Ways to Take Your Thoughts Captive
If you don’t learn to control your thoughts, you will never learn how to control your behaviour.
(Behaviour reveals the thoughts.)
Pastor George Lehman
What is taking your thoughts captive?
Taking your thoughts captive simply means gaining control over what you think about yourself and life.
What you put in your mind has an effect on what you think and how you act.
Remember those scary movies you watched as a kid, then had nightmares?
It didn’t take long to realize that the way to avoid the nightmares was to stop watching those kind of movies.
God has provided a way to overcome unhealthy thoughts and behaviours and gain the self-control you seek.
It’s a matter of taking charge of your life – His way.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we are to “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.”
Here are 6 ways to take your thoughts captive:
Accept responsibility for your thoughts.(Don’t nurse them or rehearse them.)
You have the ability to exercise control over your thoughts.
Geneses 4:7 (NIV) – “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
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. – He never took his thoughts captive.
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 behaviour – must change.
(You can’t keep pulling off the bad fruit; you must change the root)
God calls us to change sinful behaviour that does not honour Him.
Instead of focusing on your outward behaviour, work on disciplining your mind – from which the behaviours stem. Allow God to transform you by the renewing of your mind
Romans 12:2 (NIV) – Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
When your thoughts change your behaviour will change
Think through your problems rather than just reacting to them.
Proverbs 4:23-25 (NIV) – 23Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
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?” “I’m a failure!”
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.
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.
Choose to focus your thoughts on the right things.
We are to think about what the word of God says we must do:
Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG) – 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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. It takes personal discipline and commitment.
It is possible – to take your thoughts captive
It is not easy to retrain your thoughts or to respond in new Christ-like ways.
BUT 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. (If it is not – Let it go!)
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.
Only you can decide right now: I will start taking my thoughts captive.