I admit that I struggled a bit when I browsed different Bible Commentaries, searching for someone who witnessed what I have been experiencing lately. Yet all I found seemed to be so much more concerned with the idea of people falling away from faith through disobedience toward Christ that I thought I could address the issue on how to take our thoughts captive on a way lower level. That means, I will first share my recent experience and then post an excerpt of a Bible Commentary which was the closest regarding my own lesson learned.
As a starter, here’s the scripture I am referring to.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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 Cor 10: 3-5 KJV)
Today in the morning I was not sure whether I should write a new article – or not. Yesterday I was convinced I would do it, however, I did not publish one thing. 😉 You see, it is always God’s surprising guidance which meanwhile makes me grin that often, since, if I could still do as I saw fit, I would not know that He is the One who always guides me.
As I stood in the bathroom in front of the mirror, a few ordinary thoughts came to mind. As I began to follow them, I felt suddenly nudged to stop and wonder. I had been thinking about how to organize and plan not only today, but tomorrow as well. At the same moment as a whiff of worry set in, God made me aware of what I was doing at that moment. I clearly saw that it was my habit in the past to always try to control the uncontrollable future which lies in God hands alone. Those thought habits have held me captive as long as I can think.
Then the scripture above popped up in my mind and I asked God how I could stop those old and worn-out thought patterns. Actually, you may wonder how easy it is to get away from all that disconcerting, mind disturbing stuff. I was also reminded of how I tried long ago to become a “positive thinker” by focusing on thinking only positive thoughts. To be honest, it worked for about one or two minutes and then I was back in the dumps. Even meditating for hours only brought me a few minutes of calmness until Susanne’s “old mind” held her captive again.
So, the solution is indeed as easy as can be. When I was looking at those familiar thought patterns which tried to pull me back into some spiritual slumber, I heard God simply say, “Come to Me.”
Approaching Him in my spirit and with my heart, keeping one of my favorite Scriptures in mind which reads,
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7 KJV)
I felt how quickly all of these things that had begun to disturb my mind and heart had disappeared into nirvana. In fact, they were GONE!! God’s peace had immediately dispelled any cloud of anxiety or sorrow that could dim out the bright light of His presence.
You see, it was NOT my doing to get rid of my old thoughts. Indeed, it is always God’s power alone that helps us change what we could never change on our own. As a confirmation of God’s Gospel power that changes everything and creates a new spiritual being in us, you could now read an excerpt from John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible where he explained 2 Corinthians chapter 10.
Verse 5. Casting down imaginations,…. Or “reasonings”; the carnal reasonings of the minds of natural men against God, his providences and purposes, against Christ, and the methods of salvation, and every truth of the Gospel; which are all disproved, silenced, and confounded, by the preaching of the word, which though reckoned the foolishness and weakness of God, appears to be wiser and stronger than men; and whereby the wisdom of the wise is destroyed, and the understanding of the prudent brought to nothing:
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God; every proud thought of the heart, every great swelling word of vanity, every big look, even all the lofty looks and haughtiness of men, with every airy flight, and high towering imagination, reasoning, and argument advanced against the Gospel of Christ; which is here meant by the knowledge of God, and so called, because it is the means of leading souls into the knowledge of God, even into a better knowledge of him than can be attained to, either by the light of nature, or law of Moses; to a knowledge of him, and acquaintance with him in Christ the Mediator, in whom the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is given; and with which knowledge of God eternal life is connected, yea, in this it consists; it is the beginning of it, and will issue in it.
And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; or “carrying captive the whole understanding”; that is, so illustrating it with divine light, that it clearly sees Christ to be the alone, able, willing, full, and suitable Saviour, and so becomes obedient to him, both as a Saviour and a King; such an enlightened soul looks to him alone for life and salvation, ventures on him, and relies upon him, and is desirous and willing to be saved by him in his own way; he receives and embraces all his truths and doctrines with faith and love, and obeys them from the heart, and cheerfully and willingly submits to all his commands and ordinances; for though he is taken by the grace of God, and all his strong holds, reasonings, and high thoughts are demolished by the power of God in the Gospel, and he himself is carried captive, yet not against, but with his will, to be a voluntary subject of Christ, and cheerfully to submit to the sceptre of his kingdom.