“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.” II Corinthians 10:4-5
It is commonly suggested that a person has between 12,000 and 50,000 thoughts each and every day. Sometimes this seems a bit low — for the thoughtful, while at other times it seems a bit high — for the “worker bees.” Either way, it is apparent that our minds are running a mile a minute . . . contemplating, refreshing, renewing, deciding, calculating, analyzing, predicting and dwelling. But to what end is it captivating?
Some of my fondest memories include my days on the slopes as a casual skier. I was the guy on the slopes everyone despised. Just enough ability to get to the bottom of the hill, but lacking the grace and finesse to make it there without taking someone out on the way. If you know anything about snow skiing, they rate the slopes according to the degree of difficulty. Green slopes are generally easier and more groomed for the beginner. This was me all the way. But, occasionally there would be a Blue slope (intended for the slightly more experienced skiier) that I was tempted to try when my confidence had grown. This false sense of security led me to picking up my skis, poles, hat, gloves and anything else that came disconnected from me on my way down the Blue hill. My loud squeals and expressive doubts were merely attempts to warn anyone in my path. It was for their safety . . . and my dignity. Starting at the top, it was easy to maintain control, but the further into the slope, the faster the skis would go. It wasn’t sudden, more gradual, until all of a sudden, my mind agreed with my will — I was out of control — and my body paid the price!
Thoughts, left unattended, will lead the will and the body down a slippery slope! To avoid disaster, Paul teaches us how to live in the freedom of obedience to Christ by taking each thought captive. But how in the world is one to do this when a single day brings tens of thousands of thoughts. That sounds like effort!
It is!! Satan’s plan is to seek and destroy — and he’ll just as well get in my head to do it! Discerning the Truth, studying the Truth, praying the Truth, living the Truth all lead to a safe journey! It’s taking the thoughts captive in order to MAKE them obedient to Christ. It doesn’t say I will have good thoughts, or that I should only have good thoughts. It means that WHEN my thoughts are good — take them captive and give Him the glory! It also means that WHEN my thoughts are less than good — take them captive so that I may be obedient and give Him the glory.
Pointing the tips of my skis straight down hill was never a good idea — it always led to disaster. In order to arrive disaster-free, I had to work at it, concentrate, think!
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:10-14