Taking Captive Your Thoughts

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

                                                            2 Corinthians 10:3-5         

 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

                                                            Philippians 4:8

                                                           

I’m fairly confident that I’m not the only one who has conversations with herself as she processes events that have taken place, though I may be one of a very few who will admit to having them and actually share that in cyberspace for all to read.

 

I was driving home from work the other day, after a fairly stressful day that was capped off with an end-of-day meeting with my boss and my executive director to go over some miscommunications on the part of multiple people tackling a problem. I was proud at my collectedness during the meeting, despite the frustrating nature of the topic we’d been discussing. It was during the drive home I’d remembered the answer to something I’d not been able to clarify, and while I was happy that I’d recalled it, I was frustrated that I hadn’t brought it up during the chat. I then started to play out how the conversation would have gone if I had remembered it then, and I found myself feeling defensive and a little bitter.

 

I found myself recalling the other times in the past couple of months that work frustrations had set in, and resentment began to rise as I painted myself the victim in most of these interactions, self-awareness and reason placed temporarily on hold while it happened. With each interaction’s recap, irritation at my self-perceived affronts grew exponentially.

At some point in this escalation scenario, I realized what I was doing and stopped the negative talk immediately. I believe the Holy Spirit impressed upon me the phrase “I control the narrative in my head”, as He led me to recognize the handiwork of the enemy. No, I wasn’t possessed nor did he control me, but what he did was seize an opportunity to plant the tiniest seed of doubt and bitterness, and I watered and cultivated the soil of acrimony in which it grew.

 

Friends, Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians, verse 3 about the spiritual warfare we are in. The enemy is constant and relentless in his pursuit, seeking whom he may devour. When we allow ourselves to dwell on negative thoughts, we offer him an opportunity to cause us to lose focus on what God wants us to.

 

A way to counteract that is to be in His word, for Paul tells us that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We can also focus on those things that are from the Lord, as Paul told the Philippians. We need to be in constant contact with Him in prayer, and in tune with the Holy Spirit for His help to combat negative thoughts. As soon as we recognize an evil or negative thought, we need to take it to the Lord and confess it, and ask Him to cleanse your heart and mind.

 

I don’t mean to make it sound so simple, because in our own strength it isn’t, but we know that we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us. He is our Helper and our Counselor, and He longs to help us.

 

Prayer Requests

  • For us to realize the riches that we have, and for us to share them with others and give them back to the Lord, Who gave them to us in the first place
  • For grace to abound in all things within the body of Christ
  • For the innumerable heart wrenching notices and posts about missing teenagers and children
  • For us to fully commit to being His church, regardless of the cost

 

Surrounding yourself with people who have a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ is another way you can help counteract the negativity and attacks from the enemy. Find a small group, or <shameless plug> come by the Fellowship Hall Thursday nights at 7:00 and join our prayer group. Small groups can offer accountability and love.

 

Quotes

 

“We can’t walk with the Holy Ghost unless we agree to walk the way He walks and go in the direction He’s going.” — A.W. Tozer

 

“Don’t treat people the way they treat you. Treat people the way God treats you.”    — Dave Willis