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Take Thoughts Captive

To live the good life that we all dream of, pray for, and work for, requires a starting point.  That starting point is our faith in Christ, because it's our faith that transforms our lives starting with our minds.

That's why Romans 12:2 teaches us to no longer conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Our minds are powerful influencers because our thoughts shape how we see the world, make decisions, and treat people.  As believers in Jesus, we have the opportunity to see our minds change.  And this is no minor change.  Isaiah 55 says that our thoughts aren't God's thoughts and His ways aren't our ways.  Then, in Philippians 2, we are told that we can have the mind of Christ in our relationships.  Now, that is change.

How can we play our part in seeing our mind transformed and renewed?

1.  Replace the Lies with the Truth of God
To have the mind of Christ means that we need a reformatting and reloading of all that we have known and thought before Jesus.  It's a life-long pursuit to see the His truth replace the lies that have been implanted in us.  This includes how we see ourselves, the world around us, and most importantly how we see God and His call on our lives.

Jesus taught us that the truth set us free. (John 8:32)  Don't let your mind be held in bondage to the lies of the past.  Live free with a mind filled with God's truth!

2.  Fix Your Focus
Whatever we focus on will get both our attention and our devotion.  Fix your mind on the right things and you will see your thought life improve.  Fixate your mind on the wrong things and life will be filled with stress, worry, and drama.  

That's why Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 to fix our thoughts on things that are excellent and praiseworthy.  He even gives us 6 qualities to help us overcome stinkin' thinkin'.   The focus of our minds should be what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  

No matter what you are experiencing, fix your focus.  When the storms of grief, anxiety, or depression roll in, fix your focus and choose the excellent and praiseworthy things that God is doing.  One way to do this is to choose gratitude and find things that you are thankful for.  Gratitude recalibrates our hearts and reminds our minds that God is good and we are OK.

3.  Take Thoughts Captive
Thoughts can be like mosquitoes on a hot South Texas night after a week of rain.  Thoughts buzz around, coming and going, stinging, and leaving their mark.  Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take our thoughts captive for Christ.  We don't have to live the pesky, damaging thoughts.  We take them captive.  We don't have to live with the sting of wrong thoughts.  We take them captive.  We don't have to live with scars of sinful thoughts.  We can take them captive.

We take our thoughts captive in a number of ways including:

  • Kick them out.  Don't let the wrong thoughts take residence in your mind.  Kick them out in an instant.  
  • Talk them out.  Don't let negative thoughts isolate you from others.  Talk them out.  Talk with a trusted friend.  Talk with a counselor or a pastor.  Talking things out reminds us that we are not alone and that we can get through this.
  • Worship them out.  King David, when he was depressed, choose to worship God and preach to himself the truths of God.  The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world, so when your mind isn't right worship the Lord and watch Him work.

Take your thoughts captive so that they don't captivate you!