We all deal with sinful thoughts that arise from our sinful nature. No one is exempt, no matter how spiritual or sanctified. They unavoidably pass through our mind, where we continually make decisions to dismiss them, delay them, or detain them. Evil thoughts are devious and deceptive intruders who promise to unlock life but only bring keys to death. They love destroying all that is beautiful. When delayed or detained, they immediately begin their seduction, sweetly singing a soothing song of satisfaction while designing their destruction. Even when dismissed, they can leave drops of lust, and jealousy, and anger, and discontentment that can poison the purest of friendships and the sweetest of loves.
If I had special powers, I’ve always said that I would want the ability to read minds. But I admit, when I consider the dark thoughts of my mind, the horror of what I might read in your mind freaks me out. I’m quite certain there’s not one of you who wouldn’t be wholly despised if I knew all your thoughts, and I don’t want to go through life with nobody to love. So I’ll pass on that special power, and instead find joy in knowing I have an Almighty Father who does read minds, and He’s not afraid of the dark. And not only is He not afraid, because of the sacrifice of His Son, He also loves perfectly and purely. What grace!
I cherish sweet thoughts that outshine our sinful thoughts. Cling to these words of comfort that John Newton wrote to a friend in 1772:
“…if the Lord had not taught you, you would not have been sensible of them [evil thoughts], nor concerned about them. This is a token for good. By nature your thoughts would have been only evil, and that continually. But you find 'something' within you that makes you dislike these thoughts, makes you ashamed of them, makes you strive and pray against them. This 'something' that resists your evil thoughts, what can it be? It can't be human nature, for we naturally love our vain imaginations. It is the grace of God! The Lord has made you sensible of your disease, that you might love and prize the great Physician!
The knowledge of His love for you makes you hate these thoughts, yet you will be pestered with them more or less while you live in this world…If you were asleep, Satan would be content that you should rest. But when he sees anyone awakened out of this deadly sleep, he tries first to lull them asleep again. And if the Lord prevents that by His mercy, then Satan alters his measures and roars like a lion which has lost his prey. Be thankful that he treats you as his enemy! For the state of those to whom he behaves as a friend is miserable indeed. And always remember that he is a chained enemy. He may terrify, but he can't devour those who have fled for refuge to Jesus!"