There is a spiritual battle for our minds, as our thoughts impact every area of our lives. Our ideas and opinions about ourselves and others, and even about God, reflect what we absorb into our minds. To take every thought captive is to bring our way of thinking into line with the truth of the victory of Jesus. Then, and only then, can we begin to live the abundant life, in the fullness of His victory!
What Does it Mean to Take Every Thought Captive?
Scripture teaches us that what we think about affects how we feel and our emotions affect our behavior. But I also know it is true from my own experience. Anyone else ever watched a scary movie late at night and then found out they had trouble sleeping? I now choose not to watch those films or programs that will disturb my peace, particularly late at night!
I know that is a simple example, and a simple solution, and not everything is that straightforward. But the truth is fundamental – our minds lead our actions, and what controls our mind effectively reveals who we are.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are ‘born again’ and become a new creation. He came to set us free from our past, from fear and condemnation. But there is a transforming process, where we consciously co-work with the Holy Spirit. This is ongoing, shaping and molding us, to live the abundant life that Jesus has won for us. Knowing how much we are loved, our worth, and our value to the Father has the power to change who we are!
To take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, enables the truth of the word of God to become our reality.Tweet
Take Every Thought Captive Verse
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV
The spiritual battle that we are in is unchanged, Satan’s tactics from Eden onwards are to cause us to question and doubt God’s word. Did God really say? Is that what Scripture really means? Surely it doesn’t apply to us? The great deceiver works to alienate us from God by doubting His word and consequently to steal our destiny.
“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.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
The spiritual warfare that we engage in is to simply believe in what God has said, the truth of His word, and to believe in what Jesus has done, and won, for us. That is all that we need. It is more than enough for us to live in the perfect will of God.
Related Post: Spiritual Armor – Do We Need All Seven Pieces?
How to Take Every Thought Captive the Battle for Your Mind
If we are ready to start to reflect on what we are thinking about, how do we win the battle for our minds? How do we identify those areas where our thoughts are not in line with the mind of God? And if we begin to recognize areas where our thoughts do not line up with God’s thoughts, how do we take captive and bring those thoughts into obedience?
Four Ways to Renew our Minds
To take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, is not about our will power. We are in a spiritual battle which must be fought with spiritual weapons and we have been given all that we need. The helmet of salvation, is the part of our spiritual armor which protects our minds, but we also have offensive weapons. The word of God combined with prayer, has the power to defeat the lies of the enemy and all of his tactics.
Related Post: The Full Armor of God Prayer for Everyday
Reading the Bible
I am so thankful for the access that we have to the word of God – His word that brings life, spiritual health, and food for our souls. We need to know what the word of God says so that we can compare our way of thinking with what His word reveals. So often we absorb and are influenced by what we hear and see around us, which is why it is so important to spend time reading the Bible every day.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2
As we read the Bible, God’s word starts to cleanse our minds, washing away the lies of the enemy, and bringing us back to the truth of His will. Scripture reveals, what God wants for us as believers now, His perfect will, our place of spiritual growth and peace.
Meditating on the Word
We don’t have to memorize Scripture, although that is helpful, to meditate on God’s word. This is time spent reflecting and pondering on the word of God. Sometimes when we read the word, we are quick to put it aside and move on to our next thing.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”Joshua 1:8
Psychology today understands that repetition is necessary to remember what we have read. It is suggested that up to seven repetitions or more are required to absorb something new. We need to soak in God’s word and allow it to permeate our thoughts so that it becomes our default setting.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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
You may also like to read: Daily Devotion, Psalm 1, Meditating on Scripture.
When we use Scripture in our prayers, we are combining two powerful, offensive, spiritual weapons. They have the power to demolish strongholds that oppose the truth of God’s word, that is an argument or persuasion that sets itself up as more powerful than God.
Sometimes we not only need to reflect on what we are thinking but listen to the words that we are speaking. Before the word of God can become the reality in which we live, it has to be the default setting of our minds and absorbed into our inner being.
I know I have, and probably will again, say things like, “I would never be able to do that”, or “I couldn’t cope with that situation”, or even “they’ll never change!” But that doesn’t align with God’s word. His word declares that God’s grace is sufficient, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God is able, by His power, to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. God’s faithfulness, grace, and compassion are new every day – no one who is willing to reach out is beyond God’s redemption!
Now it may be that I will never have to do ‘that thing’ or cope with ‘that situation’ because God’s plan for us is individual. But, we can have peace and assurance that God will empower and equip us to fulfil His purpose. I am enough for my future – because God is more than enough!
As we pray God’s word, the Holy Spirit is in agreement with our spirit, to work that word into reality in our lives.
Related Post: Praying the Promises of God
Not all the strongholds of our mind are defeated immediately. Sometimes God reveals His power and heals, bringing instant transformation. But there are other times when we grow in dependency on Him. When we learn to daily take our thoughts captive, bringing them into obedience, so that we have the mind of Christ.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”Romans 8:5
The power here is in persisting, in not giving up, but keeping faith, and believing in the goodness of God. As we sow spiritual obedience to the word of God into our lives, we will reap victory!
".....whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:8-9