Perseverance (Part 4 of 5) - Taking Your Thoughts Captive

Every time that we consider giving up, we know that we are thinking thoughts of the devil.  He comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  Thoughts of giving up steal our joy, calling and dreams.   Many Americans are afraid of terrorists and hi-jackers right now, but Christians seem to have no problem letting the devil hi-jack our minds.  We need to have a security system in place.  There is a wonderful minister of The Gospel, Wes Daughenbaugh, who I am taking many thoughts from for these blogs.  I have been so blessed by his ministry.  He says, that is it easy to recognize thoughts from satan because they are always bad, sad, or mad thoughts.  

The Apostle Paul had great perseverance and warned us what to think and not to think on.  In Phil 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.

We have to be intentional about what thoughts we will allow to stay in our minds.  It is also important that we don’t just have an empty mind.  We need to fill it with God-thoughts.  We have to learn how to identify bad thoughts, get rid of them, and keep the door closed to them.  

This has been a very difficult area for me.  By personality, I am extra sensitive and perceptive.  When I take personality tests, it verifies that my kind of personality is the most intuitive.  That can be good and bad.  I can tell many times by a person’s expression that he or she is displeased with me.  I love people and, naturally, want them to love me.  When I sense or know that people are giving me a hard time, are displeased with me, talking about me, I can build a pretty big case in my mind.  If I am not careful, I am thinking thoughts of giving up pretty quickly.  I have had a lot of that the last few years as my husband and I have gone some pretty big things.  People that we always thought would be there for us, were not, and the disappointment seemed unbearable at times.  We knew that mouths were talking about things they knew very little of.  Every time I ran into someone, I wondered what they had heard or were thinking.  Brother Wes’s book has ministered to me in this area so very much.

Sometimes people are just plain jealous like they were with Joseph and his coat of many colors.  We can make a choice of giving way to the devil’s thoughts like:  Maybe you are a terrible leader and that’s why people don’t like you.”  Or we could think,”maybe there is jealousy in hearts because of the anointing of the The Holy Spirit upon us.  What they think is between them and God.”  I will think about how much my God loves me and what He has called me to do.  We cannot think about how many people that used to love us, now hate us, or at  least we think they do.  We are in control of what we think.  The Holy Spirit can and will give us direct thoughts from God to us, or guide us to something that He says in His Word.  Instead of thinking about vengeance, we can think about reconciliation and hope.  Stephen allowed thoughts of his pain to be turned to thoughts of love and forgiveness, as he was being stoned.  

We must refuse to think bitter, self-pity, angry, and vengeful thoughts.  We must also refuse to meditate on sinful things.  Brother Kenneth Hagin used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from making a nest there.”  It’s not a sin to be tempted, but to continue to think on those things will bring sin and death.  People meditate on what they tolerate.  That’s why the enemy has brought that tolerance message to our nation and churches in the last few years.  If you continue to indulge the flesh in an area, an addiction and devils will accommodate you.  You will be taken captive and God’s grace doesn’t cover rebellion.  If you don’t want to drink the cup of sin, you cannot tolerate it or meditate on it.  

To live in holiness, we must expose ourselves to the things of God constantly.  That means reading His Word, praying, belonging to a good church, listening to messages praising and worshipping Him, and listening to His correction.  

The Bible tells us in 2 Cor 5:10 “to take thoughts captive”.  That also means to take every image connected to those thoughts captive.  Only we are responsible to what we choose to think on.  No one else can force us to do that.  If we are going to persevere, finish our race, and be faithful to the end, we must learn to think on right and holy things.