I recently read a quote by Bible study author, Beth Moore, that went a little something like this…  “Satan profoundly and destructively influences our thoughts.”  Influences is a key word here.  Thoughts are born within our own hearts and minds, yet what we do with them at conception is actually up to us.  It can be any thought.  Even a good one, if left off guard, can be spun into something prideful that cheats us out of the blessings of God.  But let’s focus for a moment on thoughts that aren’t good thoughts.  Maybe they are destructive thoughts.  Obsessive thoughts.  Thoughts that are judgmental or uncaring toward other individuals.  Thoughts that invoke jealousy or envy.  Thoughts of greed or wanting something immediately rather than waiting patiently…or perhaps being content with never receiving it at all.  Impure thoughts about that guy you think is hot.  Thoughts about how you’d love to tell your mom or dad to keep their nose out of your business because it’s your life and not theirs.

Do you ever stop and wonder where those thoughts come from and how they spin out of control, causing even more thoughts that every one of us should feel convicted over?

Understanding where some of these thoughts are born is important for you to learn how to rid yourself of them.  While the devil can’t possess your mind,the torment that he can inflict within our thoughts is enough for him to rob us of the peace that we, as Christ followers, are entitled to.

Thankfully there IS a solution to this.   Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  Yes, but what does that MEAN?  Why is the Bible so confusing?  Say what you mean, Paul – say what you mean!  Sometimes when I run into confusing text I compare several different translations.  They’re pretty easy to come by with the technology these days so using a phone app or the web to look it up is simple.  Another translation says this:  “we destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

So that’s a little more clear.  I can make my thoughts obey Christ…and NOT the Master of Deception (Satan), after all.  I can turn over everything that pops in my head – good or bad – with no reason to be ashamed because Christ is the force behind destroying them if they shouldn’t be there.  Christ will tell me if what I’m hearing is a lie.  Christ will provide the peace that I need “which transcends all understanding” and that will “guard my heart and my mind.”  (Phillippians 4:7)

With me, personally, the torment I described above never seems to be disabling, but it’s enough to remove the very calming of my spirit promised to me by my Heavenly Father.  And having the absence of calm causes one thing that I do not deal with well.  Anxiety.  That is, if I allow a thought to sit for too long upon my heart without filtering it first through Christ, I am one anxious individual.  There’s a secular song I heard awhile back with a line that really speaks to me.  It begins like this:  “I drove a nail in the bottom of my walking boot, so I wail every time I hit the floor.”  Pretty funny, right?  Not really.  Satan’s continuous psychological tactics feel just like the tip of a nail in your shoe.  He gives you a moment of relief when you pick up your foot and then strikes with that painful torment when you rest it back down again.  It’s relentless…

So let’s start this week by capturing every thought that comes into our heads.  Ok…we’re females and we think A LOT so let’s start small.  Grab about 5 to 10 thoughts throughout the day.  Write them down or put them in your phone if you need to.  When the thought comes to your head (let’s start with the bad ones) – give it to Christ immediately.  Ask Him to help you with the thought and show you what you should do with it.  If you’re upset about how you looked in your jeans this morning before school and you feel devastated and fat, give it to Christ.  If your friend at school made a snide remark to you (maybe because of those jeans) and you want nothing more than to break her nose, give it to Christ.  If you called your mom an inappropriate name in your head because she was nosing around in your room again, give it to Christ.  And I don’t mean later…I mean right then and there.  Once that thought hits your head  direct it right back up to Him or it’s going to sit on your heart and grow…into a tumor.   No really, it will.

”Lord, I know that You love me and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  This world is a constant struggle for me and I want nothing more than to place my life in Your hands and have every one of my actions be obedient to You.  Fill me with Your peace that transcends all understanding and guard my heart and my mind.  I give these thoughts to You now, Lord.  Help me to discern what is real from what is a lie, trying to rob me of the peace that is rightfully mine. Fill me with Your Spirit and help my thoughts be in line with those of Christ.  I ask this in your Son’s Heavenly name.  Amen.”