Take every thought captive... devotion

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2 Corinthians 10:5 kjv
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

How does one actually put this into practice? For it sounds easy to say and easy to think we can, but how easy is it really?
Every moment of everyday, we all have tons of thoughts and/or images that may come our way. Some are lovely.. Like the smell of the flower we just smelt, or the cute puppy or kitten we just saw. Some are drastically horriffic, and haunting.

The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8 kjv....
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But for many of us we have times when it seems that all we can think about is the negative, hurtful, shameful or abusive things that haunt our minds. So how can we put these two verses into practice?

The first step is to ask God to help us to forget and remove all these ugly things, for we can do nothing under our own strength.... But with God all things are possible. And then we need to begin to train our minds.

Training our minds is something that will take some practice. For a lot of times our minds have been allowed to think whatever came into it. We honestly have not been taught any different. I know that until 8 years ago, I did not even realize that there was a battle for my mind, and that I had any part in changing or controlling my thoughts, or the images that come to mind.

But as I continue to grow with Christ, and learn how to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer, it's becoming easier to realize that there are a lot of things that I am responsible for putting into practice.

When we make the choice to accept Jesus into our lives, it is our spirit that get made brand new. Our minds are our responsibity as the Holy Spirit instructed the Apostle Paul to tell us in Romans 12:2.
Romans 12:2 nlt....Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 kjv
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Our minds still have the same old ways of thinking, so they need to be renewed with the Word of God. And our spirits, being brand new must be fed the Word so it can grow and become strong.

Now faith in the Word must be followed by an action. So if we believe the Word of God is true, then we must put it into action right? So how do we take every thought captive and cast down every imagination that is not godly in nature, or does not line up with the Word?

We start one thought or image at a time, one moment at a time. We make the choice to refuse to think or see in our mind whatever gross, nasty, horrific, or ungodly thing that comes up. For all these things are contrary (opposite) of what the Word of God tells us to think on. To focus our minds on.

God desires for us to have the mind of Christ, and has given us that right (1 Corinthians 2:16), as His Children who have His Spirit living on the inside of us. And when tempted to think the bad stuff, or think that we have no choice but to think on bad stuff, we can renew our minds with the Word that says...we have the mind of Christ.

Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28-30 to learn from Him, for His yoke was easy and light. And the way that Jesus defeated the enemy was with the Word of God. So we can say when those thoughts come..."no I refuse to think you because i have the mind of Christ, and I am obeying 2 Corinthians 10:5 And casting down this image and taking my thought captive to the obedience of Christ".

So what does it mean to make a thought obedient to Christ? Making our thoughts to be just like God's. In other words.... to make the choice to think about the good and pure and lovely things like Philippians 4:8 says. Again we are back to training our minds to think what God desires we think about instead of the ugly things of our carnal nature, or the things that the world choses to think about.

In Isaiah God says through the prophet...Isa 55:8 — Isa 55:9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God does not say we cannot get there, but is saying that we (our carnal nature or untrained, unrenewed minds (minds not renewed with God's Word) are thinking wrong. So the way to begin to have right thinking is to get our minds focused upon the Word and then act upon that Word or put it into practice.

God says that His Word is Alive (Hebrews 4:12). And that any of His Word spoken or put into practice by faith will not return unto Him void (Is 55:11). And if we put our full trust in God and the truth of His Word, and his ability to carry it out then we will also be putting Mark 11:22-25 into practice. And the big thing that we cannot forget about is forgiveness. If we choose to carry or harbor unforgiveness in our hearts against anyone... none of this will work. For this is a kingdom law. Jesus has two simple commandments... love God with all your heart, and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Loving our neighbor means walking in constant forgiveness.

For in Mat 5:44 — Mat 5:45
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

If we choose to follow in God's ways... then we honestly have to treat our enemies with kindness, even speaking well of them. And that is forgiveness. Which a lot of times has to be by faith, because our emotions have been allowed to carry the hurt that the perpetrator caused. This in no way diminishes (or makes light of) the harmful act that was done to us, but it puts us into obedience with God's Word/Will and says to Him that we trust His righteous judgement to be in our favor. And that He will take care of the other person on our behalf. It gets us out of the judgement realm and disconnects us from the one to whom we are holding bitterness against. It frees us from the prison and trap of the enemy, that will not bring peace or freedom, and will hinder any of our prayers and blessings.

Finally in closing always remember that God loves you and always wants the best for you. And that none of His commandments are burdensome
1Jo 5:3 — 1Jo 5:5 kjv
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

1Jo 5:3 — 1Jo 5:5 nlt
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

God bless you all with an abundance of grace and peace!
God says.......

Deu 30:19 — Deu 30:20 nlt
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
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