Lust • Devotion 2

Entertaining Thoughts
Katrina Young

“Don’t entertain the thought.” That is what my mentor (JoAnne) would say to me every time she would coach me through a crisis. “You are sending out invitations to a party that you are hosting in your mind, and you are dancing with sin.” Her words seemed so harsh to me at the time, but I am so thankful for the wisdom and patience that she had with me. I was a new believer and an emotional mess; my thought process was very undisciplined, to say the least. I took everything to heart and often created emotional drama for myself, all by giving ground to the enemy in my mind.

Romans 8:6 (NLT) says, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control our mind leads to life and peace.” We all battle with our thoughts and, at times, our desires. It is how we proceed that either frees us from entanglement or sets a trap for us to fall. Scripture gives us many warnings of the dangers that can come from entertaining thoughts and ideas, allowing them to take hold in our hearts.

• “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. These are what defile a person.” Matthew 15:19-20

• “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:17

There is always a battle going on for us to give way to sin. Philippians 4:6-8 gives us assurance that Christ will guard our minds and our hearts, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

JoAnne passed away nearly twenty years ago, but her words are a constant reminder for me to look to God’s Word first when dealing with difficult situations. Sin is always going to be a daily battle, but I have learned to stop inviting it in. The warnings are there in Scripture, but our Loving Father also gives us guidance in how to identify when we are being tested. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The process of learning the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart over the years has enabled me to discern and identify when my thoughts are not in alignment with His Word.

Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” You cannot keep the devil from suggesting thoughts, but you can choose not to dwell or act on them.


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