“… take every thought captive…”

Lately, I have been trying to get back into the habit of memorizing Scripture. I have been taking key verses with me (scribbled out on 3″ x 5″ note cards) with me on my morning walks and repeating them to myself as I stroll. I probably look a little strange mumbling to myself 🙂 , but it has been really encouraging!

One verse I came across recently was 2 Corinthians 10:5 (let’s see if I can recall it all from memory 🙂 ):

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

As I mulled it over in my mind, phrase by phrase, I saw it in a new light. It took on a more vivid color than before. It was powerful!

Fist of all, I was struck by the verbs in this verse. They are very dynamic and active. There is no sense of the “Let go, let God” philosophy here. It encourages a proactive response to things that may contradict the things of the Lord, not a passive one. Note the opening phrase:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…

It has the idea of completely destroying something, leaving nothing standing. Udder demolition! Then, in the following phrase, Paul encourages his reader:

“… and take captive every thought…

This has the idea of actively pursuing something until it is laid hold of for the purpose of possessing, binding or enslaving. We are called to have that type of attitude toward our sinful thoughts. Then, in the very last part of the verse, Paul instructs the reader:

to make it obedient to Christ.

It is not enough just to take the thought “captive.” But we are also to change that thought into a righteous one.

This is really the biblical pattern that you find all throughout the Scriptures. When we find ourselves in a pattern of sin (whether they be in our thoughts, attitudes or actions), then we are to stop what we are doing immediately! We are to seek the Lord & His grace to enable us to change the pattern into something that is more Christ-like. For example, if you are thinking lustful thoughts about a man/woman who is not your spouse, then immediately stop your train of thought. Recall to mind what Scripture says about the issue: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Acknowledge your sin and confess your sin before the Lord. Then, make your train of thought obedient to Christ, by praying for His grace to help you put off those sinful thoughts and put on Christ-like purity in its place (Ephesians 4:22-24).

This was a great reminder! It is so easy for me to simply put my mind on “auto-pilot” sometimes (especially when I am tired) and allow my thoughts to freely flow through my mind, uninhibited and unrestrained. However, after meditating on this passage I was convicted of my constant need to continually guard my thoughts and evaluate them. Hold them to the light of Scripture. Whenever one is found not meeting the standards of Scripture (which is often), then I must be pro-active about capturing it and correcting it, to the praise and glory of Christ! May He grant me the grace for such a task :-/


About Elizabeth

I am a sinner, saved by grace striving to increase in the knowledge of my Savior and His precious Word each day. The reader should know that there are a few presuppositions with which I approach this blog: 1) I believe in the biblical gospel, which basically purports that all mankind is born under the curse of sin (due to the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden). Therefore, man is separated from God and can have no relationship with God because He is perfectly holy, not even able to look upon sin. Unfortunately, God is also perfectly just and must not only separate Himself from sin, but must also punish it. In order to reconcile man to Himself, God, the Father, sent God, the Son, down to earth to live as a man and take our sins upon Himself on the cross. While on the cross, God, the Son, bore the full weight of the wrath of God, the Father, against our sins in order that we who believe in Him might be set free from the curse of our sin. God, the Son, Jesus Christ, died as a propitiation for our sin in order to appease God, the Father's, holy and just character, redeem us from sin, and reconcile those who believe in this gospel to God, the Father. 2) I am primarily writing to those who already believe in this biblical gospel. In other words, this blog is not focused on evangelizing the lost, but edifying believers. 3) I believe that the Christian Bible is the very word of God. Therefore, it is completely inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative in the life of a believer.
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One Response to “… take every thought captive…”

  1. Randy says:

    Excellent post Elizabeth!

    I am reminded as I read your comments of Psalm 1 and the blessed state of the one who meditates on God’s Word…..tree planted by streams of water…bears fruit…does not wither. What a wonderful state of affairs!

    And I am reminded of our Saviour’s rebuttal to the enemy when hungry after 40 days and then tempted by the enemy to use His divine power to turn stones into bread…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God…. to prioritize God’s Word over food after 40 days of lacking food says a lot to me!

    Enjoy those Scripture/prayer walks!


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