For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Desires of the Eyes
The Apostle John warned the church in 1 John 2:16 that all that the world has to offer are the desires of the flesh, the desires of what our eyes see, and the pride of life; however, each of these first had to start in the mind. In other words, the dialogue in our heads is where sins are first conceived. First, the temptation enters into our minds. Then comes the evil desire of the temptation in our minds. Then it literally gives birth to sin (James 1:14-15). Instead, we must submit to God’s Word and then resist Satan’s temptations or the temptations of our own making, and then the temptation will leave us, just as Satan does if we resist him (James 4:7). This is what Eve experienced in the Garden. Before she ever sinned, she saw that the forbidden food was good for food (desire of the eyes), that it was a delight to the eyes (desire of the eyes), and that it would make her wise (pride of life), but she first had to have this dialogue in her head before she finally took of it and ate and sinned a great sin (Gen 3:6).
The Desires of the Flesh
Jesus said that we can commit adultery without even committing the physical act because even if we think about sexual immorality, we’ve actually done it in our hearts or minds (Matt 5:28). Paul really struggled with sin, just as we all do (Rom 7:15), and he had his own battles with the flesh. Maybe that’s why he suggested that we all need a renewal of the mind for the transformation that is necessary (Rom 12:1-2) to keep our thought life pure. The war was in Paul’s mind (Rom 7:23), just as it is in all of ours, so he strained to keep godly thoughts in his mind to resist the pulls of the flesh. God’s Word is a great discerner of our thought life and the intents or motives of our heart (Heb 4:12), so staying in the Word of God can help us to squelch the desires of the flesh and make the dialogue that goes on in our minds more godly.
The Pride of Life
Pride is such a systemic problem in humanity, and I suffer with it perhaps as much as anybody does. The sin of pride is listed among the most heinous of sins by God, and pride, called “haughty eyes” in the text, ranks at the top of the list of what is commonly called the “Seven Deadly Sins” in Proverbs 6:16-19. Haughty eyes are those which look down upon others in arrogance, and if that were not clear enough, God puts it at the top of the list. Pride is the lack of having a godly dialogue in our minds because we are told to esteem others better than ourselves and do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit (Phil 2:3), but we sometimes esteem ourselves higher than others. God searches our hearts and examines our minds, so we should realize that God knows what we’re thinking (Jer 17:10). So what do we really have to boast or brag about anyway (1 Cor 4:7; 2 Cor 10:17)? There is no reason to be filled with pride because the dialogue in our minds is deceiving us.
A Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father above, please forgive my arrogance and pride, my selfish interest, and my fleshly desires that war against the Spirit of God. Please help me to have a more godly dialogue in my mind since you already know my thought life and the intents of my heart, and I want to please you and not my own flesh or pride. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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