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Taking Captive Every Thought / Thinking Like Christ

Taking Captive Every Thought / Thinking Like Christ

Have you ever spent time wondering where your thoughts come from? Do you summon thoughts or do they just appear? And if someone asked you for the definition of a “thought,” how would you answer? I know these seem like some philosophical questions, but I promise I have a point!

There are several ways you could answer these questions, but here is one way to define your thoughts: 

your thoughts are the conduit between what you believe and what you do.

Read that again.

We have all heard the scripture “take captive every thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5). I don’t know about you, but I am very literal when it comes to learning, and visualization helps. I imagine myself literally capturing my thoughts inside a little cage. But then what do we do with them once they are there?

We make them obedient to Christ.

We capture them and hold them up to Him. It’s as if we then say, “Hey, Dad, what do you think of these thoughts of mine? Can I trust them? Are they accurate? Are they true?”

And if not, Paul tells us that we have the power within us to demolish them. Every last one of them. But not by our own power. By God’s.

Paul, who wrote the letter to the church of Corinth, reminds the people that we do not fight the battles of the world the way the world does; instead, we fight with a divine power (2 Corinthians 10:4). Our human weapons would never work in those sorts of battles anyway. They would be powerless amid such a war.

Wow, what a gracious God. He tells us, play by play, what to do and how to do it. He even gives us the tools to get it done. Thank you, Lord.  

But it is up to us to do what He suggests. We have to think about our thoughts, hold them captive, and lift them up to our Father. We have to compare the words spiraling around in our heads to the sacred words contained in the Bible. Not just some of the thoughts — every thought. Every claim of the world, every claim we hear on social media, every claim from our mother-in-law, every claim from a friend or a teacher, and every claim we think about ourselves. We demolish every claim and argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. This is how we hold our thoughts captive and obedient to Christ.

It’s a process. It won’t happen automatically. It takes effort and energy. But it is so worth the work. Over time, with much patience and practice, you will begin to think and behave in ways that are God honoring.

What a gift it is to think more like Christ.

  • I have a responsibility to think about my thoughts.
  • My behavior is an extension of my thinking. God will transform me when I discipline the renewal of my mind. (Romans 12:2)
  • Taking my thoughts captive means I have control over them; they don’t have control over me.
  • At any time I can choose to think about more thoughts that are true, noble, right, and pure. (Philippians 4:8)
  • What I think about will be reflected in how I feel and behave, and these feelings and behavior will then reinforce the ways I think.
  • God’s Spirit is in me; I have the power to disable any thoughts and focus on thoughts that are obedient to him.

As you begin to understand that you are not a servant to your own thoughts and feelings, you will see that God has given you the power to rise above certain circumstances. Though you may have at one time felt like a victim who had no options, the Holy Spirit will begin to reveal to you new paths forward and He will equip you with the desire and power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13). You will discover that where you once felt powerless, you now feel stronger and more capable of better thinking and patterns of behavior.

Next time you feel burdened by your thoughts, pray for God to help you hold those thoughts captive. Then look to Scripture to see if these thoughts are trustworthy, true, or accurate. The psalms are filled with wonderful reminders of God’s promises and unfailing love for us. In Psalm 143:5, King David wrote, 

I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

As you meditate on God’s Word, thank Him for what He has done for you so far, and wait in hopeful expectancy for all that He will continue to do for you. In the days to come, may you feel more confident and joyous in the perfect Father who wants to help you day in and day out. No battle you face is too much for your God.

Adapted with permission from Loyal to a Fault by Courtney J. Burg, copyright Courtney J. Burg. 

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Your Turn

Your thoughts are the conduit between what you believe and what you do. We are in charge of what we think, what we believe, and what we do and God will give us the strength when we need it to make changes. ~ Laurie McClure, FaithFull