What you think about is what you care about and what you care about is what you will chase.
So the question is, what do you allow your mind to entertain? Because your mind will move your heart will move your feet toward either sin or to salvation. And that is essentially the crux of life as a follower of Christ. It is one movement with two parts. It is a movement away from sin, and a movement toward intimacy with God.
Jesus’ arrival on earth was essentially a rescue mission. We were all being held hostage to sin and Satan, helpless and broken whether we realized it or not (some of us don’t), and Jesus came down and kicked Satan’s butt. Publicly. However, even though the war is over, we still struggle to embrace our new identity. It’s almost like the entire human race suffers from Stockholm Syndrome! And Satan, beaten or not, is still there, and if he can’t have our soul, he can still torment us through temptation. And he’s surprisingly good at it. And we’re shockingly bad at defending against it, which is weird because the Bible has a lot to say about the process of sanctification, that is, becoming more like Jesus over time.
Jesus Himself tells the disciples to “pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:31) Paul tells Timothy to pay attention to his life and doctrine, and to flee youthful lusts. Likewise he tells the Colossians to set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:2), the Romans to, “be transformed,” by the renewing of their minds(Romand 12:1), and the Ephesians that they too are, “being renewed,” in the spirit of their minds (Ephesians 4:23). Notice that all this renewing, all this transformation, all this movement away from sin and toward intimacy with God begins in the mind! James 1:14-15 nails the same point.
So, what are you chasing? What are you allowing your mind to entertain? And how far are you willing to go to eliminate the source of your temptations? At one point in His ministry Jesus said that if your and offends you, cut it off. And conventional wisdom tells us he was simply exaggerating to make a point, but too many of us instead of paying attention to the issue simply ignore it altogether.
Final words… We all want forgiveness and healing. Forgiveness is immediate, and we always ask Jesus to forgive our sin, and He really already has. Healing on the other hand, requires assistance. James tells us to confess our sins to who? One another. And that’s just not any fun, but neither is living broken and bound, forgiven, but not free…