Bringing Thoughts into Captivity:
“For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
As believers, we should not be living by the standards of the world, but by the Spirit’s wisdom and power. Yet, no doubt we struggle at times with thoughts that challenge our day to day lives stopping us from attaining God’s best. J. B. Philips puts it this way: “The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. (2 Cor. 10:3 J. B. Philips)
Although we live in the world or walk (or live) in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh using mere human weapons. The warfare we encounter is not a natural warfare, but a spiritual warfare, with spiritual enemies and for spiritual purposes.
Negative thoughts, deceptive fantasies, arrogant attitudes are buttressed, or supported, first of all, by arguments, rationalizations, and reasonings which appear to be logical to the unrenewed mind can keep a Christian bound to human reasoning, fear, a negative attitude, and a defeated life.
It’s easy for our minds to stray into thinking naturally, only for our faith to erode causing us to waver in our belief in the promises of God. This happens so subtly that we don’t notice it happening. So what are we supposed to do? How do we take our negative thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to Christ. We must learn to confront your thoughts as a Christian and give Christ the right to rule over every area of life including control of our thought life.
We must get our minds set on spiritual things because as long as we fill our minds with what’s happening in the natural, we restrict ourselves to what we can do in the natural (Col. 3:2).
We are to fill our minds with God’s truth. One of the great tools for keeping a spiritual mindset is to meditate on and remember God’s Word, devising ways of reminding ourselves of His promises to us. We are instructed to delight in God’s word, meditate on it day and night, and be careful to do everything written in it. Then we will be prosperous and successful (Ps. 1:2, Jos. 1:8)
Without taking practical steps to remember and meditate on the truth, we will easily forget what God has promised. When we fail to do so we will slowly become earthly minded, and that’s what we must avoid if we’re to successfully live the normal Christian life. Hebrews 10:23 encourages us to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering knowing that God is faithful to fulfill His promises.
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.