NO to the devil. It’s like Jesus telling Satan off, when He looked at Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt 16:23)