Tag Archives: bring every thought captive

Think Differently

Several years ago, Apple was floundering as a company. They had lost their soul and direction. They decided to bring Steve Jobs back as the CEO to see if he could turn it around. One of the things he did after revamping their product line was to change advertising agencies. The agency that won pitched him the idea of the now famous “Think Different” campaign. The commercial showed different geniuses from history with a voice that started off, “There are people who see the world differently. They see things in new ways.” While the commercial went on to advertise Apple, it’s a reminder that you and I ask Christians are called to think differently.

Proverbs 23:7 tells that our thoughts determine who we are. We must then learn how to control them or at least stop the negative thoughts that lie to us. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we must bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We can’t just allow idle thoughts or negative thoughts to float around in our heads. We must capture them and change them. It’s easier said than done, I know, but it starts with challenging the thoughts that don’t like up with what God says. When those thoughts come in, you counter with who God says you are and what He’s promised to us as believers. God knows that the way to change our lives is through changing our thoughts.

Isaiah 8:11 says, “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does” (NLT). Why would God do that? Because we are called to be and live differently. We are to be set apart and to see the world in a different way. We are to change culture rather than to be a reflection of it. The only way to do that is to think differently and to see the world as God does. He transforms us by the renewing of our thoughts and in turn, we transform the world. Don’t get caught up today thinking and seeing the world the way others do. Pray and ask God to change how you think and see so that it reflects how He sees it. In turn, you’ll begin to fulfill your purpose and help others along the way.

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

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The Law of Concentration

Brian Tracy, who is a business consultant and motivational speaker, teaches about many laws of psychology. One of the laws he teaches is the Law of Concentration. It states that whatever you dwell on grows and increases in your life. If you are constantly dwelling on negative things, then negative things will increase in your life. If you dwell on good things, then good things will grow and increase in your life. If we think about things long enough, we’ll look for them. If we look for them, we’ll find them. If we find them, they’ll become part of our life.

As I heard him talk about this law, immediately my mind went to Philippians 4:8. It says, “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.” Paul knew the Law of Concentration. He knew that many of us spend our days and sleepless nights thinking about things that are counterproductive to our growth in Christ. He knew the temptation to think on negative things instead of positive things because he dealt with it himself.

Paul must have wrestled with thoughts of unworthiness from a past that caused so much pain to families. He took parents away from young kids and either put them in jail or killed them because they were Christians. I’m sure he suffered many sleepless nights wrestling with the consequences of his past. At some point he had to make a decision to continue worrying about the lives he wrecked or to think on the lives he was changing. He had to force out the negative thoughts that kept him from being a minister and force in thoughts that were positive.

He told us that we’d do best to think on these things listed above. Why? Because he knew if we thought about them and meditated on them, they would grow in our lives. If we want the best things and not the worst to grow, we have to think about them. If we want the beautiful and not the ugly things to surround us, we need to think about the beautiful things. If we want to live a life of praise, then we’ve got to think of praiseworthy things. Our minds can only think on one thing at a time and we get to choose what that is. II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring every thought captive and teach them to obey Christ because thoughts are powerful and grow things in our life.

What’s growing in your life? Have you noticed the correlation between that and your thoughts? What do you want to grow in your life? What is one thing you can do today to help you think more about that than the negative things that are growing in your life? Your thoughts not only dictate what grows in your life, but they also dictate your attitude. When you think on the positive things, then the peace of God will reign in your life. Worry, fear, anger, hate and jealousy all have to leave when you think on the things above. They can’t stay around. You have the power to kick them out of your life because you have the power to control what things you dwell on. Think on good things from now on.

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Strong Enough To Overcome

I’ve been reading in the book of Joshua about the land allotment given to each tribe of Israel. You know the part where, like the genealogy sections, we typically skip over. I saw something interesting in Joshua 17:12-13. It says, “The people of Manasseh never were able to take over these towns – the Canaanites wouldn’t budge. But later, when the Israelites got stronger, they put the Canaanites to forced labor. But they never did get rid of them.” They couldn’t get rid of a few people in a few towns even after all the great conquests in the Promised Land.

As I read this, I began to think of the sins that I have in my life. You know the type. They’re the ones that no matter what I do, I can’t seem to beat. No matter how hard I try, I still succumb to their temptation every time. I’ve done fasting and prayer to get strong enough to beat them out of my life, but they still keep showing up. I’ll see something in the day that starts the process. My thoughts begin to dwell on the things that will eventually lead to the sin and sooner or later I fall. Sound familiar?

Near the last part of that verse, it says that they forced the Canaanites into forced labor when they became strong enough. When I read that, I thought of II Corinthians 10:5 that says, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” It’s our thoughts that keep the temptation alive in our heads that walk us down the road to sin. I’m not strong enough to drive out those thoughts and so I end up sinning. But here, Paul says we have divine power to demolish the strongholds in our lives.

There is a power beyond ourselves, in Christ, that can give us the power to take those thoughts captive and as the book of Joshua says, “put them into forced labor.” When we try to combat these thoughts in our own strength, there isn’t enough power. Those thoughts seem to be fortified against whatever we throw at it. They’re like the Canaanites in Joshua 17:16. The people of Joseph complained that they didn’t have enough land because the Canaanites had iron chariots and couldn’t be moved.

Joshua didn’t care about the iron chariots. He wasn’t looking at this as a physical struggle, but a spiritual one. He spoke into the tribe what they were that they couldn’t see. He saw what God sees when He looks at us. In verses 17-18 he told them, “you are very powerful” and even tough the Canaanites had iron chariots and were strong too, “you can drive them out.” He spoke into their lives and called out in them what God had put in them. He reminded them of their past victories and current realities.

You may see yourself like these two tribes. You’ve forgotten all that God has forgiven and delivered you from. You have strongholds in your life that you’ve allowed to remain because you haven’t seen yourself as strong enough to beat them. You’ve allowed them to shame you and to accept them in your mind. I’m telling you today that you are strong enough to overcome. You are powerful through the Holy Spirit that God has placed in you. If He has forgiven you and given you deliverance from other sins, He can give you the strength to beat the ones you’re struggling with today. Though they seem fortified with iron, God’s Word is more powerful and it is alive in you today. Bring those thoughts into captivity and drive them out of your mind’s landscape. You are very strong.

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