2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NASB)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Have you ever considered how to take a thought captive? For many of us, our thoughts seem to run rampant without any control what so ever. I know that many people have told me that they just could not turn their thoughts off. Once a person starts thinking about something or worrying about something, it appears to be impossible to stop the flood of negative thoughts. There are times that flood of negative thoughts overtakes by mind and submerges everything I know to be true in Christ. So as I write this, I am not saying that I have complete control of my thoughts or that I never sin in my thoughts. What I want to present is the principle of taking our thoughts captive and honoring God with them.
Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Those three aspects of a person are what God wants to develop into our character while Satan wants to tear us down at the same time. All temptation fits in these three areas. We might understand it better if we quote 1 John 2:16 (NASB)
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
You see Satan wants to use the world system to keep us from living in the Freedom that God offers us through Christ Jesus.
So if we understand this principle and the significance of how Satan tempts us through what we think, what we do, and how we feel, it is vitally important that we grasp the concept of capturing our thoughts toward the obedience of Christ.
How do we accomplish this feat? We are bombarded with images, words, and ideas all day long. Are we careful to make sure that we listen to music that is edifying and not negative or down right sinful? I know that I do not listen to a lot of music while I’m in my car. (I listen to sports talk radio, mostly.) But when I do listen to music, I listen to Christian music. In my office, I have Christian music playing all day. I find it to be refreshing and edifying for me as well as whomever comes in through out the day.
The second area that is very important is what do we watch on the television. I am not trying to tell you that I do not watch TV, because that would be a lie. I am not trying to tell you what shows to watch, because that would be presumptuous. I am telling you that what you watch on TV can create images in your mind that keep you from living in freedom. If you are watching shows that are violent or full of sexual innuendo or degrading to Christians, you might have a difficult time believing the truth of who God wants you to be.
Another area that I want to address today is the area of conversation. How do you speak to people and how do they speak to you? If people close to you are always putting you down, then you will have a very difficult time believing the truth of God’s Word. It is important for us to realize how important our words are to others. Proverbs 18:21 (NASB)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Our family hears what we say, and it can create deep wounds in their soul as well as in their spirit if we are not careful. We need to be diligent in being encouragers for the people around us daily.
Finally, we truly need to concentrate on scripture. Many of the verses that I have memorized, I memorized as a young boy in Sunday School, Discipleship Training, or Vacation Bible School. I believe we need to continue to work on learning new scriptures and allowing those scriptures to transform for hearts along with our minds, which can change our actions.
When you think about it, capturing our thoughts include preparing ourselves to live a Godly life as well as practicing daily. If we don’t practice, we will not be very good at it and then we will not be able to live victoriously.