Take Your Thoughts Captive!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Picture this — you come home from a long day of work — you walk into your living room — plop down on your couch in exhaustion — and there in the corner of the room — your eyes are drawn to something moving — it's a rattlesnake! Do you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm too tired to worry about that now, I'll deal with it later?" Of course not! You jump up right away, find a bat or something, alert your family, call the neighbors, 911, the fire department, the national guard, and start praying with all your might! It's a life-threatening situation!

Though it may sound extreme, negative thoughts, which are lies, opposed to God's truth and character, should be treated the same way when they enter our minds. We ought to immediately sense their danger and rise to action; take that thought captive and bring it under submission to the truth of God's word. These thoughts are as poisonous to our minds and souls as rattlesnake bites are to our bodies. If we realize that danger, we'll be extremely vigilant to watch what we allow to sneak into our minds and remain there. Thoughts cannot be taken captive until they appear and are recognized. So we need to watch them carefully and consider whether they're good and true or not.

Bad thinking comes in many forms. Dangerous thoughts can be obvious and easily recognized as sinful and evil or destructive, lustful, vengeful, spiteful, and vain; or they can be subtle as snakes, quietly lying in the background like clever rationalizations or spiritual pride. Whatever form they take is dangerous to our spiritual well being, and this word from Paul exhorts us to deal with them on the spot, just as if a snake had entered the house.

Your mind is active and thinking during every waking hour, (and also of course in your dreams). Developing a habit of watchfulness over your thinking is a challenging discipline that will change your life and protect your spiritual house. Knowing the word of God is a tremendous help since the word contains God's thoughts which are the corrective for our bad and wrong thinking. So pay attention! What was that my mind just told me? Is that true and good, blessed and holy…or is it a snake? Respond accordingly…and fast!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation

Avoid the mines!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

In a documentary mini series called "Against All Odds" a remarkable story is told about an Israeli platoon who found themselves in the midst of a minefield along the Syrian border during the Yom Kippur War. When the platoon realized they were in a minefield they pulled out their bayonets and started to dig out mines and to disarm them. Suddenly, a fierce wind began to blow, removing the sand from the minefield. Each and every mine was exposed and the soldiers ventured through the minefield unscathed.

If you found yourself in the midst of a minefield, but had someone with you that knew where every mine was and could guide you through, then you'd be sure to stay as close to him as possible! My friend, life is a minefield; and the enemy has planted mines all across your path — the mines of temptation! You have Someone with you who knows where they are and how to guide you around them. But how closely are you walking with Him?

God's word and His Spirit equip us thoroughly for life and godliness. Obedience to His word and abiding in His Spirit we can avoid every deadly trap of the enemy and even if He calls us to martyrdom, we can go joyfully in His power.

But in the meantime, let's not ignore the presence and counsel of our Heavenly Guide. It's too easy to become distracted by fears, entertainments, and even real responsibilities. But all these can pull us away from Him….so that we suddenly find our foot on a mine about to explode under us. The discipline of practicing His presence was never more important than it is now in these last of the last days. The Bible warns that "because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall wax cold!" Let us stay awake, fully conscious of our Helper's presence. Led of His Spirit we will dodge every one of our enemy’s mines, and navigate both ourselves and others to safety, bearing fruit all along the way!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation

Integrity is greater than walls!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The Great Wall of China is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It stretches over 4,000 miles (6,400 KM) and was built to protect China from the barbaric hordes to the north. The designers of the wall made it so high that it could not be scaled, so thick that it could not be penetrated, and so long that no one could go around it.

Yet, during the first hundred years of the wall's existence China was successfully invaded three times, without the wall having been climbed or breached. So how, you ask, did the invaders raid China? Well, the problem wasn't the wall – it was the gatekeepers! In each of these invasions the barbarians simply bribed the gatekeepers who opened the gates, so the enemies just walked right through.

The protection of the Great Wall of China was only as secure as its gatekeepers. What a lesson, since, don't we all also have "gates to keep"…our eyes, and our ears, and our mouth? No matter how strong we may feel, we can never forget that these points of entry will be seen by our enemies and there will be attempts to bribe or seduce us so they can break through. We must not allow the "barbaric hordes" to invade our lives by failing to keep careful watch at these entry points –our integrity and our authority depend on the security of our gates!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Temptation