Warfare

"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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There’s a war. A war that is evil, unrelenting, invisible and violent. It’s a battle for your mind and Satan wants it. The enemy knows if he can get your mind, that would mean you’re throwing your white flag in the air and you’re giving up on this war. I read this statistic: the average brain has about 50,000 thoughts per day. How many of those are you taking captive to the obedience of Christ? 

Trust me when I say the Lord put it on my heart to write this blog post for a good purpose, because, as much as you may need it, I need it too. My thoughts run wild and free and that’s a dangerous thing, if I’m not taking every thought captive and giving it to God. The enemy knows our weaknesses so he will put thoughts in our minds that he knows we'll most likely give in to. We can camp out on those thoughts for hours with the result that false evidence appears real. Or, we can give it to God. It’s our choice. The LORD knows--when I camp out on thoughts--it causes me to be on an emotional roller coaster, heading into a dangerous direction of worry, doubt and insecurity.

Let me just give you some examples of how this works in our minds. Maybe you don’t think that your mind can be that powerful, but I've learned it helps me when someone gives me examples and lays it out plain and simple.

1) Have you ever looked over at your  boyfriend's/girlfriend's shoulder to see who they were texting?
2) Have you seen your friends having fun on social media and think why didn’t they invite me? Are they mad at me?
3) Have you called your boyfriend's/girlfriend's phone a hundred times because you knew they were out somewhere and thoughts of him or her cheating come to mind?
4) Have you seen someone being used for God in ministry and been so jealous that it isn’t you?
5) Have you had thoughts draw you back to those websites you used to visit? To those visual pictures that are basically now glued to your brain?

These are just some examples that have dangerous consequences if we sit and over-think every thought. If you answered yes to any of those five questions you know exactly what the outcome was and it wasn’t healthy or good.

Let’s take a look at one example from the bible, David and Bathsheba.

“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.  And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house.” 2 Samuel 11:2-4

So, David saw her--she was very beautiful and he asked about her. At this point David’s sin was not that he saw Bathsheba. I mean, c’mon, this girl was bathing out in the open. David’s sin was in choosing to keep his focus on an alluring image of her in his mind (Psalm 119:37).

His thoughts of her led to action. Even after someone told David she was married to Uriah (one of David’s mighty men), he made up his mind to sin against God.

Why didn’t David look away? Why didn’t he run away like Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife wanted to sleep with him? He could have, but after he lusted and his thoughts ran wild, he fell into the temptation of sexual sin. If you keep reading (chapter 12:10-12), David had major consequences to this sin. Man, it breaks my heart to think, if only he had looked away he could have saved himself so much heartache and kept his intimacy with God.

Obviously, no one is perfect and we all have crazy thoughts throughout the day.  But, I’ve learned not to believe everything I think. We think--if we think it, it must be true because it’s coming from my heart. No. The word says

"our hearts are deceitful above all else, who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

and the Apostle Paul says

“For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice.” Romans 17:19

As Christians we have the desire to please God and live for Him with our minds. It’s literally our choice every single day whether we’re going to believe every thought that the enemy throws at us--camp out on it and eventually act upon it--or give it to God immediately!

Here are some bible verses to take to heart and memorize to help you. Repeat them over and over when those thoughts you’re struggling with come to mind. Also, pray for your mind and have someone pray for you as well.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
"Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." James 1:15
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world." 1 Peter 1:13

I want to encourage you to be cautious about what brings forth those certain thoughts. If I’m being completely honest, I struggle with certain thoughts so I literally don’t watch any movies about love. I know there’s most likely going to be “love making” or “make out” scenes in it and it’ll trigger those thoughts. I won’t listen to lovey-dovey music because it’ll trigger thoughts of marriage and a boyfriend. I don’t want to think about them until it’s Gods perfect timing.

You know what will trigger those thoughts you’re struggling with. Take measures so that you don’t fall and camp out in those thoughts. Give them to the Lord every time!

by Jasmine Bianca