We live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Cor. 10:3-5
Taking “every thought captive to obey Christ.” Here we see the power of rationality in all its image-of-God splendour! Note that the passage says that WE destroy arguments and every proud obstacle . . . And it is WE who take every thought captive. We must realize our power, the power of rationality. That power allows us to stand back and say no to one thought and yes to another. We choose which thoughts will be our reality. Our wills, not our feelings, direct our minds.
The idea of controlling our thoughts seems daunting. The forces we contend with in our inner life may feel as terrifying as the black riders whose power infiltrated Frodo’s mind when he put on the ring of power. Our minds may be inundated with guilt for a past transgression. We may seem powerless when someone puts the thought of chocolate in our minds. We may feel like a failure, hopeless and condemned. Nevertheless, Paul says in the passage above that it doesn’t matter how intimidating the powers are, we are still in charge.
We can rise up and take control of that dark, fearful and menacing thought and make it obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, when guilt and condemnation trouble us, the gospel says, “If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) and “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God,” (1 Cor. 6:11) and “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isa. 1:18). This is our new reality, the reality of being born of the Spirit and being part of a new kingdom. All we need do is agree with this message and refuse any other.
One more thing. Taking every thought captive requires that we be still enough to be aware of the deeper thoughts within. If we race through life constantly in haste, our thoughts will drive us and we will have abandoned our God-given power of rationality. The dark powers will be only too willing to fill the vacuum we create by our refusal to choose God’s thoughts. If we don’t take responsibility for what goes through our minds, the black riders will gladly take the reins. Why not take a few minutes today to be still and gently place your mind on Jesus? Seeing his beauty, you will surely choose the good!