5 Creative Ways to Take Our Thoughts Captive
- Emma Danzey Contributing Writer
- 2021 8 Nov
One of the most difficult challenges for many of us is the battle for our minds. We could be the most God-fearing individuals, but if we continually entertain the thoughts from the enemy, we will struggle to live in victory through Christ. Anxiety, doubts, depression, paranoia, judgmental thoughts, and more can creep into our heads if we are not aware and on our guard. Today I want to share five creative ways to take thoughts captive to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The reality is that we all live in a physical world. However, our struggle is not truly against the people or the physical events around us. Our ongoing conflict is with the one who started our difficulty, Satan and his demons. Each day we are called to put on the full armor of God so we can take a stand against the devil’s plans (Ephesians 6:10-18).
One of the pieces of armor is the helmet of salvation. When we imagine a helmet, we think about the protection of our head and ultimately our lives. I would argue that if we do not take our thoughts captive and focus our minds on Christ daily, the way we live our lives is at stake. How can we protect our minds? How can we have a thought but sift it through the truth of the Bible?
1. Catch And Release Method
A friend of mine showed me a visual of what she does when she becomes stressed. She simply takes her hands out in front of her and squeezes her fingers into fists as she imagines the cause of her anxiety. Then, she begins releasing her fingers slowly as she asks God to take away her stress. We can use this tool in moments when we receive a thought. We can clench our fists while thinking about the thought, and as we physically release our hands, we give that thought to the Lord in prayer.
2. Ammo for Battle
When we are in the midst of a sudden challenge, it is easier to be thrown off guard if we are not prepared for it. Knowing that the Bible tells us clearly “when you have troubles,” (John 16:33) should encourage us to learn Scripture ahead of time. Being self-aware of lies that we tend to believe or wrestle with can help us learn specific Bible verses that combat them. If we struggle with fear, collecting as much ammo as possible before a trigger occurs will help us take down the lie or temptation.
3. Christian Mindfulness
One of the most well-utilized tools of Christian counselors is mindfulness. This is simply having a “happy place” in your mind from a memory or an ideal location that is peaceful to think about when you are in a stressful situation. In the midst of mindfulness, as believers, we can imagine Jesus with us in the peaceful scenario to remind us that He is present with us. This concept can seem contradictory to Christianity, however it is our God who is Perfect Peace, who tells us to be still and know that He is God. Focus on the Family shares, “Christians and many faith-based counselors use mindfulness in a Christ-integrated way as a therapy tool. They believe mindfulness can be compatible with a biblical worldview — as long as it’s rooted in Scripture and focuses on connecting with God.”
Photo credit: Unsplash/Dingzeyu Li
4. Mind Map
This is a concept shared by Jennie Allen in her Bible Study, Get Out of Your Head.
Step 1: In this method, you take time to write down what you are thinking about and then what emotions are tied to those thoughts.
Step 2: Write down why those emotions were connected with those thoughts.
Step 3: Take the main feeling and write it down in the middle of a page with a circle around it. Then draw lines coming out of the middle circle creating smaller circles with what areas of your life are increasing that feeling. For example, you might feel fear as your main emotion in the middle circle. Then, you could draw lines out with smaller circles that say, “health,” “work,” “family,” etc.
Step 4: Next to the smaller circles write out why you have that main feeling in that area of your life. Health could be insecurity about weight, stress from COVID, etc.
Step 5: Pray to the Lord about what you wrote and ask Him to help you in these struggles.
5. Get Active
Often we feel trapped in our thoughts and the enemy can paralyze us. It is important that we push past the lies and find purpose in our day. We can sit and simmer in our questions and fears, or we can get active. Whether it is helping someone in need, being productive in work, or even going to the gym, being active is a great way to help us take our thoughts captive. Many times, our anxieties diminish when we refocus our minds on something greater and meaningful. When we look to Jesus and ask Him what He would like for us to do today, we unravel from the selfish thoughts and turn to Him with our activity. Just make sure you are not busying yourself and neglecting going to God.
No matter what the lie is that you are currently battling, the Lord desires to help you be more than a conqueror through Christ. We have the same living power that resurrected Jesus inside of us, we already have the victory. Ask the Lord to help you access this life of freedom and triumph through Him today. He is always with us, fighting for us, and we can confidently stand up, be firm, and put on our helmets of salvation each day.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/diego_cervo
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew for over two years and mom to baby Graham. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She had the joy of hosting Her Many Hats podcast where she explored the many roles that women play while serving One God. Most recently, Emma has released her first Bible Study Book, Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness.
Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Emma also had the privilege of having been a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com