The Devil and Evil Thoughts
The devil is responsible for all the evil in the world which includes the evil thoughts in our minds. He tempts us by placing wicked ideas in our minds. The Bible in Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and slanders.”
Temptation in itself is not considered a sin. Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-13) but He did not yield to sin (Hebrews 4:15). Sin happens only when a person submits to temptation. Martin Luther once said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” Yielding to temptation usually starts in the mind (Romans 1:29; Mark 7:21-22; Matthew 5:28). And when one yields to temptation, the fruits of the flesh get manifested in his life instead of fruits of the spirit (Ephesians 5:9; Galatians 5:19-23).
The Bible tells us that “Satan entered Judas” (Luke 22:3) who in turn yielded to the devil’s insinuations for the sake of his greed and he betrayed his Master. Although the devil gave Judas the thoughts, Judas alone was responsible for his actions. James 1:14 says, each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. For “When lust is conceived it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (verse 15).
Therefore, Paul urges the believers saying, “Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). We are called to watch unto prayer continually that the Lord will abide in our minds and fill us with His Spirit then “we (will) have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
The good news is that Jesus Christ died to give us complete victory over evil thoughts (Hebrews 9:13-14). But He urges us to do our part in keeping our minds clean by His power. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
In His service,