Taking Your Thoughts Captive

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

A few years ago, listening distractedly to a radio show, I was shocked to hear the guest and presenter refer to the skyrocketing increase in female adultery as a positive fact. According to this writer, whose name I will not mention by choice, more than 80% of men and women have sexual thoughts towards office colleagues, more than 40% of women admit to having an adulterous relationship! I don't have a study in hand to back up these numbers but they have narrowed my thoughts down to one of the devil's favorite tactics since the beginning of time has been trying to distance us from God using the mighty weapon of our thoughts.

To return to this shocking example taken in the news in France, Satan attacks his prey in their thoughts and the actions follow of themselves.

The devil has only to exploit our natural tendency due to the entry of sin into our world, to entertain negative thoughts. Our thoughts have a huge influence on who we are, as well as our actions and the direction we give in our lives. And the devil knows it.

Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

By attacking the thoughts of men who do not know God, our enemy tries to keep them away from salvation, nothing less!

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

He does the same with believers, trying to lead them away from their fellowship with Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3 (NIV) “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

Judas also gave him access and the thoughts of betrayal settled in his heart and then he took action.

John 13:2 (ESV) “The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot.”

When Jesus speaks openly to his disciples about his imminent death and resurrection, Peter is inspired in his thoughts by the devil whom Jesus calls directly to him:

Mark 8:33 (NIV) “But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’”

Do you realize the importance of working to control our thoughts to resist the devil?

We are flooded with negative thoughts in many areas of our life: our worries, our inferiority, our low self-esteem, our bitterness, our cravings, our fears, our guilt, our negativity, our selfishness, our immoral desires ... etc. Notice the presence of the possessive adjectives that we use here: we tend to appropriate those negative “thoughts” that try to keep us slaves. No, it is not “my” anxiety, for example, this thought is external to me and I have to fight against it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV) “... we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

One of my favorite verses to combat this devil's tactic is:

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

The first step is to realize this battle in our mind. Second, list those negative thoughts that assail you. Learn to recognize them, to analyze the moments which are favorable for these attacks. Take notes, look deep in your heart to begin to understand what is at stake in this war. Practice turning them "OFF" in your heart. Reject them, no longer accept them as inevitable.

Then in front of those negative thoughts, list the truth of God that applies to them. Find the biblical solution to the attacks. Sharpen your sword, imprint the word of God in your mind and in your heart. Turn "ON" what is true and good in your heart.

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV) “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

And you will be amazed to see the Living Word at work in your life!

The Lord will fight with you.

Rachel Miquel Dufour