Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bad Thoughts

Lately, it seems the enemy been assaulting me with thoughts from my past life along with other unfounded thoughts; but mostly related to when I was a non-believer. There was a time when I believed those thoughts were from God and I found myself constantly asking forgiveness for things I had long turned from. Later, I wondered if I was just feeling residual guilt over my past mistakes; and therefore questioned myself as to whether I had truly forgiven myself for past sins. Granted, there are things and events in my life I prefer not to contemplate upon, but I discovered just this year --I really have forgiven myself for sins long committed in my past! Yet Satan will hammer your mind with hundreds of thoughts; and we have to discern from where those thoughts come from. Sometimes such reasonings may only be in our heads, and not in our hearts. I think this surface level clutter can serve as a ruse to interfere with our personal relationship with God.

II Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;
5 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;

Charles Spurgeon went through a time when the enemy dropped blasphemous thoughts upon his mind. He struggled as to why he thought such evil things, but soon came to the realization that these were not his thoughts afterall!

In his autobiography, Spurgeon wrote regarding such thoughts: "and when I was in prayer, or when I was reading the bible, these blasphemous thoughts would pour in upon me more than at any other time. I consulted with an aged godly man about it. He said to me, "Oh, all this many of the people of God have proved before you! But," he asked, "do you hate these thoughts?" "I do" I truly answered. "Then" said he, "they are not yours; serve them as the old parish officers used to do with vagrants, whip them, and send them on to their own parish. So," said he, "do with those evil thoughts. Groan over them, repent of them, and send them on to the devil, the father of them, to whom they belong, for they are not yours".

This also happened to me a few months after accepted Jesus as my Savior—and at first I went ballistic, apologizing to God over and over. I was in turmoil and felt wrecked inside—it germinated a major spiritual crisis in my life. I am talking about vile words against the Lord—-those type of blasphemous thoughts. Fear gripped me and the blasphemous thoughts became more frequent. In other words, at the risk of being redundant, the more I feared them, the more frequent the blasphemous thoughts. I went through a struggle with this off and on for several years. I strongly believe demonic activity came into play here. Yet I played right into the enemy’s hands, getting caught up in repetitiously confessing this sin to the Lord, but the thoughts were not mine! Guilt had consumed me, and I wondered if I hated God, but was not consciously aware of it. I was an atheist for many years, and it is very evident, many atheists hate God—the One they do not believe in. But when I read the above excerpt by Spurgeon, and saw in the Word of God that we can indeed entertain imaginations (II Corinthians 10:5); I begin to discount them, and I have had to do so hundreds, and I mean, literally hundreds of time. I would say to myself when this insidious muck attacked and mean it, “whatever —this devil is not going to get me to buy this trash as my thoughts.” I think the only reason it persisted so long was because I felt so much guilt, despite knowing the origin of the thoughts came from our enemy. Once in a while, such thoughts still come to me, but I realize I do not agree with them,-- that I hate them, and they are not mine. I know longer dwell on them—not even for analysis, and they dissipate.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Bad thoughts--whether blasphemous lies, lustful temptations, hateful… etc.; can be “conquered”; for God can make a way of escape and tell you how to respond to it. We are instructed to cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I remember a married friend of mine told me she was attracted to another person--besides her husband. I told her you must take it to God in prayer, repent, and whatever you do, don’t act on your feelings. About a month later, she called me and told me something similar to this , “Remember that problem we talked about?…I took it to God, and let me tell you, when you ask for help from Him for a problem like this, He will put an end to it!” Turns out, the guy receive a job promotion in the company he worked for, and was relocated to another city. This eliminated her problem because it made seeing him nearly impossible, and as her attraction was basically superficial -- she recovered fairly quickly. Pureed, obliterated and eliminated.

The enemy sends lying thoughts for us to accept as our own; so that we may “meditate” upon his evil suggestions. For several years, the blasphemous ruminations terribly effected my relationship with God, because I frequently wondered if my relationship with God was sincere, or was I just going through the motions. Well there has been a time I have gone through just motions, and got caught up in things because I thought I had to do it, or wanted to appear “spiritual”. That’s another story in itself. But these blasphemous thoughts were lies straight from the pit of Hell. If you hate what you are thinking, then think again. You need not succumb to such thoughts, reject them. Don’t claim ownership to something you do not even want—reject it; and should temptation come, prayer is an essential key to victory.

Hebrews 2:18
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

1 John 1:8-9
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.