Bringing Every Thought Into Captivity

Have you even been tormented by worry? I am talking about the kind of thoughts that keep you awake all night, tossing and turning, playing out all the horrible scenarios that can possibly happen over and over in your mind? It is not something that you can simply turn off though, right? Well, that is partially true. You can’t do it on your own, but with God’s help you most certainly can break that cycle!

First we have to find out what the source of these thoughts are.

2 Timothy 1:7 (WEBBE): 7For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.

Fear is not from God. God is love, not fear.

You might be wondering how this lines up with God warning people through prophetic messages about impending danger. The answer is simple – if it is God warning you about something, He will certainly also show you the way out. The warning is intended for you to be able to do something about it, not to make you despair.

If these worried thoughts were of our own making, then surely we could just decide not to think them anymore. Consider this simple scenario. “Maybe we should paint this wall blue. Lets imagine how it would look… Ugh no, that won’t work at all! Wait, how about yellow?” It is not like I would loose nights of sleep about rejecting blue.

So if these worries are not from God, and they are not of our own devising, then there is but one other source. These are the kinds of thoughts that are out to “kill, steal and destroy”, wouldn’t you agree? These thoughts are from the devil and his minions. I am not saying that somebody that worries is possessed, far from it. But the devil takes any chance he can get to torment the children of God.

Now that we have pinpointed the source of these destructive thoughts and know who the enemy is, the battle is half won already.

So how do we fight back?

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (WEBBE): 3For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, 5throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience when your obedience is made full.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (WEBBE): 10Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace, 16above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints:

That all sounds awesome – spiritual weapons and armour for a spiritual fight. We are on the right track. But what on earth does this mean in practice? Who do we actually need to do?

What did Jesus do when the devil tried to tempt Him?

Luke 4:4 (WEBBE): 4Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

And what was Jesus’ advice about moving mountains?

Mark 11:22-23 (WEBBE): 22Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.

So here is what you do when you are tormented next time. Say to the devil, with faith and conviction: “It is written: ‘For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.’ So devil you are not welcome here! In Jesus’ Name, LEAVE!”

When the tormentor leaves, you will experience God’s amazing peace.

And if he dares to try and sneak back in, chase him away again!