Taking Every Thought Captive
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5 ESV)
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 Cor 10:5 NIV)
Renewal of the Mind is What's Needed
Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Ephesians 4:23 (ESV)
be renewed in the spirit of your minds
If the old ways are to be abandoned, renewal is called for, and this must be an inward renewal. The new life is not to be regulated by conformity to some external standard: its wellspring lies within, "in the spirit of your mind." So Paul exhorts the Roman Christians: "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). This inward renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit, progressively transforming believers into the image of Christ, "from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor. 3:18).125 It is by the Spirit's power, too, that "the inner being is being renewed every day," no matter to what attrition the body may be exposed (2 Cor. 4:16), until what is mortal is "swallowed up by life"—a consummation of which the Spirit is the present guarantee (2 Cor. 5:4-5).
F. F. Bruce. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1984), 358. [commentary on Eph 4:23]
Why must we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?
We need to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ because if we don't we let toxic thoughts into our mind which if done so repeated over time become long term memories in our physical brains. These toxic thoughts are also described as bad habits. Have you ever considered about how some thoughts seem to come out of thin air? It's because the devil is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). He and his horde of fallen angels and demons are masters of flooding our minds with deceptions, accusations and temptations.
"God does not bypass your mind [part of your eternal (in Christ) soul] - He renews your mind. The devil will bypass it [your mind] - put a thought directly in your brain. God does not bypass it."Dr. Neil T Anderson, "Overcoming Depression," YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YmBnyRijryU#t=2435 [emphasis by webmaster]
Notice how Paul uses the word for thoughts (noema) in 2 Corinthians in relation to Satan's activity. We've already seen it in 2 Corinthians 10:5: "We are taking every thought [ noema ] captive to the obedience to Christ." Why do these thoughts need to be taken captive? Because they may be the enemy's.
In 2 Corinthians 3:14 and 4:4, Paul reveals that Satan is responsible for our spiritual hardness and blindness when we were unbelievers: "But their minds [ noema ] were hardened. . . . The god of this world has blinded the minds [ noema ] of the unbelieving." In 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 2:11, Paul states that Satan actively plots to defeat and divide believers: "I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds [ noema ] should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. . . . We are not ignorant of his [Satan's] schemes [ noema ]."
If Satan can place his thought in your mind--and he can--it isn't much more of a trick for him to make you think it's your thought. That's the deception.
Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), March 29.
I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray [by the devil] from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Cor 11:3 ESV)
This takes discipline. It takes perseverance. It takes consistency. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit in us. Pray to your heavenly Father each day for 21 days that He will help you by His Holy Spirit to establish the discipline of taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.
How do we actually take thoughts captive?
Practice threshold thinking. Evaluate every thought by the truth of God's Word, and don't let your mind entertain thoughts contrary to the will of God.
Also be aware of the many thoughts and types of thoughts which we need to stop accepting and using in our day to day lives. Here are some good resources which outline toxic negative thought that the devil is likely to plant in our minds. These are thoughts the we often don't even think twice about saying because we have actually been deceived into using them fairly regularly. Another source of toxic thoughts are actually memories of toxic words and lies spoken to us by others.
- Overcoming Toxic Thoughts - PurseGod.org
- Eradicate Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) - Dr Daniel Amen
- 12 Poisonous Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Life - Carol Morgan
- Examples of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) - Dr Timothy J Sharp
- Challenging Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) - Dr Timothy J Sharp
- Controlling Your Toxic Thoughts - Dr Caroline Leaf
- Negative Messages We Tell Ourselves - Jennifer Rothschild
- Me, Myself & Lies - Jennifer Rothchild
- Three Big Lies Women Believe - Jennifer Rothchild
- Lies Women Believe and the Truths that Set them Free - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Pray to your heavenly Father for the self-control and discipline to be able to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
What Thoughts Are the Most Important to Have?
The truths of who we are in Christ Jesus are the most important thoughts to commit to memory and most Christians, including myself, have not fully taken them to heart. Click Here to see many of them. Read them out loud daily for 63 days and you will be amazed at how your life will become more free. Why 63 days? Click Here to find out why.