Thursday, December 6, 2007

Taking Every Thought Captive

When I was around sixteen years old, I decided to begin memorizing certain passages from the Word of God. One of the passages that I worked hard at memorizing is 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Down through the years it has been such a source of comfort and victory to me in the midst of battles. Let me share it with you:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, (5) [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

I want to share verse 5 in several translations:

(BBE) Putting an end to reasonings, and every high thing which is lifted up against the knowledge of God, and causing every thought to come under the authority of Christ;

(ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

(GNB) we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.

(KJVR) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

(MSG) We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

What a powerful Word from God. You may be reading this blog, and you have been under attack from satan. Maybe you are battling depression, despair, discouragement, worry, fear, doubt, etc. What makes it worse, is that the enemy attacks many times through our MINDS using our imaginations, and other peace-attacking distractions to keep our mind from being in PERFECT PEACE with and on God. In fact, listen to what Isaiah 26:3 says, (AMP) You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

God reminds us that we will walk in PERFECT PEACE if and when our minds are set and fixed on Jesus. That is why all of hell attempts daily to get our minds on imaginations (what if's), that lead to worry and other faith destroying, peace-attacking issues of the mind.

I found the following prayer some time back on the internet. Why don't you take the following prayer and add it to your arsenal of attacks against the enemy, and pray it DAILY:

Father, teach me to wage spiritual war in your manner, and not according to the world. Guide me to live - and to fight, argue, conflict - with weapons of the Spirit and not weapons of the flesh.

Be my strength, Lord, when I am up against the wall – and I decide, by faith, to respond with weapons of the Spirit and not react with weapons of the flesh. Bring me, Father, to a point where I no longer have any confidence in the flesh, but my confidence is only in you.

Lord, teach me, guide me, compel me, train me – fill me with the Grace me – so that when I face conflict, when I face discouragement and temptation, when I collide with an obstacle - I rely upon you and your way. I acknowledge you have given me the power and authority to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of You.

So, rather than getting into arguments, I can point to the truth - and I can state the truth. Help me to state the truth in my own life - and work on those areas where I am out-of-sync, where I am in sin, winking at that which is wrong.

Lord, I commit to taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Show me how that works; show me how to do that, and develop within me the discipline and the habit of doing this.

Lord, prompt me and guide me to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. No stray thoughts, no wandering thoughts, not allowing emotions to rule my thoughts or actions or moods - even taking my impulses and subjecting them to you.

Lord, make me ready to use the tools you provide to clear the ground of every obstruction, so that you may build my life as an obedient life - matured into the Father of the Faith that you want me to be. I trust that, despite my sin you will build me into a mature believer who is obedient to you, serves you and constantly looks for your work in others.

What does this mean?

· The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will." (2 Corinthians 10:3, MSG)

· God has provided the tools we need to live a God-life. "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG) What tools? The Word of God, prayer, the name of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, praise and worship, just to name a few.

· Using God's tools moves us to maturity. "Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." (2 Corinthians 10:6, MSG)


Pastor Rusty


Anonymous said...

I like that.


Aaron said...

You really hit it in the last verse. Taking every thought captive is a difficult thing to do, but why does God want us to take our thought's captive? It all has to do with obedience. In my opinion, this is what God is truly after.

Three times a week I get together with about 7-8 other men (all of us in med school) and we have a time of learning in the word, accountability, and prayer for one another. This month we have literally attacked the book of Philippians.

One of my favorite verses to remind me of what I should be thinking of is Phil 4:8. "Finally, brothers, 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!!!"