There is such beauty in newness. There is a renewed sense of hope that comes with a fresh start, a clean slate. Just a little over a week ago, I had the honor of baptizing one of my dear friends. Every time I witness a baptism, I am overwhelmed with joy, knowing that the old self is being buried in those waters as new life in Christ comes up out of them. It is the pivotal moment in the believer’s life because they choose for themselves that day whom they will serve, and they publicly declare it to all.
The remarkable assurance of this step of obedience is that we become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. What once was dead in transgression has become alive in Christ. What once was controlled by the desires of the sinful nature is now controlled by the Spirit. What once was the enemy’s now belongs to Christ. And what belongs to Christ cannot be possessed by the enemy. He can influence us, and make no mistake – He will. However, he cannot possess us.
“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.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
I wonder how many times you’ve expressed an emotion similar to this, “I just can’t stop thinking it, saying it, doing it…” Our enemy has done an incredible job at convincing believers of this lie, that they will never be able to control the sinful cravings of their flesh, that they will never be able to silence the destructive lies that torment them, that they will never be able to overcome that addiction.
I’m here to remind you today of a better word that God speaks over you and I today. In Christ, we have been given power to demolish anything and everything that comes against the knowledge of God. Every thought, every deception, every temptation, every sin. There is nothing that stands a chance against the power of God, and it is our job as believers to claim that power and live in that power. I don’t know about you, but I want to see a generation rise up in the church that is done with living powerless lives. I want to see God’s people assume their rightful place in His Kingdom here on earth, and start taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ.
Because, the battle begins in the mind. We don’t say things that haven’t first gone through our thoughts. We don’t do things that we haven’t first thought about. That is exactly why God instructs us here to control our thoughts. Every thought that penetrates your mind should be held up against the truth of God’s Word. Ask yourself these questions as you wage war against the thoughts that seek to control you:
1. Is it true? If the thought is not true, throw it out with the trash. To dwell on what isn’t true causes your focus to be removed from Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:8 gives us a long list of the things that we ARE to be thinking about, and that list starts with this criteria: TRUTH.
2. Is it beneficial? Our thoughts quickly become our words, and unfortunately our words have the power to defile many, including ourselves, if we aren’t filtering them by this question. Ephesians 4:29 tells us that everything that comes out of our mouths should benefit those that hear it. If it’s not beneficial, throw it out with the trash.
Controlling our thoughts is difficult, but it’s not impossible. God wouldn’t ask us to control our thoughts if we couldn’t do it. Choose today to operate your thought life under the authority of God’s Word. Freedom is found here.