Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Our mind is a battleground. Multitudes of thoughts bombard us all the time. Did you realize that the problems we face are internal - in our thoughts and attitudes? Satan knows that if he can control our thoughts, then he can control our actions. We cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. Taking negative thoughts captive is not easy. You know as well as I that there are times when our mind just doesn’t want to listen. The lies of the enemy are vicious. Destructive strongholds try to invade our minds every day, and it takes commitment and discipline to control our thoughts. We have to put our whole heart into it.

Did you know that in the Kentucky Derby, a horse race in the U.S., the winning horse runs out of oxygen after the first mile? He runs the rest of the race with his heart. Great athletes understand this truth. Michael Jordan, the great NBA legend, says that "heart" is what separates the good from the great. How does this apply to our thoughts? This means that you must decide to take negative thoughts captive with all your heart if you want to see breakthrough in your life. You can't casually apply this truth. Just like the race horse, you must consciously determine to fight and win. Commitment starts in the heart.

"At times it will be very hard, and committing to take negative thoughts captive will be the only thing that will carry you through the hard times."  --John Maxwell

Then how can we possibly break these destructive strongholds in our mind? How can we be aware of these defeating thoughts? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 that the weapons of our warfare are not of the world, but they are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds. We can't destroy these strongholds by ourselves - we need divine help because the battle is in the spiritual realm - we need God to show us the lies we believe. God is divinely powerful to demolish strongholds. So often we try to do it ourselves; we determine to solve the problem on our own. We take surface thoughts captive and not the thoughts underneath that are feeding those thoughts. We must ask God to show us the strongholds. We need the Holy Spirit's help. We must give him permission to deal with the strongholds in our life. He is the one who can break the power of the lie. You can pray right now and give God permission to show you the strongholds in your life:

"Lord, I realize that I cannot destroy the strongholds in my life by myself. I need your divine power. I give you permission to show me strongholds in my life. I invite you into the center of my life to reveal to me the lies I have believed. I acknowledge my dependence on you to do it."

The only way we can combat these lies is by truth. God's Word is truth (John 17:17). It's our weapon (Ephesians 6:17). God's Word has power! It's living! It's active! It judges our thoughts and our attitudes (Hebrews 4:12). It can defeat those schemes and devices of the enemy. It can show us if our thinking is lining up with divine truth. It's time we exalt God's Word more than our human reasoning. Satan wants to trip us up, but God wants to bless us with his truth. Satan wants to bring hopelessness into our life that paralyzes our faith in God and His promises. He is out to destroy our destiny.