Inability to control thoughts.

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Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Andrew,

Most excellent! You help me so much in repreaching the Gospel back to myself, something I cannot do myself. One can tell a theologian of glory form a theologian of the cross a mile away, and you are the later.

The Lord has regarded you,

Larry
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by Larry Hughes
I think the point is that love cannot be commanded and "œbe" love if then obeyed out of fear of punishment or hope of reward.
Larry,

Good to hear from you, as always. But I love God precisely because He loved me first, and has provided a bountiful reward for me as His child, and warned me to flee from the wrath to come. In other words,, He is more to be loved for the punishments and rewards. Therefore my love to God is expressed by trembling at His judgements, and finding comfort in His rewards. There is a depth there I cannot communicate in few words. Meditation on Ps. 119 will draw the marrow out of this bone. God bless you!
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
Rev. Matthew,

Likewise truly.

I think we are in accord. The difference I believe we are both alluding to is a love that rises forth from a grace that is infinitely over flowing. We love because He first loved us. He first loved us is key because He first loved us and cannot not love us is different than saying "I will do XY and Z to merit His love". The hope of reward and fear of punishment I speak of is one under the Law as Law and rank command that tries to gain a merit of justification or sanctification. That's different than the spirit that is ALREADY loved and gained everything. In other words there's a difference in loving God Himself and pretending to love Him by obedience to His commands. Fear operates the same way.

It's the difference between God Who is unrelated to me and God who is my heavenly Father in Christ. You love and fear a Father in a way you DO NOT love and fear a tyrannt. The Law of commands that where fear of punishment and hope of reward give way to what the Law really is, true godly love with no fear of punishment or hope of reward. Why? Because in Christ you ALREADY have everything, nothing can be gained. We may not fully realize all we have in Him, such is the eschatological nature of faith in the tension of awaiting merely on a Word of promise, but we do IN FACT already have ALL we will have. Hence, there is no reward to be gained just the fulness of seeing it in the life to come. Thus, faith is so assured and certain of gain that now the believer can love without hidden agenda which is no love at all. Now, that is not to say that our old man does not rise up at every turn and attempt to gain and fear the old way of the dead letter. However, faith, true saving faith is so fixed and certain that true love cannot AT ALL fail to rise up. Thus, if a man desires to love God and love neighbor TRULY, then he must seek out that which gives faith which gives the fruit and that is Christ. Hence, again, Paul says the Gospel is always the power to what the Law points to.

Again, I think we are saying the same thing, otherwise, obviously we would be in disagreement. But I hold out for the former!

The grace of Christ be yours always,

Larry

[Edited on 9-2-2006 by Larry Hughes]
 

Theogenes

Puritan Board Junior
WW.
Luther said something to this effect; You can't stop a bird from flying over your head but you can prevent it from building a nest in your hair!
It's the same with these fiery arrows of the evil one which he shoots into our minds. I think one trick of our enemy is after he has shot a disgusting thought into your mind to try to get you to say "How could I think such a thing!" But if our immediate response is "I could think, say and do a lot worse if it weren't for the grace of God!" and then look to the imputed righteousness of Christ and tell the devil to scat!
:banana:
Deep in the warfare with you!
Jim
 

rgscot

Inactive User
It's interesting to see the comments on the inability to control thoughts. The world would label this as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Clearly they are completely neglecting the spiritual aspects of these thoughts that plague our minds. I've read about John Bunyan recently where he was pinpointed as having a form of OCD as well. It's intriguing to see the world's interpretation of this compared to a Christian's perspective. Has anyone ever considered this?
 

MrMerlin777

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
You're not alone in this.

We're all neck deep in the struggle at times. As a matter of fact the older I get the more I feel like one of the marks of a believer is that we continue the struggle and don't give up. As we grow in grace and God slowly sanctifies us.

I believe that even these afflictions work a great eternal weight in glory.
 

Bladestunner316

Puritan Board Doctor
:ditto: My biggest folly is thinking I have to worrry more about me forgiving myself then that Christ has forgiven me thus it is over with.
 

Bondman

Puritan Board Freshman
Great question, ah, worm. I don't think you are abnormal; in fact I think the thought life is the main battleground for every Christian, and things like this are evidence of it. I would highly recommend a treatise called "The Vanity of Thoughts" by Thomas Goodwin. Here are just a couple relevant excerpts that should help you; but if at all possible, read the whole thing!



[Edited on 8-27-2006 by Laura]
Fantastic. I'm buying this book. Unfortunately, it will only join a growing collection of other great, unread books in my library.

Worm, it actually seems as if this problem is rather common.

It also seems that the way to begin to combat it is to be increasingly more diligent to focus our thoughts on things above, as the Scripture tells us we ought.

Great post.
 

Bondman

Puritan Board Freshman
It's interesting to see the comments on the inability to control thoughts. The world would label this as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Clearly they are completely neglecting the spiritual aspects of these thoughts that plague our minds. I've read about John Bunyan recently where he was pinpointed as having a form of OCD as well. It's intriguing to see the world's interpretation of this compared to a Christian's perspective. Has anyone ever considered this?
My mom thinks that she can accurately diagnose everybody else's neuroses after watching Oprah and Doctor Phil. It's ridiculous! :barfy:

I wouldn't think that the unregenerate, generally speaking, would have any problems with those thoughts we immediately recoil at after thinking. Some however may, and may also attribute it to something like OCD, ignorant of the spiritual reality.
 

LifeInReturn

Puritan Board Freshman
Praise GOD for this thread! I, too, have been dealing with alot of this lately. It is great to know that I am not the only one, and that there is advice on the subject. Glory to God. :bouncy:
 
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