to make it obedient to Christ...
2 Corinthians 10:5
You might, as I have in the past, read these verses and decide this is impossible. But, it has been impressed upon me, over and over again, just how important it is to control our thoughts - this is why God commands us to do just that. It is in the battlefield of the mind that we win or lose the day. If we battle depression, low self-esteem, thoughts of suicide, we can be sure our thoughts are at the root of the battle.
I believe it is because the stakes are so high for us and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that God is so specific in commanding us to capture our thoughts in this way. God knows that this is where the enemy gains a foothold in our lives and can destroy the future He has planned for us; our hope in Him; our joy in life; our peace; our sense of being loved, even our desire to continue living. God knows the depth and danger of allowing our thoughts to rule over us rather than Christ. Clearly, this is an area of enormous significance in our lives. We ignore this scriptural admonition, truly, to our own peril.
God directs our thoughts to those things that are healthy and life giving in our lives. He doesn't leave us alone to figure this out - He makes it very clear how we should control our thoughts.
You may be thinking, well that's fine for somebody else, if they can do it, but, I have a lot of stress in my life. I just lost my job, my husband left me, I can't pay the rent, I am grieving the loss of my true love, I am seriously depressed, I want to give up... and on and on. These are real issues that many people are dealing with. These are the times when controlling our thoughts is vitally important. If we allow the enemy to control our thoughts, he will. We will find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into depression, feeling helpless, all alone in dealing with the problem, ready to give up, potentially, even suicidal. We cannot allow our minds to run off on their own - someone will control our thoughts - either God or Satan.
I have a good friend and Christian Counselor who often asks me "Who told you that?" In other words, ask yourself where that thought came from - is it from God, or is it from Satan? It is essential to identify who is speaking to you through your thoughts. God will never reject you, never give up on you, never put you down, never, never, never lead you to thoughts of suicide. If you are entertaining those kind of thoughts, STOP. Take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ! To not do so could give the enemy of your soul power in your life that God never intends or wants for you. Satan is called the Father of Lies, the Destroyer, the Deceiver, the Thief... He will lie to you about you or anyone else in your life, he will destroy everything that matters in your life, including you, he will steal your joy, your hope, your faith in God, your future...
God speaks love into your life, not hate; life not death; hope not despair; peace, not anxiety... If you are not in the Word of God, do yourself a favor and get into it. You will find life and healing for your soul. It is through the Word of God that you will renew your mind. (Romans 12:2)
If you are not sure where to begin in this area, I encourage you to ask God to help you identify your thoughts and to "take them captive to the obedience of Christ..."
Challenge your thoughts - do not just accept them blindly - you have control over your thoughts - exercise that control! If you are having destructive thoughts, ask yourself where they come from - is that from God or from Satan? Be ruthless about rejecting any thoughts that are not from God about you or your life or, about God, Himself. Please don't take this lightly. Your life could depend on it, especially if you are struggling just to hold on another day.
I plan to do a mini-series on what the truth is that God speaks to us from His Word, vs. the lies the enemy speaks to us. In the meantime, I pray God leads you to His Word, illuminates your thoughts to be His thoughts for you, and helps you in the battle to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..."2 Corinthians 10:5