We can know that our thoughts are wrong, and we can even fuss at ourselves for thinking things we ought not, but unless we take an extra step and try to “fix” our thoughts (renew our minds), it will profit little.
“. . . it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
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“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalm 119:9
The very best cleanse that a Christian can do is a Scripture cleanse: reading it, memorizing it, and meditating (thinking) on it. When I remove impure thoughts, I must replace them by the most pure thoughts: the Bible. If tempted to think something wrong, I should go to God’s Word. If I cannot physically open God’s Word, I should recite verses that I have memorized.
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
Another way to skillfully cleanse my thoughts is to “run away” – flee. Instead of simply stepping into temptation, I need to do what I can to avoid it. If I know that my points of temptation come strongest while driving down the road or washing dishes or going to sleep, I need to arm myself against these times. I should pray for special help during these times and enter the field of temptation by quoting God’s Word or singing hymns.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:21
One week, as part of a Bible study I was doing, I had to write down a certain area I struggled with in my thoughts. Then, each day, I was to keep a sharp lookout for times when I was tempted to think these thoughts. Going further, I had to write down the times when I yielded to temptation. It was very eye-opening and made my thoughts look very disgusting! If they are so disgusting in my eyes, how disgusting are they in God’s eyes?
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Trying to keep my thoughts pure is often hard work! It is often not very fun, but it is very essential for me as a Christian. The blessing of striving to follow Christ instead of my lusts is that He will help me to get victory!!! Does it take perseverance? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! Being free from lustful thoughts is free indeed! There is such joy and peace in spending my thoughts meditating on God and His Word rather than chasing wild dreams. It is hard to describe but wonderful to experience.
“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
So, dear sisters, I challenge you to try taking every thought captive and casting down every idle imagination. On our own, we cannot do it, but through Christ we can do all things!!