April 6, 2010
Taking Every Thought Captive
"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 NIV).
Friend To Friend
This week we have been looking at four steps for taking every thought captive. Today, let's look at step three: Reject the Lie
Once I had a door-to-door vacuum salesman come to my house. To my detriment, I let him in. Before I could convince him I did not need a new vacuum cleaner, he had his demonstration trash sprinkled all over my foyer floor. Almost two hours later, I finally got him to leave.
What was my first mistake? You know it! My first mistake was to let him cross the threshold of my doorway and enter my house. Once he was in, it was difficult to get him out. It is the same way with our thoughts. Once we entertain a thought, once we allow the "salesman" to scatter his "trash" in our minds, it is hard to dismiss it or push it back out again. The place of easiest victory is at the threshold; don't even let the trash in the door. It has been said, "Every spiritual battle is won or lost at the threshold of the mind." I think victory is possible once the thought has passed over the threshold, but it sure will save us a lot of heartache and pain if we begin to recognize Satan's lies and reject them from the start.
Let's go back to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and dig a little deeper by discovering the rich meaning of some of the key words in the original Greek language of the New Testament.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.
This verse tells us that through Christ, we have the power to demolish strongholds. What is a stronghold? The Greek word for stronghold is echo, meaning, "to hold fast." A derivation of that same word, echuroma means "a stronghold, fortification, fortress." Bible teacher, Beth Moore, describes them as "anything in our lives that we hold on to that ends up holding us." They are formed when thoughts or habit patterns "echo" time and time again in our lives. They are negative thoughts that are burned into our minds through repetition (such as verbal abuse) or a one-time traumatic incident (such as a rape). These thought patterns have the potential to grab hold of a mind and rule a life. Many strongholds are built brick-by-brick for protection, but inevitably they become prisons. Beth goes on to say, "No matter what the stronghold may be, they all have one thing in common: Satan is fueling the mental tank with deception to keep the stronghold running."
The word demolish implies a kind of destruction requiring tremendous power - divine power. One reason many Christians have remained in a yoke of slavery to past sins and lies of the enemy is because they swat at strongholds like they are mosquitoes instead of blasting them with the truth like they are concrete fortresses formed by years of construction. We cannot destroy demonic strongholds on our own strength even on our best days. The Holy Spirit can destroy strongholds with His power even on our worst days. The power of the Holy Spirit is the Greek word dunamous, which is where we get the word dynamite. "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
The verse goes on to describe another area that needs to be destroyed. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." I don't know about you, but on a few occasions, (OK, on more occasions than I can count) I have argued with God and against the knowledge of God. Guess what? God always wins.
The Greek word for arguments is logismos, meaning "a reckoning, calculation, consideration, reflection." A calculated thought might be a conclusion that you are a failure, after you have failed at something. That seems logical. It all adds up. Upon reflection, it seems highly probable. However, that's not what the Truth says. It is against the knowledge of God. Regardless of your calculations, God says you are a saint who has been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, a child of God, and a co-heir with Christ. You are not a failure and you need to reject the lie. When the thought comes into your head, simply say, "I reject that thought. It is a lie of the enemy and not the truth of God. I failed in this instance, but I am not a failure."
So far we've looked at three steps to taking every thought captive:
Step One: Recognize the Enemy's True Identity
Step Two: Recognize Satan's Lies
Step Three: Reject the Lies
Join me tomorrow as we look at the final step to taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Dear Father, I'll admit that I toy with thoughts that I know are not true. I feel sorry for myself, entertain thoughts of rejection, and sometimes even feel like nobody loves me. Those are lies. All of them. Right now, I commit to reject the lies of the enemy as soon as the thought comes into my head. Thank You for the truth that sets us free from feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength - and that's the truth.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
I want you to write down five lies that you tend to believe about yourself and leave some space between them. Now, I want you to write down a truth from the Bible for each one that lets you know it is a lie.
Let me get you started.
Lie: I can't do anything right.
Truth: I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Lie: Nobody ever prays for me.
Truth: Jesus said: "I pray for …those you have given me. John 17:9
More From The Girlfriends
This series of lessons is taken from Sharon's book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful - Seeing Yourself from God's Perspective. However, the lessons had such a great impact, she wrote a follow-up book, I'm Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves that goes into much greater detail on how to overcome the lies of the enemy. If this is an area where you struggle, I'm Not Good Enough is the book for you. You can find both on her website. This resource will help you change that stinkin' thinkin' and see yourself as God sees you!
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