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Take Your Destructive Thinking Captive to Jesus

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How is your thought life? What kinds of things do you think about, and what do you think about most? Do you ever spend time thinking about your faith? Are there areas of your thought life that you know are out of line with Christ? How important is it that you address those areas?

Here’s what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:3-5).

There are wars going on—spiritual wars. Even if you’re a pacifist regarding earthly battles, no Christian should be passive regarding spiritual battles.

For some, there will be a temptation to avoid spiritual battles because it means coming into some conflict with other people. For others, there will be a temptation to fight using fleshly weapons. Paul implies both positions are wrong.

You’re in a war, whether you want to be or not, but due to the nature of the battleground, you ought to use spiritual weapons to fight it.

Our goal is to demolish what Paul calls strongholds, which one lexicon explains could refer to a prison (Moulton and Milligan). What does that represent? Paul explains that these are arguments, proud things, and thoughts. In other words, this is a battle for the mind, and this spiritual warfare is against destructive and harmful patterns of thinking that keep people imprisoned behind walls.

Did you know your thoughts could hamper your spiritual life? As Paul told the Romans, our minds need renewing (Rom 12:2). Instead of assuming that everything you believe is true, you should assume that you have false beliefs and harmful patterns of reasoning that need to be exposed to “the knowledge of God” and taken captive for Christ.

Every single part of you belongs to Jesus—from the tips of your fingers to the deepest darkest corners of your mind. Learning to walk in complete dependence upon Christ involves understanding how totally you belong to Him, right down to your every thought. As H. G. C. Moule said:

“In my innermost self I have no personal rights against Him. Every thought is a lawful captive and slave to Him. No corner of that mysterious world, my spirit, no movement of will, or of desire, has a right to be other than He wills” (H. G. C. Moule, Thoughts on Christian Sanctity, p. 52).

Queries for the day: Do you understand how thoroughly you belong to Jesus? Are you willing to lay down whatever in your innermost self is contrary to Christ? Are you ready for that part of your heart and mind to be left under His foot? Do you think, as Jesus does, desire what He desires, and will what He wills?

Email your questions or comments to Shawn.

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