2/24/2010 - The Battle Is In The Brain Mark 7:20-23
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The Battle Is In The Brain

Reference: Mark 7:20-23 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

Observation: We have a tendency to focus on controlling our actions; as though that were the real place of conflict. Jesus offers the important insight that it is what goes on in our minds and our hearts that is the real issue. Since it is, then that must be the place the battle is really won or lost. For example, a person dealing with a gambling addiction can not entertain pleasant thoughts of his next round of poker all day long and expect that he will not go and play first chance he gets.

Jesus mentions several terms that relate to sexual sins; immorality, adultery, lust because He knew how powerful those sins are in the mind and that is the only place to effectively conquer them. Our minds love to think about sexual things, but let there be no doubt, if we give ourselves over to thinking about them, we will find ourselves acting out our fantasies. When we find ourselves thinking about sinful things, we must discipline our minds to stop before we have to discipline our bodies to stop.

In our hearts it is the attitude of rebellion that makes all the other sins possible. A heart submitted to God and His purposes alone would not be able to sin. So, again, the place to start to win over the sin in our lives is by examining our hearts, to get honest about what we really love and hate, the affections we hold in the deepest part of who we are.

Think about how often our heart attitudes of pride, defensiveness, self concern and over sensitivity cause us to react in wrong ways. It is issues like those that have to be conquered first if we are going to be successful in the battle against sin.

Application/Confession: I can have a lazy mind. I can let it go places it should never go. I need to be very careful about the entertainment I watch. So much of what is on TV and in movies glorifies illicit sex and sensuality. If I let myself watch that then I have already lost half the battle for my mind.

 

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for letting my mind run away with me. I know that I sin in the mind and that sets me up for other sins. Help me, remind me, and grace me to discipline my thinking and my wayward heart. I want to love only You, submit to You and follow You. Please help me.

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