Where thoughts take us – Part 4

God’s Word tells us that we are not waging war according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 10:3). Our spiritual struggles are against the dark forces of this world which seek to steer our minds against God’s truth (Eph 6:12). In spite of what we may feel during life’s battles, believers are able to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). But here’s the crunch. Thoughts made captive to Christ still require converting into right attitudes, right desires, right choices, and right actions. Biblically aligned thoughts still require volition, which is our God given choice maker. To be victorious, volition must prioritise God over random or irrational thoughts.
Where thoughts take us - Part 4
In the whirlwind of thoughts, we can choose which voices of thought we listen to and which we reject. We can even choose to introduce new voices into the flow of our thoughts. Similarly, we can adjust the volume of voices speaking into our thoughts. Taking our thoughts captive to obey Christ is a personal discipline of healthy Christian living which requires much patience, much determination, and openness with other believers on the same quest for Christ honouring thoughts.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul explains more of our spiritual resources, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. Thought management is an effective weapon of our warfare against the relentless thoughts which create turmoil in our lives. The greatest weapon believers possess is the applied sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Introducing God’s Word into the flow of harmful thoughts can destroy arguments in our minds which stand against God.

Submissive Christian thoughts governed by God’s Word have divine power to destroy strongholds which work destruction in our minds. Evil voices do not have to be the victorious voices. Holy Spirit controlled thoughts make Holy Spirit controlled choices, and they are the BEST choices. When we turn the volume of God’s Word up, reading in agreement with God, inviting God to educate our values and conscience with it, good changes happen. When we do this with thanks, with obedience, and by sharing biblically inspired thoughts with others, victory begins to grow a fresh pattern of life.

When Peter rebuked Jesus for speaking of His upcoming crucifixion, Jesus’ response enabled Peter to evaluate his well-meant, yet wrong thoughts and words. Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23). Poor Peter, he only had the best of intentions for Jesus! But Jesus knew what Peter did not know about himself. Satan had seized an opportunity through Peter’s well-intentioned words to attempt to persuade Jesus away from the Cross (Lk 4:13). Peter certainly was NOT demon possessed, but Peter had allowed Satan to somehow influence his thinking enough that he would object to Jesus fulfilling His purpose of going to the Cross (Mat 26:39; Php 2:8).

Understandably, devoted Peter did not want Jesus to suffer the horrors of crucifixion, and Satan played on Peter’s compassion. Plus, Satan certainly did not want Jesus to be the substitutional sacrifice on the Cross that would appease the wrath of the Father for sinners who would believe in Jesus (Rom 3:24-26; 1Jn 4:10). I’m sure that it was to Peter’s horror, when he discovered just how easy it was to have his best intentions for Christ influenced wrongly by the enemy of Christ.

To be continued…

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