But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Romans 13:14, NASB1995).
Yes, you can literally think yourself out of lust, temptation, anger, and discouragement.
Negative thoughts wire your brain for negativity while scriptural thoughts wire or rewire your brain for holiness.
The more that you allow godless thinking, the tighter the knots of death become. Fortunately, the Bible teaches that through repentance, the strongholds can be loosened, and you can have a renewed mind.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him (Romans 6:6-8).
Unfortunately, those who have been set free often relapse. As Paul writes in Romans 6:12…
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
The Greek word “passions” literally means “strong desires.”
Have you noticed the more you entertain a thought, the stronger it becomes? The opposite is true as well – the more that you entertain Jesus, or as Romans 13:14 instructs, when you think of Jesus as “strong desires” begin, the more your brain gets wired for righteousness.
Okay, start reading slowly.
I memorized Romans 13:14 50 years ago. I’ve had ups and downs in turning thoughts from passions to Jesus. One thing – one thing – has helped.
Become aware of the images in your mind.
Images reveal your heart better than anything else. This is the reason Jesus’s teaching is image-driven with salt, light, and seed. Parables are images – we have pictures in our minds of a prodigal, a good Samaritan, and the woman taken in adultery.
You think according to images not words.
Take note today what images stimulate your passions – lustful, greedy, or pride-filled. What happens when you see another person who is attractive, when you look at your bank account numbers, or when you see political leaders?
The images can create sensuality, money worries, or anger.
But if you are aware of the images – you guard your heart – and interrupt your “go-to” passion by putting on Jesus.
You then get freedom and peace. Keep interrupting the negative thoughts from images and think of Jesus during temptation. I find it hard to sin when Jesus stands next to me.
Try it today! Be aware of what you see and the passions that are stirred within. This is your current soul-wiring.
Put on Jesus and ask Him to change your thoughts.
Be wired for holiness!