Controlling the Body and MindOften times sexual immorality is thought of as a physical act and rightfully so. It indeed deals with our physical being. However, 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (NIV, emphasis added).
While this scripture makes reference to controlling your body, leading us to think sexual immorality is solely a physical act, we are also told to learn how to control our bodies. To learn would suggest a cognitive act is actually in force when conquering sexual immorality. This must mean the war on sexual immorality is a psychological battle just as much as a physical battle.
Where It All BeginsI’d say sexual immorality happens long before you buy that magazine, go to that website or lie in bed with that person. It happens first as a mental thought. I’d say the mind is the soil that turns seeds of sexual immorality into a blooming act of sinful nature.
Look at it like this, when you plant an apple seed – you end up with an apple tree. So then wouldn’t the principal remain that when you plant a sexually driven seed into your mind, you end up with sexually impure actions?
That is why it is of utmost importance that we continually guard our minds and thoughts. Of course it is impossible to keep unrighteous thoughts from popping into your mind 100% of the time, but there is a vast difference between a thought crossing your mind and dwelling on a thought in your mind.
The Authority Lies With YouThe line between being a victor over sexual immorality and being a victim to sexual immorality is what you do when impure thoughts enter your mind. Do you control them or do they control you?
Scripture shows us the great authority we have over our own minds, “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5, NIV). Immediately when an impure thought crosses your mind, you should take control of it by praying and asking God to help you remove the thought trying to take root in your mind.
Going back to our analogy of seeds, the longer you allow a seed to develop roots – the deeper they go and the more they produce. If we meditate on the thoughts of lust too long, chances are the thought will grow and bring life to the ensuing action of sin