“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person..”, Mathew 15:17-20.
To be defiled means to become dirty, unworthy, not accepted by society and God. Defilement leads to loss of prestige, authority, salvation and eternity. A given extract from the Bible shows that defilement has nothing to do with outward uncleanness or slovenliness; a person can be defiled in other ways. What can make a person disgusting in the eyes of God? These are his thoughts, intentions, and designs.
You would not like to spend time in the company of a person who came in dirty clothes, didn’t brush his teeth for a week, didn’t shower, etc. However, this is not the way God looks at people. In the eyes of God a defiled person is a person who has impure thoughts and doesn’t know how to control them.
What is cleanliness, purity, tidiness? What defines a person’s status before God? The key role is played by the person’s thoughts, not his money, clothes, cosmetics or hairstyle. You can have all that and still be dirty in the sight of God. As we can see, one must pay greater attention not to physical things such as tidiness and deportment, but to spiritual things such as thoughts and intangible values.
What one should do with thoughts?
1. One should control them. It is unacceptable to take in everything that comes into one’s mind.
2. If we don’t control our thoughts, we behave like prostitutes who easily lose their dignity by allowing everyone in.
3. By the same token, we undress in front of a single predestined by God person to whom we had first revealed our soul, it is forbidden to expose our mind to unclean thoughts that are trying to capture our attention. We should be very selective in our thoughts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”, Proverbs 4:23.
4. Define for yourself three to five directions or topics upon which you can think or reflect. You cannot think about everything that comes your way, it will turn your head into a rubbish bin. “Always concentrate your thoughts on useful things for your country. Afterwards on those things useful for your family, and only then on those useful for you”, Gaius Lucilius. For instance, my thoughts revolve day and night around five topics: 1. How to get to know God more and more. 2. How to reveal and show His love and salvation to people. 3. How to make my wife and children happy. 4. How to make people around me happy. 5. How to expand God’s Kingdom.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things”, Phil 4:8.
It is very crucial to think about everything that comes your way. Those things that we meditate on either defile or sanctify us, exalt or pull us down. “…for as he thinks within himself, so he is”, Proverbs 23:7.
Rephrasing a well-known saying by E.Roosevelt; it is possible to conclude that great or successful people think and talk about a goal, a mission, while ordinary people think and talk about problems, trials and failures; they think and talk about other people.
Our life is proportionate to our thoughts. In real life we get what we think about. Our reality is defined by our focus and the direction of our thoughts.
Everything that happens around us we interpret through our own views, beliefs and world outlook. This is why different people might have such a different attitude to the same event. It is not the reality that defines our reaction, but our own perception. Our subjective point of view. Perception of the outer world is defined by who we are.
Our thoughts guide our steps, dictate our deeds, define our future, and at large become building blocks for our destiny. That is why we have to work hard in order to be guided in our thoughts by God’s truth and not by any idea floating in the air.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander”, Mathew 15:19. In other words, if a head and a heart are filled with rotten thoughts, then everything in life will be spoilt, decomposed, unsuccessful, and sinful.
Ask yourselves: “What thoughts do you have?”. For thoughts are those things that make us either clean or defiled, successful or defeated, goal-oriented or depressed, active or passive, loving or indifferent. Things that we constantly think about define who we eventually become.
Anyone can be tempted, but the outcome is dependent on what thoughts we give permission to dwell in our heads. Even Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-10).
The first temptation after a 40-day fast was to turn stones into bread. The devil wanted Jesus to take a shortcut, to satisfy His feeling of hunger without paying a price.
Conclusion:Thoughts and the desire to get something free of charge is not God’s will, but the devil’s lie. Trying to acquire things without any effort, shallowness and flippancy are sins.
The second temptation: To jump down from the temple’s tower (verse 6). The temptation was for Him to prove that He is the Son of God by performing this miracle. He would not have to bear His cross, pay the price, be persistent, or edify His disciples every day.
Conclusion:To become successful and gain results it is necessary to go through certain circumstances. Sometimes we are also tempted to take a shortcut and achieve something without paying a price: to give a bribe, to buy a diploma, to sleep with a boss etc. If Jesus had accepted these thoughts He would have remained the Son of God in people’s eyes, but He would have lost His authority in God’s eyes. He would have been defiled in the sight of the Father.
The third temptation: about the offer of all the kingdoms of the world. (verse 8). Jesus could have thought: “Why do I need to go to cross of Calvary, and go through pain and humiliation? It is a tempting offer to become a king without any problems”. But Jesus understood that acting in such a way would guarantee His defeat to the devil. He understood who the author of these thoughts was and He resisted them instantly. Different thoughts come to one’s mind, but the main victory is not to accept empty, unclean, negative thoughts.
Conclusion:One should always be focused on eternity, on the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ, on God’s principles and laws.
In all temptations Jesus responded and gained victory with one weapon – the Word of God.
The only power that can conquer thoughts is the Word.
Oftentimes we try to conquer negative thoughts with other thoughts. In the end we get engaged into a fruitless fight which yields no results. A thought is not strong enough to overcome another thought. That is why it is so important to use words and proclaim God’s laws. It is impossible to declare God’s truth and still keep negative thoughts in one’s mind at the same time. Words spoken aloud are light; unrighteous thoughts are darkness. Light is always stronger, light casts away any darkness. In a fight against wrong thoughts the main thing is to speak aloud.
Shouting can conquer negative thoughts, that is why we often shout joyfully, victoriously, praising God. “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them”, Numbers 23:21. If the devil manages to suppress our shouting, he will conquer us. That is why when we pray it is OKAY to raise our voices, to cry from our hearts. When we speak, we speak from the heart, when we shout, we shout from our spirit.
Let us always watch over our thoughts, inspect what we think about, and learn how to control our thoughts so that they don’t lead us to defilement in the eyes of people and God.
For a deeper studying of this topic the following literature is recommended:
“Victory over temptations, lust and sin,” Sunday Adelaja;
“Problems, disasters and crisis. Reasons and consequences”, Sunday Adelaja.
With deep respect, love and care for you,
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations
P.S. Prayer in solitude:
1) To monitor what we think about. To define topics in which we will always think
2) For qualitative and timely accomplishment of all construction and finishing works of the Ukrainian Cultural and Spiritual Center.
3) For a new level of influence of Pastor Sunday around the world.
Translated by Maryna Yaroshevych
Edited by Kizito Leacock