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. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
“Capturing thought is serious business. It was for Jesus. Remember the thoughts that came his way courtesy of the mouth of Peter? Jesus had just prophesied his death, burial, and Resurrection, but Peter couldn’t bear the thought of it. ‘Peter took Jesus aside and told him not to talk like that… Jesus said to Peter, “Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about the things people think are important” ‘ (Matthew 16:22-23).
“See the decisiveness of Jesus? A trashy thought comes his way. He is tempted to entertain it. A cross-less life would be nice. But what does he do? He stands at the gangplank of the dock and says, ‘Get away from me.’ As if to say, ‘You are not allowed to enter my mind.’
“What if you did that? What if you took every thought captive?”
- Max Lucado, A Love Worth Giving
The way I read the last two questions in the quote from Max Lucado is “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that?”
But if the Apostle Paul wrote it, I believe that it was God breathed and thus, we can do that.
Is it easy? Absolutely not. My greatest battleground is my insomnia. If I read a very inspiring bit of Scripture or a devotion from Oswald Chambers or Max Lucado before turning out the light, I could be up for hours. As the frustration of not being able to fall asleep sinks in, Satan uses that frustration and a nice-sized crowbar to open my mind to variety of thoughts.
Then the frustration that I had done so much reading to set my mind on Jesus that led to all the frustration, causes even more improper thoughts that need capturing, corralling, and purging.
And by the way, if others want to tell you that your service to God is the problem, please, do not say, “Get Thee behind me, Satan!” They will take it the wrong way. It may be days before they ever hear you say another word. It may be days before you can say another word. Jesus can say that, but when we say it, a frying pan may be headed toward our head within the next few seconds.
Not saying that I have ever done that, but I feel down deep inside that I am right on this one.
But, when I look back over time, I can see that the morning devotions, prayer, and Bible study set the stage for the day. The quick devotion or chosen verse mid-afternoon picks me up when I am tired, weak, and vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. And the night devotions help me go to sleep more often than when they stimulate me. I still must learn more about those stimulating moments and learn how to capture those thoughts.
The point is, when we look forward, we think the task impossible. It is for us, but as we trust Jesus just that one bit more with one bit of sinful thought that we cannot shake from our mind, Jesus takes care of it. Maybe not for a while, but He is successful when our chief goal in life is to be more like Him. We only seem to realize that the thought has been captured when we look in the mirror, but do not look in the mirror too long. Those captured thoughts that Jesus has bound and gagged will loosen their bonds are return if we look too long. Take a glance. Realize the power that Jesus has. Praise our Lord and look to Him.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.