A verse that’s really been on my mind lately is the second part of 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says, “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
After reading this verse for the first time, I had to pause for a moment and ask myself, “What does that really mean?”
If taking captive means to hold something in confinement, such as a prisoner of war or an animal in a trap, then how do we take captive or hold in confinement our thoughts?
Furthermore, what does it mean to make these thoughts obedient to Christ?
If obedient means complying with the commands or instructions of one in authority, then how do we make those thoughts comply with the commands or instructions of Christ?
Here in his letter, Paul is simply stating, “Focus on Jesus, guys. Make every thought about Him. And even more so, focus on His commands for us. Focus on Him and then follow Him.”
“Set your hearts on things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)
After realizing this, I then had to ask myself if this is what I do.
Often times, no. It is not.
I find myself distracted by the world throughout the day, thinking about this and that, without even giving a second thought to God. When occasions arise when I could do the right thing, the things we are commanded by Christ to do, such as love one another and be humble and patient, I find myself focusing on my own desires and my own feelings. I do the opposite of what Christ commands of me quite often.
I don’t want that to be how I spend this life.
I want to follow these instructions of Paul. I want to take my thoughts captive too.
When I have the opportunity to think something unkind about a person or obsess about material things, I want to turn all of that worthless stuff down, as if to say, “Nope. You can have the world. I just want my Savior.”
When I realize who Jesus is and I’m focused on what He’s done for me, I then want to conform myself to Him and be molded into His likeness. I don’t want to be God; I want to be like Him. In doing so, I’ll be able to show others who my Savior is too- how He is able to change lives and shape hearts, how He loves everyone around Him and came thousands of years ago simply to serve, with his greatest act of service being His incomparable sacrifice on the cross.
This is the concept of taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This is my goal.
And hopefully it will become a reality.
What I do know is that it’s worth the pursuit.
“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)