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Living with a Pure Heart


In our daily meditations, we are looking at Jesus’ teaching of what is commonly called The Sermon on the Mount. In His teaching, the Lord goes to the root of problems that affect us at the core of our being. With the crowds listening to His every word, Jesus now turns to clarify the Beatitude on purity: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). There is a demonic strategy underway to plant images of violence, infidelity and lust in our inner man, because the enemy knows that purity of heart doesn’t come when our thought life is corrupted. This is the reason why our lower nature, what the Scriptures call “the flesh,” are attracted to movies and video games that satisfy this curiosity. This world system is designed to appeal to our base nature.

 

Nothing happens in the physical realm without it first being conceived in the imagination/vision centers of the inner man, the mind. God has created us with the ability to “see” things before we construct something new. What architect hasn’t first seen the building with his mind’s eye before he puts pen to paper? Don’t you think the Wright brothers first “saw” in their mind’s eye what their airplane would look like flying? As a gardener, we need to tend and cultivate our thought life. Our inner thoughts affect our actions and others around us. It could be said that our thought life shapes our very world! We are naïve to think that the accumulation of evil thoughts and pictures makes no difference to our character. The more a person gives themselves to sinful images and thoughts, the worse the pollution of their inner man, their character, becomes. The act of adultery gives in to a lifetime of regret and guilt and empowers demonic spirits to influence our soul.

 

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell (Matthew 5:27-30).

 

The Lord encourages us to close all the gates that we open to attacks by the evil one. If your “eyegate” has been used to put images of lust in your imagination, then cut the root of those images by repentance. Make a covenant with God not to go to the places where you fall into sin. There are three sources of temptation: our desires (the flesh), worldly influences, and demonic deception and temptation. From the book of James, we are warned:

 

…But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:13-15.)

 

Jesus' instruction to tear out your eye or cut off your hand if it causes you to sin is a deliberate exaggeration called hyperbole—his hyperbolic figure of speech points to uncompromising self-control and self-denial. Lust begins first with the eyes but then is nurtured in the imagination center of the mind, and our lower nature, the carnal mind, takes over and stimulates us to progress to sin.

 

Indeed, for most people, Television, with its programming, can be significantly used by the enemy to desensitize us and corrupt the vision center of the inner self. Be sensitive to the responses of the body to things that are seen via the programming. For instance, if your heart begins to race when a horror program comes on, be self-aware and respond accordingly to the prompting of the Holy Spirit warning you of danger to your soul, not to allow the image to settle and find a home. If you are stimulated by seeing a person of the opposite sex on the television, respond appropriately to the Holy Spirit’s warning. Be careful to keep the vision center of your heart free from the programming by the evil one. Thank God for Jesus, the only One who can make us pure in His sight by His substitutionary death on the cross. Keith Thomas

 

This meditation is from a more complete study found at the following link:  https://www.groupbiblestudy.com/engsermon/3.-reigning-over-your-soul

 

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