Q. After reading your answer to a previous question I sent in, I got to thinking about how do we know when to blame the devil vs. blaming ourselves for the bad thoughts that come into our mind?
A. Assessing the blame for where your thoughts come from isn’t important. Whether it comes from your sin nature or straight from the devil, it’s all the same as far as your response is concerned. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 tells us how to respond.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
We should not allow any thoughts that contradict what we know about how God would have us live to influence our behavior, but should make them conform to what Jesus taught us.
As we learn to immediately reject those thoughts and ask God to forgive us for them, we’ll find ourselves having fewer of them. This is what James meant when he said, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)