Do you sometimes struggle with negative thoughts? Do you ever feel bogged down by shame and guilt or find yourself believing lies about yourself that you know are flaming arrows of the enemy?
It’s time to put an end to self-condemning thoughts and attitudes that are not from God, demolish strongholds in our lives and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
How to Take Every Thought Captive
Do you remember the game “Capture the Flag”? As a young middle school girl, my friends and I played this at summer camp. Each opposing team would hide “flags” (usually just pieces of cloth) in a special place on the team’s territory in the woods.
We would then sneak into the enemy’s territory in search of their flag. The first team to successfully “capture” the other team’s flag was the winning team.
Our camp counselors often waited until it was almost dusk to begin the game, adding to the suspense and excitement. The trick was to try to capture the other team’s flag before you were tagged and “captured” yourself.
If you were captured on the opposing team’s territory, you were sent to “jail” until another teammate came to release the prisoners.
As I reminisced over those fun-filled camp years, a deep spiritual truth struck me. The enemy of our souls desires to “take ground” in our lives. He comes after our families and loved ones.
He is often stealth and unassuming, quietly lurking behind trees and brambles, looking for an opportunity to catch us off guard.
Satan, the father of lies, cunningly masquerades falsehood as truth, using circumstances and trials to discourage our hearts and leave us wallowing in defeat.
But it’s time to put an end to his schemes once and for all.
It’s time to use use the divine powers we have through Christ to demolish the strongholds that have kept us in captivity for far too long.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 encourages us to take back our territory with weapons that are not of this world.
The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The word captive here in the Greek means to be led away into captivity, or to subjugate and bring under control (source).
Like in the game capture the flag, we must arrest every lie, falsehood, and negative pretension from the enemy and bring those thoughts under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit!
Fluttering lies that say…
“I’m not good enough.”
“Things will never change.”
“God doesn’t love me.”
“I’m too broken to be made whole.”
Through the saving work of Jesus, we have the power to capture and demolish these poisonous thoughts and make them bow the knee to the will and Word of God.
[bctt tweet=”We have the power to capture lies and make them bow to the will and Word of God!” username=”christinbaker12″]
The act of taking the lies of the enemy captive is not a passive activity. It is an aggressive act of war against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12).
Here are three assertive ways we can gain victory this week:
1. Silence Negative Thoughts with Praise
Psalm 149:6 says,
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands…
Our victory cry is the praise of God on our lips. The moment lies and negative thoughts enter our minds, we can open our mouths and proclaim the truth of who God is.
The next time you feel the shroud of attack come upon you, put on your favorite worship song and lift up a hymn of praise to the Living God!
2. Use the Weapon of God’s Word
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates and pierces through the lies of the enemy with deadly force.
Speak God’s Word over your situation and obliterate lies with God’s truth.
Use post-it notes and index cards and write scriptures down and place them everywhere in your home and work space.
But don’t just use Scripture as decorative wall art that can be easily overlooked as we go about our daily tasks–take a moment to stop and read these verses out loud when you pass by the refrigerator, or before turning the corner in your hallway.
There is great power in the spoken word.
Meditating on scripture and then reading it aloud allows us to hear the truth of God’s Word, letting the healing balm of his Word to soothe our hearts and strengthen us to keep fighting!
3. Stop, Drop and PRAY
Remember the “stop, drop and roll” technique for putting out fires? We must use the same strategy when putting out the flaming arrows of the enemy. When a lie enters your mind, STOP.
Ask yourself, “Is this a lie I am believing?”
If it is, DROP to you knees, (or figuratively in your heart) and surrender that thought to God. Talk to him about it. Let him know how you are feeling, and ask him to help you think differently about the situation.
Oftentimes, prayer will give us renewed perspective regarding the trials and difficulties we face.
No matter the circumstances we encounter in life, let us always remember that the enemy is already defeated, and like gum on an old shoe, the God of peace will crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20).
Here are some free printable scripture cards with verses relating to the Armor of God that you can download and print on cardstock.
I pray that you walk in greater freedom as you abide in Christ and take every though captive this week!
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