Every Thought Captive

Every Thought Captive

Words of Faith 12-1-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 10:5

     [5] 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.

 

       Sometimes the "arguments" and "pretensions" are closer to home than we would like. One of the favored tactics of the Enemy is to roughshod through our thought life and wreak havoc in our hearts. With very little prodding, we can worry ourselves into a thither about things that either none of our concern or perhaps not even based in reality. Military strategists might call it "psy-ops" -- psychological warfare operations. Satan is skillful at this.

       Paul knew that his thought life was a strategic battle ground. A significant part of our prayer warfare lies in taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. Worry is a faith killer. Anxiety tears at the soul. Jealousy and envy can intrude. Such responses in life express a fundamental lack of trust in God.

       Paul wrote to the Philippians: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (4:6-7).

       The life of prayer is as much about laying aside our worries as it is about lifting our petitions. The arguments that come to mind in the night and the pretense we imagine are among the strongholds that the Lord wants to demolish so that he might garrison our hearts in Christ Jesus.

         A good question is this: Are my thoughts obedient to Christ? Is my mind focused on the things of God? Am I listening to the lies of the world? Am I arguing for the Enemy in my thought life? Am I giving ear to gossip? Am I obsessing over something that is petty? Am I worrying over matter that I should be entrusting to God? He is, after all, God.

         The Bible teaches that we can actually tell our mind where to focus and what to think. Paul wrote to the Philippians: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (4:8-9).

         We have a choice in regard to our thought life. We can choose not to think about all the negative possibilities that might happen. We can choose not to think the worst of people. After all, love expects the best. We can choose not to be cynical people. We can choose not to be suspicious. We can choose not to dwell on the negative. We can focus on that which is true and noble, right and pure. We can choose to focus on what is lovely and admirable in our brothers and sisters. We can choose to look for that which is praiseworthy and think about such things. We can choose, by the power of the Spirit to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

         How do we do that? One way is to immerse ourselves in Scriptural truth. Jesus gave us the perfect example when the Enemy put lies before Him. Jesus simply rebuked those lies with Scripture.

       When the Enemy suggests that we will fail, we can focus on the truth that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).

         When the Enemy suggests that we will not have enough, we can remind ourselves that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19).

         When the Enemy suggests that we try an control other people or the events of life, we can be reminded that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Roman 8:28).

         When the Enemy suggests to us that God no longer loves us because of some sin or failure, we can remind ourselves that God has loved us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3).

         When the Enemy accuses us and tells us that we are condemned by our sin, we can remind ourselves that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

         When the Enemy tells us that we are unchanged we can be reminded that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).

         When the Enemy tells us that God has given up on us, we can be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philip. 1:6).

         When the Enemy tells us that we are no good and have no purpose, we can be reminded that God says we are beautifully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14).

         When the Enemy tells us that we have been abandoned and have no future, we can be reminded that God says: "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

 

       Father God, I choose not to be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests You. Give me Your peace, which transcends all understanding, to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I choose to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable. I choose to focus on anything excellent or praiseworthy and think about such things. I choose to believe You and Your Word. Take every thought captive in Christ, O God. In Jesus' Name.