Focused minds not easily filled with temptation

By Leonard Laurialt: Religion columnist

Sometimes I get a lot more out of a sermon than the preacher may have intended.

That probably happens on both sides of conversations when one person says something meaning it one way and the other person’s frame of mind at the moment is such that what is said strikes them in other ways as well.

For example, I recently heard a visiting preacher say it’s possible that just before Goliath died he saw the stone coming and thought, “Nothing like this ever entered my mind before.”

The context of the sermon suggested the preacher meant that it never occurred to Goliath, or anyone else, that a young man like David would be so brash as to go up against a giant (1 Samuel 17: 33, 41-44). When the preacher made the statement, though, I was focused on the rock and how it sank into Goliath’s forehead (1 Samuel 17: 48-50).

Like that rock, some things that enter our minds can become deadly, like temptation. It’s no sin to be tempted, but to give in to the temptation is sin that can give birth to death (James 1: 13-15). Hopefully, that thought will have entered our mind even before we’re tempted.

We must understand that when we’re tempted to sin, it’s not from God because it would never enter into God’s mind to encourage us to sin (Jeremiah 19: 5; 32: 35). In fact, God will help us overcome every temptation (1 Corinthians 10: 12, 13).

One thing we must not do is dwell on the evil thoughts that enter our mind (Proverbs 23: 31, 32; Genesis 4: 7).

We also should be careful where we allow our eyes to roam. As the lamp of our body, whatever we allow to enter our eyes passes through our mind and into our heart where it’s stored and from where it can erupt (Matthew 6: 21, 22; 15: 17-20).

When we fill our minds with evil thoughts, we’ll likely start acting upon those thoughts and begin doing things that lead to our spiritual death (Genesis 6: 5-9; Hebrews 6: 4-8; 10: 26-31; Romans 6: 23). Consequently, it is in our best interest to take the evil thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10: 5). To do otherwise is to act like we have rocks in our heads.

That David cold sling a stone into Goliath’s forehead was not so farfetched. Judges 20:16 tells of 700 men in the tribe of Benjamin alone who could sling a stone and not miss their target by a hair. If we focus on Christ, who is the Rock (1 Corinthians 10: 4; Hebrews 12: 1, 2; Philippians 4: 8, 9), a good thing will have entered our mind and we’ll be right on target for heaven, having crossed from death to life (Romans 6: 1-14; 8: 5-17; 2: 7-11; Galatians 3: 26-4: 7).

What’s on your mind today?