“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
Where is your mind leading you? Most biblical teachers and preachers will agree that the battle for our faith begins with the mind. It is here that Satan, the world, and our flesh continually attempt to exercise their influence and ultimately control. In our scripture today, the Apostle Paul advises believers in Corinth to bring into obedience and compliance every thought that is not in agreement with God’s plan and purpose for their life. His teaching is relevant for us today. How are our thoughts taken captive?
Satan invades our thoughts by planting seeds of doubt which left unchallenged or unchecked, will lead to disbelief and ultimately, disobedience. Remember Eve? “Did God really say that you couldn’t eat that apple?” (My paraphrase of Genesis 3:4) What began as doubt soon became disbelief. The result was disobedience, shame and regret. Sound familiar?
The world pervades our thoughts by convincing us to conform to its life styles and beliefs. Paul warned the church at Rome not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing of their mind (Romans 12:2). The world’s beliefs are characterized by the lust of the eyes—“I want what I see”; the lust of the flesh—“I live how I feel”; and the pride of life—“I value only what’s important to me” (1 John 2:16). The result is vanity and emptiness.
Lastly, our flesh persuades us by appealing to our physical and emotional desires. Our flesh tempt us with words of deception—“If it feels good, do it.” “You only go this way once, live life to the fullest.” “You deserve whatever you want.” Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Gen. 3:6). Her flesh deceived her. The result was the introduction of spiritual and physical death, expulsion from Paradise, and alienation from God.
Bringing every thought captive to the obedience of God requires that we:
- Accept our identity in Christ. We are no longer obligated to follow the dictates of Satan, the world, and our flesh. We have been set free by the blood of Christ and are no longer slaves to unrighteousness (Romans 6:12-14).
- Believe the truth of God. It is the truth of God that exposes the darkness of sin and its influence in our lives. It is knowledge of this truth, in Him, that keeps Satan, the world, and our flesh at bay. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
- Commit to the lordship of Christ. Our obedience is not based on fear of punishment when we sin. Our obedience is our gift to the Lord. We give it in gratitude for His gift of eternal life to us (John 3:16). We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Let us daily use the powerful weapons God has provided for us to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. These weapons are not human but mighty in God. God’s weapons are dunatos (doo-nat-os)—powerful and capable.
SELAH: The New James Version of today’s text reads as follows:
“Casting down arguments (logismos) and every high thing (hyposoma) that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Logismos is reasoning or thought that might be hostile to the Christian faith. Hyposoma in Greek is an elevated barrier. Meditate on this scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any “arguments or high thing” in your life that may be keeping you from God’s best. Share what you hear with us in “Comments.”