This passage reminds me that indeed we are in a spiritual battle. It refers not to tools for building but weapons. Weapons are used only for some type of confrontation...for fighting...or self defense. Indeed, as Christians, we are in for a fight in this world, in this society which has become increasingly anti-Christian in it's focus. But this is nothing new. Jesus warned us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). While verse five begins with a call to use these spiritual weapons in the world demolishing arguments etc. It is the second challenge, to take each thought captive and make it obedient to Christ which offers such a path to personal growth in our Christian journey. Speaking for myself, I know that countless times each day thoughts rise up in my mind which are anything but what God would have me thinking. Some are lies of the enemy; others are products of my own sin sick soul, swirling round and round and growing as I give them my attention. How can I be growing closer to The Lord when I allow such thoughts to take up residence within me. I can't. And on my own I am powerless to stop them. But this passage reminds us that we have divine power available to us through the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Surely, if we access such a power we can "capture" our own thoughts and make them "obedient to Christ". I once heard a speaker who had a marvelous formula for this. Unfortunately, I'm not certain of the teacher but I will never forget the lesson: the three R's of right thinking: Recognize, Reject, Replace. 1)RECOGNIZE when you are thinking wrong thoughts. Catch yourself...the more you practice this the quicker you are able to catch yourself in wrong negative thought patterns. 2)REJECT them as lies of the enemy or ways of the world. 3) REPLACE them with words of truth from God's word. We are told to Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT) What better way than to mobilize scripture to fight the enemy where he may have a stronghold: within our own mind?
Prayer for today: Almighty God, we love You and give You thanks that you arm us with power not of this world to fight in the spiritual battle raging within us and around us. Remind us we pray, of the power that imparts and teach us to capture each thought that is not pleasing to You and bring it to Jesus for destruction or redemption, whichever is needed. We ask in Jesus' name. AMEN!
Confession for today: I confess that God has provided me with spiritual weapons to tear down strongholds wherever they may be found. I will use these weapons when lies of the enemy rise up whether found in the world around me or within my own thoughts and I will replace wrong thinking with words of truth. I declare this by faith in Jesus' name.AMEN!