Where exactly do thoughts come from? I believe there are three sources for thoughts. Our own thoughts, thoughts that come from the Holy Spirit, and thoughts that come from demons, evil spirits.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is complete.2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Thoughts are the entry point for many things. In the above scripture we are commanded to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. When the devil speaks to you it will first come as a thought. This thought can be anything at all, one thought leads to another and then another and if you do not immediately discern that these thoughts are not from you or the Holy Spirit and rebuke it at the door the devil will successfully enter your mind. The scripture also clearly states that until you bring your thoughts under the control of Christ you cannot punish all disobedience. Our weapons of warfare are mighty, but they are also ineffective when we do not take our thoughts captive at the door.
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.Colossians 3:2-5 ESV
Thoughts that come from devils
Thoughts of sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness are all fleshly thoughts. Very often a demon will be behind these thoughts. If you do not rebuke it at the door of your thought life it will quickly become familiar to you as your own thoughts and will lead to sin. Sin when it is full born leads to death.
So what is the remedy of this fleshly tent we live in concerning our thought life? We must set our minds on things that are above, not on this earth. The mystery is that we have died with Christ and it is now Christ who lives in us. We are able to actually have the mind of Christ!
How do you battle thoughts that are not from God?
When a thought comes to you that does not feel right to you, immediately rebuke it. That is the first line of defense, if the thought persists ask God if this is a desire in your heart and if it is repent and ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse you of the desire. He is faithful to help us and He dearly loves us. There are so many things we regret doing in our lives, I know I do. They all started as a thought. A huge part of understanding spiritual warfare is learning how to combat the enemy. We should not always be on the defense, as spirit filled children of God we should be taking ground for the kingdom and keeping it. The enemy should fear us! The enemy should flee from us. We are too often fighting off attack after attack. Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, most of our warfare will start in our minds. Take captive every single thought. This takes practice. However, if you just conscientiously focus on your thoughts for a whole day, you will start to have better understanding of whats going on.
I will ask the Lord, “Lord, where is this thought coming from?” “Am I in error? or am I under attack?” The Holy Spirit will always direct your steps when you seek Him. When you discern where a thought that is not of God is coming from you can stop it at the door. You do this by speaking directly to it. If it’s a lustful thought you call it out for what it is. for example “You lustful thought i rebuke you in the name of Jesus and command you to leave me immediately!”
If you are struggling with getting free from thoughts that you know are tormenting you, there is a very good chance that the devil has already pushed through the thought door and has now started his arsenal of assaults against you. The first thing in deliverance we do is lead a person through repentance for these things. And then we help you to close the doors that allowed the demon or demons in. Then we expel the demon in Jesus’s mighty name. That is the very short version, however if you have been through deliverance and you start experiencing repeat attacks you can easily do self deliverance. Keep in mind that the devil will always try to return. It is at the door that you command him away.
If you need help don’t be ashamed. As brothers and sisters in the Lord we should all be equipped to help each other in spiritual warfare. Reach out for prayer and healing. We have much work to do before the Lord returns and we shouldn’t be ignorant of the evil ones devices.