Not sure if you feel this way…but have you ever seen someone do something and thought….”What in the world were they thinking?”
Just recently while we were in NYC…in the hustle and bustle of Times Square…I had this very thought. A woman in Times Square was walking around stark naked…except for shoes and the paint on the front of her body. I was so shocked that she would just be walking around naked in the midst of hundreds of strangers. I just could not fathom what went through her mind.
Every day I have to be very intentional about taking charge of my own mind and pay attention to what I am thinking about. It really is true…
“where the mind goes the body will follow.”
Every action we take is first preceded by a thought. Years ago, when I first read Joyce Meyer’s book, “The Battlefield of the Mind,” the one thing it taught me was that we need to be keenly aware of what we are thinking and where we allow our minds to go. That book led me to other great books written by people whom I really admire. They love Jesus and are experts on the mind…like Dr. Caroline Leaf and Dr. Henry Cloud…just to name a few. I have learned so much.
All three of these authors take you back to God’s word which I really love. Now I can say…from studying God’s word and having even more insight from their wisdom, their “learning” and experience….that working to take “every thought captive” is serious business. It is the hardest, most difficult “work out” I have ever decided to take on.
There is an extremely important reason why God instructs us, through Paul, to do this. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “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” [emphasis added].
You see, our mind is powerful. God made it that way…to give us the “power” to think and make wise decisions…but we have to allow our minds to be
“flooded and soaked”
in His word.
At that point, we understand and know what God’s word instructs us to do which, by the way, is often contrary to our instinct or “sin nature”….and, therefore, we battle in our mind to “win” the struggle against our fleshly desires and knee jerk responses…to bring our thoughts, which in turn bring our actions, to “obedience”. Often I am walking around with a “war” going on in my head. (No one sees but God and me.)
I have been really waging war in my thoughts now…for over six years. At times my family will be talking to me and I am not even listening. They have no idea, and I really don’t take the time to tell them, the real reason I wasn’t listening. They are “clueless” to the battle I am fighting in my head. They aren’t mind readers nor have they been with me during the day. When we are together interacting, there is no time to catch them up on everything… nor do I want to share the battle….:o)
So why I am I telling you this?
Because it is of upmost importance in order to have victory and live an abundant life. We have to pay attention to and control what we allow ourselves to think….because sin occurs in our minds. Look at this scripture found in Matthew 9:4, “Knowing their THOUGHTS, Jesus said, ‘Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘Get up and walk?'” [emphasis added].
You see, right here in scripture some of the teachers of the law were judging Jesus’ actions in their MINDS…after He healed the paralytic. Do we stop to think about the fact that Jesus knows our thoughts? Sinful thoughts, yes, even if we don’t take action on the thoughts, are still sins. Sin can reside in the mind…and it is there where we need to fight some of our biggest battles.
So with this I encourage you today…think about what your are thinking about.
Where do you let your thoughts go? Maybe, if you are like me, some of the sin in your life happens in your mind. I know now that is exactly why Joyce Meyer entitled her book, “The Battlefield of the Mind”. I will forever be grateful that God led her to write that book and led me to read it. Using simple terms and her own personal experience, it, in a major way, helped me start waging war over my thoughts, thus, giving me more victory in leading an “obedient life to Christ”.
Plain and simple…. if you want to lead a more abundant life in Christ… have a more significant life….start engaging a “war” on your thoughts and do as Paul instructs….”Take every thought captive!” It may be the hardest workout you have ever taken on but in my experience one of the most rewarding:)