“Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present” (Luke 22:1 – 6 NIV).

Our minds are like the soil of the earth. And our thoughts like the seeds sown in the soil. Whatever kind of seeds we allow to be sown in the soil of our minds will definitely germinate and bring forth fruits after its kind. If we allow evil seeds such as jealousy, superstitions, malice, bitterness, failure, lust, doubts, discouragements, hatred and so on, to be sown in our minds, they will certainly take root and produce their fruits; fruits that will harm us physically, spiritually, emotionally, which will defile and hurt many. If, however, we allow good seeds to be sown in our minds they will produce fruits that will not only bring us happiness but will also bring joy and gladness to the lives of those around us.

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He ate with the Lord, healed the sick, and cast out demons (Luke 9:1 – 5). But the Bible says that Satan entered into him. Do you think that the devil possessed Judas in person? I don’t think so. What happened was that Judas finally succumbed to the temptations of the devil.

Judas was tempted with the thoughts of making money in an ungodly way. The devil must have suggested to him several times, “You know you could make some money. All you just need to do is lead Jesus’ enemies to where He normally lodges with His disciples. No harm will be done to Him. After all, He once escaped when they tried to throw him off a cliff.” Judas must have rejected those thoughts for a while, but after sometime he stopped resisting the devil’s suggestions. He began to entertain them, pondering over them until the idea begins to look good to him. The Bible says we should resist the devil – steadfastly – and he will flee from us (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8 – 9). Satan entered into Judas the day he stopped resisting him.

Then one of the twelve, the one called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over” (Matt. 26:14 – 16). Even after Jesus told him openly that he was going to be betrayed by him at the table he still went ahead to betray his master (Matt. 26:17 – 30). By then the devil’s suggestions had become a stronghold in his mind. He had become a prisoner of what was once a thought, a suggestion, an idea.

The Bible says that when Judas saw that Jesus was condemned to death on the cross he was filled with remorse, returned the money and went to hang himself.  Proverbs 4:23 admonished us, “above all else guard your heart  for it is the wellspring of life.” If Judas had taken heed to the thoughts or suggestions that came into his heart, resisted them steadfastly, asked for God’s power to overcome he wouldn’t have ended up the way he did (1 Pet. 5:8 – 9). The Bible warns us repeatedly to take heed, to watch ourselves.

Take heed to your thoughts. When the devil begins to bring you evil suggestions, don’t allow them to take root in your mind. The moment you begin to entertain such suggestions, pondering over them, delighting in them, your mind becomes a fertile ground for evil to germinate and you will end up becoming a tool in the devil’s hands. Rather than meditating on the evil suggestions, cast them out in the name of Jesus. “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 JJV).

If you don’t cast out any evil thought that comes into your heart, it will become a stronghold in your life – a stronghold of destruction. Someone said, “You cannot prevent a bird from flying over your head, but you can certainly prevent it from building a nest in your hair.” The truth is that we will be tempted with evil and negative thoughts. God promises us deliverance in time of temptation but not immunity against temptations. Even Jesus was tempted by the devil several times (Luke 4:1 – 13;heb. 4:15). We are not immune against temptations.

. . . take those wrong thoughts captive, before they take you captive.

The tempter will come to us with evil suggestions, but what we do with those thoughts lies with us. When they come, do we welcome or entertain them? Do we delight in them; or do we detest them, recognising them as evil suggestions from the power of darkness? If we choose to detest such evil thought then we are not far from victory. Detesting evil thoughts as originating from the tempter is important but some actions would have to be taken as well.

What are some of those things Jesus did when he was tempted? He prayed. He fasted. He studied the Scriptures and used it as a weapon against the tempter and his temptations (Matt. 4:1 – 11; 26:36 – 45). He resisted the devil’s suggestions steadfastly and verbally. On two different occasions He said to the tempter, “Get behind Me Satan” (Matt. 4:10; Mark 8:33). Fasting and prayer are spiritual exercises we should also engage in as Christians, not only in the days of temptations.

Some years ago I read a little book written by a woman, who in her younger years was tempted with the spirit of lust. She found herself falling in love with a married man. She wasn’t sleeping with the man but she knew that even the thought of it was a sin against God and that the sinful thoughts could lead to a greater evil. What did she do? She locked herself in her room for some days and cried out to God for deliverance from those sinful thoughts that were becoming a stronghold in her mind. After several days of agonising prayer to God she came out of her room a free woman. Years later she became a missionary and a minister’s wife.

I was a young Christian when I read that book, but the story has stayed with me ever since. So, anytime the Spirit of God convicts me about anything in my life, attitude or character, I don’t rationalise it or try to justify myself; rather I take it to God in prayer and ask God for mercy and deliverance.

Are you being tempted with doubts, discouragement, ungodly or negative thoughts? Beloved, begin to take those wrong thoughts captive now in the name of Jesus before they take you captive.  The Lord said in the model prayer he taught His disciples, that we are to pray to our heavenly Father, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). He also said, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:40).

God’s promises of deliverance are sure. Pray for deliverance and God will surely deliver you.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *