“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.” (Mark 7:20)
How would your life be modified if you knew for a fact that every time you had a sinful thought it would cause a detrimental action in your life? Your cell phone would not work for a period of time, your television, your refrigerator would break down. What if that thought was so reprehensible to the Lord that you lost your job, the loss of your left arm, what if it was so evil that you got cancer?
Would you be able to control your thoughts with any greater control than you do now, do you believe that if the repercussions for thoughts that are detestable to the Holy Spirit living inside you were immediate and irreversible that you could keep your body under subjection to a greater degree, that you could keep every thought captive for Christ, that you could be as holy as you are commanded to be?
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Being transformed in our minds, which is what this verse means, our thoughts which are indeed actions, can only be done by us through the effort of our free will, the Holy Spirit offers the truths of the Living God to us, but He does not force us to change, we must be willing to modify our lives in both the actions of it to the outside world and in our thoughts. You do not have to look on a woman to lust after her, you know that, you have seen plenty of sexually attractive people in your life, the memory of them is stored in your mind, you can recall any of them at any time, or make up your own in your thoughts anytime you so desire.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2nd Cor. 10:5)
Are you in complete and total control of every thought of your mind? No, no one ever has been but Christ, but can you spend nearly every moment confessing those sins that enter into your thoughts, those that you know are displeasing to the Lord? No, your life would be a continuum of thoughts, repent, thoughts, repent.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1st John 1:8)
About the only person then that might be without sin in this area would be the one in a coma, but we are aware, we are sentient beings created with free will, yet unable to continuously do what we are commanded to do, keep every thought captive for Christ.
What if even the smallest, most short-lived thought of sin caused a massive repercussion in your life, what if it brought about great physical pain, would you then be able to control every thought? No, you would not and cannot now.
The mercy of God does not allow those who are hid in Christ the free will to think as they desire and then expect no action from Him anymore than it does an action of sin we might by the same free will perform. The action of adultery is just as sinful as the thought of it.
Cry aloud with me, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) And then in praise and glory, give worship to the Most High as you speak the next verse, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25) Now contemplate the day when you are glorified, and those thoughts will be no more.