How Do We Take Thoughts Captive?

How Do We Take Thoughts Captive?

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]:

  1. Recognizing when they are spiritually unhealthy; worthless; unpleasing to God; and not in agreement with the Word of God;
  2. Stopping them in their tracks by determining that they did not originate in our own thoughts or hearts;
  3. Rejecting them outright and robbing them of any power over us; and
  4. 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;
  • Worthless;
  • 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!

What You Behold

What You Behold

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  (Phil 4:8 NKJV)

This passage of Scripture is talking about meditation upon positive topics and positive traits.  Why does the Lord want us to think about these things?  One of the main reasons is that our lives do reflect whatever we value and whatever we think about. 

The more that we value and think about passages from the Bible, then the more that our lives will reflect the values of the Bible.  The more that we value our relationship with Jesus and the more often that we think about Jesus’ qualities, the more that we will reflect His beautiful qualities in our own lives.

 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (2 Cor 3:17-18 NKJV)

This passage, above, in 2 Corinthians confirms that what we behold [view, consider, regard] will actually transform us!  Hallelujah!

Daily Bible reading is such a wonderful practice to cultivate because it will show us God’s “Good Life” which He has in store for each and every one of us.  All that we are required to do in order to receive it is to think about it regularly and to value it highly; because we become whatever we behold.

God has created us to be miraculous beings who are transformed by the things upon which we focus, and which we value. 

Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  (Isa 43:18)

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Mt 6:34, NIV)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  (Rom 13:11, emphasis added)

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Cor 6:2b)

This is all about living in the NOW of our lives.  Our past is behind us, but remembered.  Our future is unknown but hoped for.  Only today—this moment in time—is of ultimate importance and necessity!  Why?

The present matters deeply.  We must live right now, in this moment, in the kingdom of God.  Recognize that the kingdom of God and His power are within you!  (Lk 17:21; Acts 1:8; 2:4)

We should nurture an attitude of heart that is always seeking and searching for God’s will and God’s best for ourselves and for others.  We need to put away distractions and selfishness, and focus on what God’s plan for us is. 

What ministry has God called you to?  What lives does He want you to touch?  What life experience has developed compassion in you for others, and how can you share that compassion?  How can you help others, and improve their lives?

Not only does God’s presence surround us, but people in need surround each of us as well!  Jesus wants us to reach out to the needy and the hurting, and to minister His love and mercy to them through each of us.   Jesus wants us to:   Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  (Mt 10:8)  These are His instructions that He gives to each one of us. 

In Jesus, come ALIVE and live in the moment for the Kingdom and for God’s glory!