We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
We have been given a great gift – the gift of free will. To have that gift, God has given us a mind that is able to think with reason AND emotion. Part of spiritual warfare is recognizing the attacks of the enemy. Paul indicates to us here that we are to take every thought that we have captive to obey Christ.
The word “thought” in the Greek is noEma. The Strong’s note for this word indicates that it is:
a perception, i.e. purpose, or (by implication) the intellect, disposition, itself.
We are to take every thought, and path where our thoughts will go, captive (in submission) to Christ. This is a challenge, but one that the Holy Spirit of God can overcome.
We are to implement a filter based on the Word of God so that every thought we have can be evaluated to see if it is good or malicious. In the world of computers, there is a device (or application) that does this; it is called a firewall. Firewalls protect you from malicious programs written by people who want to take control of your computer, steal your money, your intellectual property, and in some cases, render your computer so messed up that it is inoperable. This sounds an awful lot like someone we know:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Once this happens, it takes a qualified computer professional to get rid of everything bad. Sometimes, this requires reinstalling all of your programs and restoring your files from a good backup (if you have even backed up your critical data!).
The Word of God transforms our mind and protects it against the social engineering attempts of the devil, the world, and the flesh to try to usurp our thought processes. Some people have said, “Sure, I read the Bible once. That’s all I need.” But we see in Ephesians 5:26 that we are continually being washed clean by the Word of God. The word “washed” in the Greek is katharisas. It is the word from which we get the English word catharsis.
The Word of God is like anti-virus software: it checks every file (thought) in our file system (brain, patterns of thought) for known malicious software and configurations (patterns of sin – arguments and lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God) and removes them before they can do any more harm. But just like viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and other types of malware, they often cause damage before the antivirus program can clean them off or stop them. It is the same with sin in our lives.
It is said that some people, as they read the Word of God and apply it to their lives, have had their hearts and minds so infused with the Word of God that when they think, they think in scripture. Wow! To know the Word of God so well, and have it experientially in your heart so deeply that it is the first way your mind forms thoughts!
So, let’s ask the question: How deeply has the Word of God penetrated my heart?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You amaze us with Your forethought for our every need. Even Your Word has greater purpose than to just instruct and provide direction; it cleanses us, protects us, renews us, and restores our minds. Grant me success this day, Father, as I read Your Word, that it would so penetrate my heart that it would never come out. Help me to remember Your word in such a way that all darkness and unrighteousness is exposed for what it is – sin. Help me to reprogram my mind, that it would be transformed into what You would want, rather than what the world, the devil, and the flesh want it to be. Guard my every thought, and help me to bring it captive to Christ. This I ask in the precious and powerful name of your Most Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.