I have found in my own experience that my thought life is the battleground of my Christian warfare. The Scripture makes it clear… “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” It is those private conversations with ourselves that will either produce Godly words and actions or will lead us into sin. How we must guard against sin in our thoughts if we would bring honor to our Savior in our lives.

We all know the Ten Commandments. The law of God is our rule of life. To disobey God’s law is the definition of sin. Yet as Christ defined the law in the Sermon on the Mount he clearly showed that the law reaches to the thoughts and intents of our hearts. It is here that sin is oftimes secret, and can grow undetected and unchallenged. It is here that we must determine to wage war, to gird up the loins of our minds, to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

If you’re anything like me, thoughts of discouragement, fear, jealousy, unkindness, hurt, etc.., can just pop up uninvited, and take you by surprise. A sinful thought can sneak up on you so quickly that you feel broadsided. You would have been more prepared if you had ever dreamed that you were capable of such childish thinking. Yet there it is, welling up in your chest: a prideful criticism, a stiff-necked rebellion, or a feeling of unreasonable fear, hurt, or jealousy. These thoughts can be as involuntary as a sneeze. But at their occurrence you will always respond. You will either war against the thought, or indulge it: reject it as an enemy, or invite it in to be entertained as an unexpected and yet politely welcomed guest.

If we would faithfully wage this war we must first be willing to ACKNOWLEGE OUR SIN. So often we want to excuse our unloving thoughts (“after all, it’s just the truth”), or untrusting thoughts (“I can’t help it that I’m afraid”), or stiff-necked thoughts (“well, everyone has a right to their opinion”), etc… But the Bible commands that we love our neighbor, that we be not afraid, that we show forth a meek and quiet spirit. We must first call these thoughts sin and confess them as such, and then we can claim the promise that the Lord will forgive and cleanse us from them.

Secondly we must ADORE OUR SAVIOR. Rejecting sinful thoughts is not enough. We must replace wrong thinking with right thinking. If there be any virtue, if there be any praise (the bookends to the truth concerning the virtuous women in Proverbs 31) then we must think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report! We must replace self-centered thinking with Christ-centered thinking. Using the Word of God (that which is true), we must honor Christ in our thoughts (that which is honest), remembering His sacrificial work of atonement (that which is just), and our righteousness in Him (that which is pure), meditating on the beauties of His person (that which is lovely), and then think graciously of others in the light of how we’ve been forgiven (that which is of good report). This is gospel thinking.

Thirdly, we must ADORN OUR SERVICE with this gospel thinking. Just as a feminine presence in a home sets the atmosphere, we as women create the aroma of the church. Yes, God has ordained that the men provide the leadership, the teaching, the responsibility to guard against error, etc…, but we cannot deny our responsibility behind the scenes to be that presence which adorns the gospel. Whether we adorn the feet of Christ with our tears or with our perfume, we are to be actively seeking to show forth the beauty of the Lord. If we are women who are gracious and loving in our thoughts, forgiving and forbearing, humble and of a meek and quiet spirit in our minds, trustingly waiting on the Lord and believing in His goodness, then our words and actions will adorn the gospel and be a sweet smelling aroma that will fill the house. May we know this mind of Christ and may the beauty of the Lord be upon us.

Categories: Christian Warfare