It does not take long when walking the Christian walk to encounter opposition. Satan would like nothing more than to discredit us, destroy our witness and bring us down with the temptations that surround us. My friend Marilyn, has chosen as her favorite verse 2 Corinthians 10:5. “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” We know that God has equipped us for all good works with His Word and empowered us with His Holy Spirit which indwells every believer. When we immerse ourselves in His Word with study, prayer, meditation, and memorization we begin to think biblically (like God would have us think). When we pray and ask guidance from the Holy Spirit, we are applying His power to our lives. But, What about our minds? This verse speaks of taking every thought captive. What does that mean to you? The goal is to take all your thoughts and run them past God and see if they are good ones leading to His glory and my good or not so good leading to my destruction. Taking every thought captive would only be possible if we walked continually with His Spirit and allowed the Holy Spirit to be active and working in our lives at all times. We have a sin nature that generates those poor thoughts so we need to submit them to Jesus though the power of His Holy Spirit.
As I looked at this verse, I backed up to get a bigger picture of the context and reasons for this need to captivate of our thoughts. Paul explains we are people walking in this world with our sinful nature as a part of us. We need to consider ourselves in a constant spiritual battle with Satan. God assures us that He has given us spiritual tools to use, divine weapons. He has given us words to combat the thoughts and ideas that would discount and seek to destroy our God. They cannot succeed but we need to use our spiritual weapons of the Word and Prayer to align ourselves with God, so that we can overcome through the power of Christ and be obedient to Him. Here is 2 Corinthians 5:3-5 in the Amplified translation to help us see more clearly what this means.
For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,
Knowing this is a powerful fight, we must cling to Jesus each day. We must pray diligently and be in His Word so that we can be strong in Him. I find that being aware of the enemy helps me to see the forces I am facing and to better be on guard. Paul speaks of this in Ephesians 6:10-13 “ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Remember Jesus’ words and do not be overwhelmed or discouraged, just be patient and dependent upon Him. John 16:33 ” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We serve a mighty Sovereign Savior! With His Spirit within us, we too can overcome and hold those thoughts captive to Him!