IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHTS TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“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;”
2nd Corinthians 10:5
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to many believers today, the enemy has launched malicious disinformation campaigns that have effectively enslaved them for years to low self-esteem, self-hatred, guilt, eating disorders, perversions, inordinate fears, and all kinds of crazy habits and addictions. I want to expose the enemy’s lies and to help you see with pristine clarity the enemy’s deceptive and manipulative tactics. These lies will collapse like a house of cards the second you see your true identity in Christ.
Your weapons for this warfare are found in the truth of God’s Word, and they are mighty and have the power to overthrow and destroy every stronghold that has been built up through disinformation and wrong believing. And the way we can destroy these strongholds in our mind is by “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
So what does it mean to capture every thought to the obedience of Christ? Simply this: to focus on Jesus’ obedience to the Father at the cross, through which we were all made forever righteous the moment we believed in Him. Can you see that our obedience today under the new covenant begins with choosing to believe that we are made righteous by Christ’s obedience at the cross? The apostle Paul describes our obedience as “obedience to the faith” (Rom. 16:26)—believing right about what Jesus has done to make us righteous. And when we believe right like this, we will find His grace motivating and empowering us to think and live right.
“As a man thinks, so is he.”
What we think about is crucial to who we are. Scientists don’t agree on how many thoughts we have each day, but all agree there are thousands of them. Who we are is shaped moment by moment by the thoughts we choose to let into our mind and heart.
We must also strengthen ourselves for this warfare beforehand by following Jesus’ example when He was tempted by the devil to turn the stones into bread: “But It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.
The Word of God and the power of His Holy Spirit are mighty to help us take captive our thoughts. Jesus had armed Himself by reading and meditating on the Word of God that could help Him in the trials of His life. If we notice there are areas of our thought life that we find difficult to overcome, we can find specific Scriptures that can help us to get victory over them, and believe in a God who is mighty to save!
“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.
Taking your thoughts captive simply means gaining control over what you think about yourself and life.”
Accept responsibility for your thoughts.
You have the ability to exercise control over your thoughts. God warned Cain to focus his mind on the right things, but Cain chose to think about the wrong things – anger and jealousy – which led to his murderous actions. Are you willing to admit that you can, with God’s help, regain control of your thoughts – and think enabling thoughts instead of disabling ones?
Your mind – not just your behavior – must change.
God calls us to change sinful behavior that does not honor Him. Instead of focusing on your outward behavior, work on disciplining your mind – from which the behaviors stem. Allow God to transform you by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2).
Think through your problems rather than just react to them.
When you experience difficult challenges, you can react to them and think yourself into despair every time. Or you can look forward to the next opportunity and ask yourself what you learned from this failure. Is your first thought I’ll never do anything right? You don’t have to get trapped by disabling thoughts. You are capable of getting out of your shame, despair, hopelessness, and anger – by taking control of your thoughts.
Take your disabling thoughts captive through confession.
Paul urges us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (Rom. 12:21). Confront your disabling thoughts. Turn them over to God and become who He sees you can be. It will take work to take your thoughts captive each time they pop into your mind. But it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“[First] we destroy arguments and every lofty [or proud] opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and [second we] take every thought captive.” It’s like when you move in a battle: you destroy the fortress, and then you take captives. We “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2nd Corinthians 10:5
Choose to focus your thoughts on the right things. We are to think about those things that are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable” (Phil. 4:8). When we think about those things, God promises to give us His peace. What a contrast that is to the thoughts of millions of people today. Don’t look to a movie, TV show, or how-to formula to accomplish this for you. It takes personal discipline and commitment.
“Demolishing their worldview and then taking their defeated thoughts captive for Christ.”
It is possible.
It is not easy to retrain your thoughts or to respond in new Christ-like ways. Take heart: as God empowers you to focus your mind on the right things, it will become easier. You can develop a new frame of reference, based on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
excellent, and praiseworthy.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
It is possible to live a life aware of our thoughts and taking them captive! God gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us. Start following these steps today to gain power over your mind and thoughts.
God’s Word tells us, “The just [righteous] shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17). You can say it like this: the righteous shall live by right believing. When you have right believing, you release the power of God to live right. The next time you have negative thoughts, catch yourself and look toward the obedience of Christ. See the cross. See Jesus. See Him washing your mind with His precious blood.
When you believe the gospel, the true gospel that says you are righteous through Jesus’ obedience (see Rom. 5:19), you will have right living. The right results will follow. My friend, the more you believe right that you have been made righteous and blessed through Christ’s obedience, the more you will see the fruit of obedience in your life. Praise Jesus for His marvelous grace!
Forts Demolished and Prisoners Taken!
By the Holy Spirit we can get grace and power to bring the thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and in this process, we become transformed into the person He wants us to be. We have the wonderful hope that by overcoming sin/negative filled thoughts in our thought life, we can become more like Christ as each day progresses. In this way, we become valuable tools in God’s hands. Allowing this inner work of God to take place in us is the greatest task we can take on in life.
For peace on earth and in our lives and glory to God in the highest, come forth in the glory of thy might with the everlasting gospel, “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.”
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