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Awareness of God’s Presence

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Satan delights in seeing Christians fulfill their God-given desires and drives in ungodly ways.


Family Counseling Ministries -

Sincere Believers cannot entertain sensual thoughts unless they temporarily blot out of their consciousness, the presence of God. In this final article of a seven-part series on conquering impure thoughts, Dr. Don Dunlap reminds us that the fear of the Lord is a moment-by-moment awareness that God is watching and weighing our words, thoughts, actions and attitudes. He urges us to quickly reject every impure thought.

God informs us in Proverbs 16:6, “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.”

The eighth principle for conquering impure thoughts states: Christians must learn to live in the fear of God.

A Christian must willfully ignore God’s presence in order to think impure thoughts.

A sincere Christian cannot entertain sensual thoughts unless he temporarily blots out of his consciousness the presence of God. If we truly believed that God evaluates every one of our thoughts, we would quickly reject those that are impure.

This is precisely what the fear of the Lord is—the moment-by-moment awareness that God is watching and weighing every one of our words, thoughts, actions and attitudes.

The writer of Proverbs 15:3 reminds us of God’s presence,

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

The words of Proverbs 5:21 reinforce this truth,

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, He ponders all his goings.

If someone we know entertains impure thoughts toward us, that knowledge sinfully influences our own thoughts. We further fortify our minds against harboring impure thoughts when we project to other people an awareness that the Holy Spirit lives within us.

 

One woman, for example, was discouraged because she was making very little progress in overcoming impure thoughts. She was unaware, however, that her immodest clothing had prompted impure thoughts toward her in the minds of men who saw her.

 

When she changed her style of dress and asked forgiveness of the people whom she had defrauded, she made significant progress in her thought life.

People often “flirt” or communicate sensuality with their eyes and their facial expressions.

When someone has a pure heart and a godly countenance, he or she projects to those people around him or her, an awareness of God’s presence. This results in a wall of protection and restraint.

The ninth step toward achieving a pure thought life is to learn God’s limitation to curiosity. Undisciplined curiosity is one of the most common ways that we sabotage ourselves in the war against impure thoughts.

In Romans 16:19, the Apostle Paul explains that we must be “wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil.” God never intended us to learn evil by doing evil. He desires, instead, that we discern evil with our minds and spirits, and that we flee temptation. We read these instructions in 1 John 4:1, “Try the spirits whether they are of God.”

The more we become mighty in God’s Spirit, the more ability we gain to discern evil. In Galatians 5:17 we learn that we cannot become mighty in spirit until we conquer impure thoughts,

For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

 

In order to apply this verse practically to our lives, we must remove from our homes a host of books, magazines, television programs and discussions that are unwholesome and ungodly.

 

Satan delights in seeing Christians fulfill God-given drives in ungodly ways.

The tenth principle states: We must use sensual thoughts as a springboard to gain spiritual insights. Every temptation we face is based on a legitimate human need. Satan prompts us to fulfill these needs in his way. Yet, God calls us to give Him every need or expectation, and trust Him to fulfill it in His timing and in His way.

Impure thoughts that enter our minds become sin when we nurse them and dwell upon them. When we expose each sensual thought to the Lord and ask Him for strength to resist the temptation, He will transform our ungodly desires into spiritual power.

 

 




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