Indeed, 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.
II Corinthians 10:3-5
Often when I am going through trials I want to change my circumstances, but find I am powerless to do so. I want to change how I am feeling about my circumstances, and find I am powerless as well to do so. That brings me to the one thing I always have the power to change: my thinking.
I always possess the power to change how I am thinking about something. I can change the way I am thinking about the future, my health, my finances, my work, my relationships, etc. And I find in changing my thinking I indirectly change how I am feeling.
Therapists tell me that people come for help to change their circumstances and how they are feeling. And yet, therapists can only help their clients change one thing: their thinking.
I am seeing why the Scriptures have so much to say about our thinking and with what we choose to occupy our mind. The apostle Paul zeros in on the power of our thoughts as he exhorts: “be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Change the way you are thinking and you can be transformed. The Bible’s repeated call “to repent” (metanoia) is nothing but a call to stop and think about how you’ve been thinking, and to bring those thoughts in line with God’s thoughts.
Of all the freedoms we have, we are the most free in what we choose to think about. Everything first takes shape in our minds. Our lives follow in the tracks of our thinking. That is why Scripture directs: “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence an if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8; emphasis added).
In today’s Scripture text the apostle Paul compares daily life to a war in which we are bombarded with harmful and destructive thoughts. We are barraged with doubts about God’s character, our God-given worth, and God’s purpose for our lives. Yet we are not helpless in the face of such attack, “for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
That means that you are far from helpless when fiery darts of negative thoughts and pessimism are hurled at you. You are no puny pawn when lies about God and His promise are launched against you.
We can rush Enemy lines, the strongholds of the Evil One, and “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Take a moment to think about how you’ve been thinking and line it up with what you know about God! Today’s battle will be won or lost in what you choose to dwell on in your thoughts. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you have power to choose your thoughts about those circumstances. You can take every thought the Enemy hurls at you, and you can make it captive to Christ and His promises to you!
God wants us to talk with Him about what we are feeling about our circumstances. Then, God wants us to choose to think His thoughts about our circumstances. Finally, we reset our will to do God’s will in our circumstances.
Stop and think about how you’ve been thinking!
Grace and peace,
P.S. Water from Rock’s Advent devotional “And the Word Became Flesh: Daily Reflections on the Incarnation for Advent 2015” is available now. Order copies for yourself, your family and friends, study group, Sunday School class, church, etc., by using our order form.