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A hindrance to growth in grace is looseness. According to the dictionary, "looseness" means without order or connection, negligent, careless, unchaste, and unrestrained in behavior.

Looseness In Thought
Here is where sin begins: in allowing thoughts that are unprofitable or unseemly to run loose, and to dwell upon those wrong thoughts. You must discipline yourself in these areas.

I can't do anything about your thinking except instruct you. You'll have to do something about your own thinking. That's the trouble with us; we want somebody else to do something for us, but we'll have to do it for ourselves.

It would be interesting here to see something the Spirit of God said through the Apostle Paul:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
(Phil 4:8)
Notice Paul didn't say "pray that God will help you to think on these things." No, you're responsible for your own thinking. You can think what you want to think. Or, you can not think what you don't want to think.

Somebody will say, "But, I'm bothered with these thoughts."

Well, quit thinking them! Now, I realize you can't keep thoughts from coming—any more than you can help who might knock on your door—but you can help who you invite into the living room and entertain.

You can't keep carnal thoughts from coming to your mind any more than you can keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair!

Don't dwell on those thoughts. Every holy saint of God—even the most holy—finds thoughts in his or her mind at times that his heart resents.

And then the devil accuses them, saying, "You're a petty Christian. You must not even be saved, thinking something like that!" But they really didn't think it. Satan brought it by.

Just don't entertain these thoughts. You can think on what you want to think on. Change your thinking. Start thinking about something else.

Something that helps me when the wrong kinds of thoughts come is to start praising God. By praising God, I get my mind off these thoughts. Notice that the Bible says, "think on these things...." That means you can think on them if you want to.

I always believe I can do whatever the Bible tells me to do. I don't believe God told me to do something I can't do. He would be unjust if He did.

Some people have surrendered themselves to the wrong thinking until the devil finally got hold of them, but unless you're completely taken over and have lost your mind, your will is still intact, and you can do what you want.

"Pray for me that I won't have any more trouble with the devil," one fellow said to me.

I replied, "Do you want me to pray that you'll die? Well, the only way you're not going to have trouble with the devil is to die, leave this world, and go on to heaven," I told him.

Source: Five Hindrances To Growth In Grace by Kenneth E. Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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