Taking our thoughts captive

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

Our mind is a battleground – multitudes of thoughts bombard us all the time. Have you considered before that most of the problems we face are internal – in our thoughts and attitude? Satan knows that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions. Let’s think for a moment about that… We cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. Taking negative thoughts captive is not easy – there are times when our mind just doesn’t want to listen! Yet the lies of the enemy are vicious – trying to invade our minds continually. It takes commitment, discipline and whole-heartedness to control our thoughts. We must decide to take negative thoughts captive with all our heart if we want to see breakthrough in our life. There is nothing casual about this – commitment starts in the heart.

At times it will be very hard, and committing to take negative thoughts captive will be the only thing that will carry you through the hard times.
John Maxwell

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 that the weapons of our warfare are not of the world, but they are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds. We can’t destroy these strongholds by ourselves – we need divine help because the battle is in the spirit realm. We so often try to solve problems on our own. We take “surface” thoughts captive – and don’t consider that the thoughts underneath (the root cause / stronghold) feed those “surface” thoughts. But there is a solution: We can ask God to show us the strongholds, and give Him permission to deal with them as we take responsibility to take our thoughts captive.

The only way to combat lies is by the truth

God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). It is our weapon (Ephesians 6:17). God’s Word has power! It’s living! It’s active! It judges our thoughts and our attitude (Hebrews 4:12). It can defeat the schemes and devices of the enemy. It can show us whether or not our thinking is lining up with divine truth. Let’s exalt God’s Word above flawed human reasoning! Satan wants to trick and distract us from our destiny, but God wants to bless us with His truth. The reality is that believing the lies of the enemy rather than God’s truth is offensive to God. It’s sin because it involves undermining His Word. But He will demolish those lies as we confess them and as we wield the sword of His truth in prayer, praise and proclamation.
Let’s learn to respond to God and believe His truth in our everyday experiences.
Let’s allow His truth to be our final authority.
Let’s ask Him to expose the lies that are binding us.
Let’s repent of non-Biblical perspectives of ourselves and of our lives.
Let’s learn to take our thoughts captive on a daily basis.

Disciplining our thought life

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Discipline is a choice. We hurt from discipline, but we will also hurt without it.
We have to discipline our thought life, and be alert to the lies of the enemy. Disciplining ourselves by taking our thoughts captive involves learning to say “no” to the attacks and fiery darts of the enemy; and a wholehearted “yes!” to God’s way of victory, peace and joy. Cultivating a life in God’s Word; and believing and praying His thoughts takes time and work, but it is always worth it! If we want to be successful in the end times, we must learn how to take our thoughts captive. We must have a holy resolve to believe God’s truth rather than Satan’s lies.

Let’s put it into practice:

Give God permission to show you the strongholds in your life.
Consider the things you are thinking about during the day.
Write down your thoughts whenever you feel a negative emotion – ask yourself: What am I thinking right now? What just happened that brought that negative emotion?
Watch for patterns of negative thoughts.
Confess the negative thought as a lie and contrary to God’s truth. Confessing the lie is a big step towards breakthrough.
Pray the prayer below every day for the next two weeks.