Even with the desire to have pure thoughts, some still find themselves struggling with impure thoughts. They have prayed, and have had others pray for them, yet the thoughts are still there. What is going on? While there is a tempter out there, who seeks to wreak havoc in our thought-life, in many cases he is not the problem. The problem lies with the individual.
Proverbs 26:11which is quoted in 2Peter 2:22 says, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (KJV). Part of the problem lies in them going back to where they came from. That is to say, they go back to feeding on those things that are contrary to the Word of God. They are watching things they have no business looking at, listening to things that their ears should not be hearing, partaking in coarse conversations, and so on. A person can be set free of all the garbage, but that does not mean they do not have the choice to return from where they came. I can break my leg by stepping into a hole, and have that leg healed through prayer, but it does not stop me from going back to step in that same hole and break my leg again. Perhaps the problem lies in trying to live in the Kingdom of God and the world at the same time. That does not work. One who straddles a fence will eventually hit a fence post. Some will go to church, listen to a great sermon, read the Bible, then get involved with something completely contrary and wonder why they are confused with strange thoughts.
To repent means to have another thought; it does not merely mean to change direction. Until a person changes the way he thinks, he will never be able to change the direction he is going. A question to ask oneself is, Am I hanging onto a lust? 2Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (KJV). Here we see repentance in action, which is a good cross-reference to Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (KJV). By walking in the Spirit, we begin to see things the way God sees them, which includes the way we view lust. The more we follow the things of the Spirit, the less we will follow the things of the flesh.
In order to have a proper change in our thought-life, we all must renew our mind. As it is written, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2, KJV). The word, “renewing,” means renovation. Yep, it is a complete makeover. The mind and the brain become completely renovated both spiritually and physically. Without going into all the scientific jargon, suffice to say that renewing the mind literally rewires the brain, which in turn affects the way we think. The way we renew our minds is by spending time with God and spending time in His Word. Ephesians shows us that the Word of God has the affect of cleansing us, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26, KJV). Here is a suggestion: go on a thirty-day media-fast, and spend that time in prayer and studying the Bible. Stay away from those conversations that are contrary to the Word of God. Flood your home with praise and worship, and watch how your thinking changes.