Capturing Your Thoughts

We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

–2 Corinthians 10:5

Yesterday, I shared two principles for strengthening your mind with God’s Word: avoid ungodly input and avoid ungodly people. I want to close our study this week with three more principles to help you remain strong in your faith.

Principle number three: read God’s Word regularly. Psalm 1:1–2 says, “How blessed is the man . . .  [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” One reason Christians fall into sin is they are so spiritually malnourished that they don’t have the strength to say no to temptation. If you’re suffering from spiritual starvation, don’t try to gorge yourself with God’s Word; start small. Read a single psalm or a paragraph from a practical book such as James or Philippians. You’ll discover that the more you read God’s Word, the more you’ll develop a hunger for it.

Principle number four: make regular deposits in your spiritual bank account. Not long ago, I found my first bank book from an account I opened when I was seven years old. All the deposits I made to that account are gone now. I don’t have a clue where that money went. But I’ve made another kind of deposit through the years that continues to pay dividends: depositing God’s Word in my heart. It’s amazing how sections of Scripture I memorized years ago have come to mind at the right time. I encourage you to make Scripture memorization part of your routine as well. And if you’re a parent, teach your children to memorize God’s Word. Psalm 119:9, 11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. . . . Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

Principle number five: confront wrong thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. You can’t control all the thoughts that come into your mind, but you can control what you do with those thoughts. You can allow them to linger in your mind until they metastasize into sin, or you can confront them with the truth of God’s Word. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul said, “We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” God’s Word is like a spiritual lasso that allows us to capture wrong thoughts, subdue them, and dismiss them.

That’s the reason we read and memorize Scripture. We are in a struggle against evil that is being played out on the battlefield of our minds, and the only way to win is by strengthening our minds with God’s Word.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Heart of the Matter” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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