“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Anabel Gillham tells a story of the time when she was cooking dinner and heard what she thought were her two young sons at the front door. She called out, ‘Come on in, dinner’s almost ready.’ However, it wasn’t her two sons. It was a vacuum cleaner salesman. Once he entered the house it took them almost two hours to get him out.
We have all unwittingly invited intruders into our minds. Once we allow a tempting or deceiving thought to enter, it is very difficult to get it out…
The spiritual battle is in the mind, and if we don’t renew and discipline our minds by choosing the truth, we will likely lose the battle. The stakes are huge. To lose could mean personal destruction, alienation and bondage. It is a battle, not a game, and Satan is determined to inflict as much damage as he can.
The good news? God has promised to provide a way of escape for every temptation. We are promised that no temptation will come our way that is not common to everyone else, and God will enable us to withstand every one. The key to victory is to practice threshold thinking.
Every temptation comes by way of an initial thought to your mind. It matters not whether the thought is from your own carnal nature, the world or the devil. If you ruminate on that thought and consider it an option, you will eventually act on it, and that’s sin. Instead, Paul instructs us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Cor. 10:5b). The first step for escaping temptation is to apprehend every thought as soon as it steps through the doorway of your mind.
If it isn’t true, don’t think it.
The way of escape is to choose the truth when any tempting, accusing or deceiving thought first enters your mind…Having the Word of God tucked in your heart and on the top of your mind will help you choose the way of escape.
We have to practice the presence of God and assume 24-hour responsibility for our thoughts. Hannah Whitall Smith said that our thoughts are what we feed on and what determines our spiritual vitality. Hannah wrote:
‘Very few persons realize the effect of thought upon the condition of the soul, that is in fact its food, the substance from which it evolves its strength and health and beauty, or upon which it may become weak and unhealthy and deformed. The things we think about are the things we feed upon. If we think low and corrupt thoughts, we bring diseases upon our soul, just as we bring diseases upon our body by eating corrupt and improper food. If we will take the words of God, that is, His revealed truth, into our lips and eat it; that is, if we will dwell upon His words…we will find that our soul-life is fed and nourished by them, and is made strong and vigorous in consequence.’
Have you understood how important your thought life is for living a responsible and victorious life? What negative patterns of thinking get you into trouble or weigh you down? Can you identify these thoughts and stop them at the threshold of your mind?”
One Day at a Time Mike & Julia Quarles page 332-334 also The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson, p 138 and The Common-Sense Teaching of the Bible, Hannah Whitall Smith pp 25-28