3 Ways to Take Captive Every Thought
If you know my story, you know I believe God wants to set us 100% free. Not 92% free, not 85% free…100% FREE! That means He doesn’t want any thought in my head that’s not in His head about me. So, here is the number one question I get asked all the time about that…HOW? How can I get free, too? Well, I have really good news friend: Today, I’m sharing 3 Ways to Take Captive Every Thought and Make it Obedient to Christ.
There was a time in my life when I was ruled by negative thoughts. If I was honest, I spent most of the day beating myself up, comparing myself to others, or letting my mind slip into shame, guilt, and remorse.
When I met Jesus and began to study His word, I knew that bondage to negative thoughts wasn’t the life He desired for me. I knew He wanted to set me free.
I also knew that freedom always was going to begin in my mind.
Have you ever battled those kinds of negative thoughts? Let’s face it; we all have thought habits that are less than healthy. But can we really change the way we think? YES! In fact, I learned you can choose your thoughts the same way you choose your diet, your friends, your clothing, or the words you speak. And your thoughts might be even more important than any of those things when it comes to growing in character. You know the saying, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? Well, I like to say, “show me your thoughts and I’ll show you your future.” Most importantly, though, your thoughts matter to God.
Which is why 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to “Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”
“Okay, Holly, I believe you! I am ready to get free, and I want to change my thought life!”
That’s WONDERFUL news!
The first step is this: Recognize the lies running through your head. If it’s condemnation, hateful, fearful, anxiety-ridden, shaming, or confusion, it is NOT of God. It is the voice of the enemy.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. - John 8:44
What lies are you believing about yourself? What lies run through your mind constantly? What does the enemy try to accuse you of? Here’s a great check for your thoughts: when you think something unkind about yourself… “I am so stupid, I never do anything right. UGH, I’m SO fat. I wish I was beautiful like her. I am not going anywhere in my career”… ask yourself if you would say those things to your best friend. When your best friend asks your advice about work, would you respond to her with “You’re so far behind, your career is not going anywhere”!? Would you tell her how fat she looks or how lazy she is for not going to they gym more?? Never! We would never be so unkind to our friends. Yet, we let the enemy whisper lies like this to us all the time. And worse, we often believe them.
So, how can you covenant with Christ to take those things captive and walk in obedience to His words about your identity? This brings me to step two: Recognize your unique struggles and find scripture to combat them. Is it anxiety? Depression? Self-hate? Shame? Hopelessness? Faithlessness? Despair? There is scripture to combat any struggle you might face. Find them and pray them over yourself continually. Place note cards on your bathroom mirror and post-it notes in your car with those scriptures. The best way to combat the lies of the enemy is with the truth of God’s word. It is a weapon; a double-edged sword.
Finally, brothers and sisters is step three: fill your mind with GOOD.
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 and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:8
What thoughts bring you joy? A sunset? Your children? Puppies? Your wedding day? A dear friend’s smile? What aspects of Gods character can you meditate on that calm your mind? Be intentional about thinking those thoughts.
The promise is that God’s peace - a peace that passes understanding - will be with you!
I believe every one of you can walk in the freedom I have found in my thought life. Try it out this week! If a thought comes to mind that seems like a lie, combat it with scripture, and then think of something lovely... and be sure to comment here to let me know how it's going! I can't wait to hear your testimonies of freedom from negative thoughts!
Holly Christine Hayes is an award-winning author, recovery ministry expert, and founder + CEO of Sanctuary Project, a community of advocates bringing hope and healing to survivors of trafficking, violence, and addiction. After working in worship and recovery ministry for Menlo Church in California and the American Church in Paris, Holly married her husband Jeff in 2016. They traded the cobblestones and croissants of Paris for Towne Lake and tacos and now reside in Austin, Texas. Holly speaks in safe houses, churches, and, conferences all over the world, sharing her radical story of salvation and coming to faith in Christ from one simple, desperate prayer and is passionate about teaching others to pray that prayer too. "God, help me."