Have you ever felt condemned because of the bad thoughts you have had? You could be in the middle of a prayer meeting when suddenly a dirty thought enters your mind. Actually, it is the devil who puts such thoughts in your mind. Then, he steps back, looks at you and knocks you on your head, saying, “How can you call yourself a Christian and still think such thoughts?”
I used to be in bondage over the bad thoughts I had because I felt that I had to confess every one of them and seek God’s forgiveness. But that is not what God’s Word exhorts us to do. You see, God wants us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Now, whose obedience are we to focus on? Christ’s obedience and not our own obedience!
But what is “the obedience of Christ”? It is His obedience at the cross, where “by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Jesus shed His blood for us at the cross. This means that when our thoughts condemn us, we are to focus our thoughts on Jesus’ obedience at the cross.
My friend, the devil can only make inroads into our minds when he gets us to focus on our obedience instead of Christ’s obedience. His strategy is to point us to our obedience or the lack of it to determine our standing before God. But just as our position as sinners is not based on what we do, but what the first Adam did, in the same way, we are forever righteous today not because of what we do, but because of what Christ, the last Adam, did on the cross.
So the next time your thoughts seem to condemn you, say, “I am righteous whether I have good or bad thoughts. My righteousness has nothing to do with my obedience. Jesus’ obedience at the cross made me righteous.” Then, go ahead and pray, knowing that you have access to God and His favor, and that He hears the prayer of the righteous (see Proverbs 15:29).
© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2008–2019
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