Take Every Thought Captive
This week's focus: Guard Your Heart
Words are powerful! However, before a word is spoken, it is a thought formed in the heart. What we say is the outward manifestation of what hides in our thoughts. Therefore, it’s important to control what we think. The best way is by controlling what we consume. Philippians 4:8 tells us where we should be focusing our thoughts: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Unfortunately, our world bombards us with images, behaviors, and ideas that are the exact opposite of “pure, lovely, and admirable.” This is why we must be intentional about what we choose to watch, what we choose to listen to, and what we choose to think about. Negative stimuli in our environment beget negative thoughts, which form the foundation for negative words. The old adage rings true: “garbage in, garbage out.”
What do we do when harmful or negative thoughts appear out of nowhere? The field of psychology defines these instances as “intrusive thoughts,” which are unwanted or distressing thoughts that appear without warning. Everyone has intrusive thoughts, and they can be distressing if you don’t know how to combat them.
The reality is, we can’t always control what invades our minds, but we can control how we respond. I heard a pastor explain it this way, “You can’t help it if a bird suddenly landed on your head, but you can keep the bird from building a nest.” We have the power to “swat” a harmful thought away by acknowledging that we don’t agree with it, and then replacing it with the truth of scripture. We have the authority to “take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Isn’t it empowering to realize that when you have control over your thoughts, you have control over your life?
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Pray: Dear Lord, this world bombards us with negative and sinful messages. Help us to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and may we choose to meditate on what is good and true.
Think: "You are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are." Pastor David Jeremiah has further insight into this thought-provoking statement here.
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We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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