Response is Necessary

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Battlefield of the Mind Part III

Many people claim that God speaks to them, and that they are prompted in various ways by the Holy Spirit. I agree with this, and would add that I think that one of the ways that God does this is through our thoughts.

Is it that hard to imagine that perhaps not all of our thoughts come from our own intellect? Could God be blessing us by giving us certain thoughts? Maybe giving us thoughts of encouragement or thoughts that would influence us to act in a given situation. I know personally of times when I have been reasoning out various ideas, and am given insight from a different direction that allows me to continue the idea further. Call me crazy but I attribute that thought to God.

Now if that is true, and some of my thoughts are not my own but given to me by God, could it also possibly be true that Satan could do the same thing? To illustrate this point I think of lust since lust is a sin that takes place in the mind. There are times that I am tempted and an image will cross my mind. At this point I believe that the image is still only a temptation and that I have the choice to dismiss it, or I can take hold of that image and manipulate it with my mind, turning that temptation into sin. I don’t believe that the image just happened to flow through my minds eye by chance. I believe that the devil is able to give us thoughts just as God is able. In fact I would go so far as to say that if Satan doesn’t put these thoughts in our mind, then how exactly is he able to tempt us? I mean, really, we’ve all been tempted probably countless times, but do we ever stop to think about the precise manner in which we are tempted. I think that because of the subtlety of it we don’t think about it, and that is exactly what Satan would want. If we were to realize the venue for which he infiltrates us then we could stop it. This is whole reason why God gave us armor (The Armor of God Eph 6:10-20). This is armor not to protect our body, but our mind. Remember that if the mind is the battlefield; we need to always be wearing our armor.

7 comments:

Andy C said...

And the mind can be a dark, lonely battlefield if you are not in the word and if you do not have friends to hold you accountable.

Sherri Watt said...

Great words John! Satan does put thoughts in our mind. I had it happen this morning with words of discouragement. I have found the most effective weapon in those times is to begin to sing praises.

God Bless!

Sharon G said...

AMEN on God thoughts. As for the sin thoughts. I am sure some comes from evil, but most, I gotta blame on me and my brokenness.

Jonathan Jason Woodward said...

You pose an interesting point. "In fact I would go so far as to say that if Satan doesn’t put these thoughts in our mind, then how exactly is he able to tempt us?" This raises a few questions. Is Satan omnipresent? Because isn't he tempting you and me with these images at the same time? At least that is what this sentence asserts.

Also, "I believe that the devil is able to give us thoughts just as God is able." Be deduction, the devil is attributed to the same divine ability as God; something I do not think the Bible affirms. While there is Definitely things here to think about, I wonder if there is a different understanding to our being tempted in thought.

God bless.
- Jonathan J.

Jonathan Jason Woodward said...

Oh, by the way, I'm just following rules: "Response Required"

Ha! I love it!

John said...

I am definitely not asserting that Satan is omnipresent. I don’t think that he needs to be in order to tempt many people at once. I can hold a conversation with multiple people with ease. Through this blog I am able to influence people’s thoughts around the world. I don’t have to be omnipresent to do this. Now I’m not saying that Satan has some kind of technological internet access to our minds, but I am saying that his influence can be felt in multiple places with out the need of omnipresence. An even more simplistic answer would be that it is not always Satan in particular that is tempting us but demons that are doing his biding.

You also claimed that the ability to influence or place thoughts in our minds was a DIVINE ability. I’m not inclined to believe that it is. I would agree that any divine ability would, by definition, only apply to God, but there are abilities that Satan and God both share. Take for instance the ability to control the weather. God clearly has control of the weather; this is manifested in Jesus’ ability to calm storms by merely speaking words. Satan also shows this power when sending a whirlwind to destroy Job’s family and possessions.

Jonathan Jason Woodward said...

I was wondering if you were going to mention the demon thing; this I agree with. I also believe that Satan has indirect influence; he influences many by many. For instance, billboards, commercials, possessed people, etc. By this type of action, he is even influencing by mass technology. Not that he is doing it himself, but by his influence, so are others. I think we agree on this, but it was much better to generate conversation! ;)

As far as divine abilities, this is a very touchy issue. Whereas God and Satan do share some divine abilities, I am probably siding on semantics: God has the divine ability to give Satan some powers necessary to fulfill God's purposes. Therefore, Satan does not "share" these abilities with God, he is "permitted" them. That being said, it seems more practical, and theological, for Satan to be able to present tempting thoughts to us, whereas God can not only present them, but make us think them.