Thoughts ... thoughts ... thoughts ...

We all have them. We can't get away from them.

Today I'm thinking about thoughts. More and more I'm seeing how important they are. I began to think about Judas, the betrayer. If all I knew about him was John 13:27, I might wonder if I should feel sorry for him. "Satan entered into and took possession of Judas." Was Judas just a helpless pawn? Can Satan just waltz into a person without not so much as a by-your-leave? What was his claim to a point of entry? I looked back at Vs.2; "Satan had already put the THOUGHT of betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas." At that point it was just a THOUGHT, a THOUGHT which could have been rejected. But we know that Judas was in the habit of welcoming, entertaining and acting on THOUGHTS from Satan. Where, but from Satan, would he get the THOUGHT to rob the offerings given to support Jesus and the disciples (John 12:6)? What if Judas had rejected the THOUGHT to steal from Jesus?

What if Judas had rejected the THOUGHT to betray Jesus? Satan had a claim on Judas and power over him because the THOUGHTS in Judas belonged to Satan.

Just like Abraham in Genesis 12:10. Because of famine, Abraham THOUGHT it advisable to go down to Egypt.

He didn't check it out with the Lord but acted upon it, so it was followed up by another THOUGHT.

Because his wife was a stunning beauty, he knew the king would want her for his harem and he THOUGHT it would be a good idea to lie because he also THOUGHT, "Better she should be raped than he should be killed." If Abraham had taken his thoughts captive, we would have no problems in the Middle East today.

When Abraham or Judas or any one of us welcome and entertain the suggestive THOUGHTS from Satan, he gains a foothold which can become a stronghold; but it was very different with Jesus.

He said (John 14:30), "The prince of this world has no claim on Me - he has nothing in common with Me - there is nothing in Me that belongs to him - he has no power over Me."

There are many references to verify that Jesus meditated and acted only on the THOUGHTS which came from God. I went back to that difficult temptation when He was so hungry. Satan sidled up with a delicious suggestion (Matthew 4:3), "Command these stones to be made bread." What if Jesus had not rejected the evil THOUGHT to make the stones into bread? If He had not, He never could have said that Satan had nothing in Him and no power over Him. But He could say that; because He evaluated every THOUGHT to determine its source.

The only way Satan can tempt us is through our minds and he does it with THOUGHTS; alluring, suggestive, confusing, painful, critical or whatever, but THOUGHTS; sometimes a barrage of them. Many times the THOUGHTS themselves indicate their wicked source

but sometimes they are so subtle it's as if they were delivered by an angel of light. Evil THOUGHTS are not sins; they are temptations. THOUGHTS must be evaluated, and if there is any doubt in my mind, I must mentally follow it through to its logical conclusion, to determine whether its source is wicked or Divine,whether its purpose is to distract me and dishonour God,or to edify me and glorify God.

My mind is a gift from God. There is a THOUGHT behind every word, attitude and action. It is no wonder that THOUGHTS are things in God's sight.

I am deeply convinced that I must think very seriously about my THOUGHTS. I got a valuable tip from Job. He said (Job 31:1) that he made a covenant with his eyes. Well I, too, can make a covenant, a covenant with my mind; that no thought which does not have its Source in God will ever find a welcome.

God forbid that my mind should harbour THOUGHTS which are owned by Satan!

Several months ago I was given a wonderful THOUGHT while praying; one with its Source easily recognizable. I repeat it often to myself and others. "In all the trials and vicissitudes of life in this fallen world, the safety net for my sanity is God's Sovereignty."

With love & prayers,

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