Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Take Every Thought Captive

Please read 1 Corinthians chapter 10.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:3-5

You and I are in a spiritual battle.  The Bible is very clear about this in both the Old and New Testaments i.e. Ephesians 6:10-18.  Our battle, however, is not against people; "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God..." Ephesians 6:12-13a.

We, as Christians, are not against people but we daily fight the devil and the old man.  By the old man I mean our old self, our flesh.  2 Corinthians chapter 10 is very clear that we need to fight this fight and we need to fight it with divine weapons.  See Ephesians chapter 6 to learn more about our divine weapons, but I want to focus on the latter half of the passage at the beginning of this post.

"We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5b

How do we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ?  I don't know every answer; in fact, I ask you to comment with some ways you take your thoughts captive.  Again, I don't know every answer, but here are some ideas for taking thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ.

1) Put on your Biblical glasses.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God..."
When we look at the world from our own perspective or from the perspective of the world we will not see things correctly.  The world is full of arguments that are not in alignment with God.  The world is full of pretension or prideful thoughts that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.

For instance, one of the geniuses of today, Stephen Hawking, has this pretentious theory that is widely accepted and sets itself up directly against God.

Hawking says, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.  Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.  It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

This is just one example of how the world sees things.  We are called to see things from the perspective of the revelation given to us by God, His Word.

2) Meditate on Scripture.
Your thoughts will be captive to Christ when your thoughts are filled with the thoughts of Christ.  It is that easy!  If we think Christ's thoughts our thoughts will be obedient to Christ.  When we meditate or think on other things we will conform to other things.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Romans 12:2

3) Think about excellent things.
God is excellent and everything truly excellent and pure is from Him.  Think about these things and our thoughts will be captive to Christ.

"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." Philippians 4:8

4) Ask, "Does this thought glorify God?"
Thoughts that are obedient to Christ will glorify God.  If a thought can pass this test, go ahead and think it.

5) Behold God.
This is Scripture and more.  Behold God in Scripture, yes, but behold Him in everything.  See God in a movement of the symphony, in the taste of a rhubarb pie, in the pink sunset, in the athleticism of the God-made athletes in the World Cup... Behold our God everywhere!  When your mind is fixed on worshipping God it is hard to have thoughts from the enemy of self or Satan pass through the line of mental defense you've set up.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  This is easier said than done, but we are to do it.  I struggle with it, and I'm sure you do, too.  If you have any suggestions on taking our thoughts captive please comment with those ideas.

This is not about being close-minded.  This is about capturing and keeping every true thought and discarding every worthless thought.  This is the mark of true intelligence, an intelligence that not only seeks truth but finds it and cherishes it.

Take every thought captive today.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Matt! I love the idea of Beholding God in everything. "Every good and perfect gift comes from above..." --James 1:17. It reminds me that we can do things in this world like exercise, watch sports, eat good food AND give glory to God through it. :) 1 Cor 10:31