Just a quick note to share something I learned last night. Here’s the verse, 2 Corinthians 10:5:
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.
I memorized this verse long ago, and I love this image of taking our thoughts captive. I’m a textbook over-thinker, so verses like this one basically stay on-the-ready in my arsenal of memorized Scripture.
As with many over-thinkers, I’m also one of those who reads a verse and immediately wants to know: okay, so how do I do that? But I have to confess, until last night I was a little foggy on the concrete application of making our thoughts obedient to Christ. I thought maybe it was something that would just kind of happen as I grew more spiritually mature. Maybe it had to do with having the mind of Christ (“Let this mind be in you, that was in Christ Jesus…” Phil 2:5), or lining our thoughts up next to the teachings of Christ. I wasn’t quite sure. In the meantime, I would just keep wielding this verse when a thought needed to be taken captive because the Word’s power (thank heavens) is not derived from my ability to fully comprehend it.
Last night, I was listening to Beth Moore quote this verse, and I wondered again what exactly this take-thoughts-captive-make-obedient-to-Christ looked like. And then this came to mind:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
That verse is about Jesus. The Word. Earlier in the same passage, John says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word = Jesus. Jesus = the Word.
…we take every thought captive to make it obedient to…the Word.
I don’t know why I didn’t see this before. Maybe I did and just wasn’t hungry enough to hold onto it. Either way, it makes sense now. Those thoughts taken captive? We speak the authority of the Word over them. We defeat them with the Word.
David’s vow to hide God’s Word in his heart that he might not sin against Him has been ringing in my ears lately. Naturally I agree with most everyone who interprets ‘hiding His word in my heart’ to mean Scripture memorization. There is such power in the Word – really, why would we not want to keep that close? It would be like a soldier running around a war zone without any weapons. I think it’s interesting that in Ephesians 6:10-17, we see mostly tools of protection and defense, like the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith. There is one tool of offense listed: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The Word is not just how we protect ourselves – it’s how we fight back. Yet I so often find myself, a half-clad soldier, flailing frantically about the battlefield…because I forgot my sword. I might be able to put out a flaming arrow or two, but I’ll just barely stay alive, and I certainly won’t be putting any kinks in the enemy’s plans.
Never one to start small, I opened up to Psalm 119 the other day and started learning. Here, from memory (suspend cynicism and trust that I’m not peeking on the other side of this screen?), is Psalm 119:1-3:
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
Who seek him with all their heart,
Who also do no wrong,
See? No cheating. No peeking. Couldn’t remember the last line…but here it is:
…but walk in His ways.
So. Four down. One hundred and seventy-five to go……
I pray that if there are errant thoughts running rampant in your mind, you will find the Word with which to defeat them. I promise you, it is there, and it is powerful beyond comprehension.