Our thoughts are central to our lives because we act upon our thoughts. (see Pro 23:7a; Mk 7:21)
When we consider our ways, it’s wise to turn our hearts to God’s Word. (Ps 119:59) God’s Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts; and it will reveal our true motives to us—something that we all need. (Heb 4:12)
We should reject our own thoughts and carnal ways; and turn to the Lord, who will forgive us and will renew our thinking. (Isa 55:7; 65:2)
God understands our thoughts and knows our works. (Isa 66:18) But God’s thoughts and God’s ways are higher than ours. (Isa 55:8-9) That’s why the Bible tells us that we’re being changed into His image day by day. (2 Cor 3:18) We need to be changed.
Here’s how to take thoughts captive [confined; caged; enslaved]:
- Recognizing when they are spiritually unhealthy; worthless; unpleasing to God; and not in agreement with the Word of God;
- Stopping them in their tracks by determining that they did not originate in our own thoughts or hearts;
- Rejecting them outright and robbing them of any power over us; and
- Replacing them with Scripture verses that the Holy Spirit brings to our minds to counteract them and to minister comfort to our hearts.
It’s important to understand this process because the Lord tells us to take our thoughts captive in 2 Corinthians 10:5:
. . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . .
Our goal is to bring our thoughts into obedience to Christ, our Savior. We willingly offer our thoughts to the Lord Jesus, who alone is able to confine them.
As mentioned above, the types of things that we would want to take captive are those that are:
- Spiritually unhealthy (fearful or sinful);
- Unproductive to the Kingdom of God;
- Unpleasing to God;
- Originating from the evil one (disparaging of self or others; lonely; discouraged; depressed; lustful thoughts; mulling over past hurts; etc.);
- Not in agreement with the Word of God.
We are blessed because we have the freedom and ability to choose what thoughts to entertain and what thoughts to utterly reject. We have spiritual weapons (2 Cor 10:4) at our disposal that will assist us in the battlefield of the mind. Several of those spiritual weapons are: prayer; confession; praise; the Word of God; fellowship with other believers; and the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2), we become engaged in the battle against pretense and the arrogant philosophy of the world. Trusting Christ and rightly dividing the Word of God (2 Tim 2:15), we take every thought captive, pull down the strongholds, and, by the grace of God, set ALL of the captives free. Hallelujah!