Weapons…

Aircraft Fighter Jet.freedigitalphotos.net

We (the believers) are in a war. The enemy attacks daily. He uses weapons of mass destruction by attacking the mind. His main goal is to deceive the believer into thinking what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong. His weapons can be subtle, yet powerful. Our battle is against rulers and authorities (the powerful forces of fallen angels led by the devil). The devil’s goal is to defeat Christ’s church and to turn us away from Christ back to sin. Some of  Satan’s attack strategies are:

Discouragement

Disillusionment

Depression

Anxiety

Doubt

Sickness

Lust and worldly desire

Despair

Emptiness

We will be in this struggle/battle until Christ returns. In order to defeat the enemy, God provided the Holy Spirit to us. He is our defense against the enemy. We must also put on the armor that God has given us. In Ephesians 6 the writer Paul, tells us what we need to fight the battle.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (Amplified)

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].  Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.  For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].    Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,  And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.   Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].  And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.  Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

The above image is courtesy of: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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30 Days Of…Day 20 – “Captive Thoughts”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time with my thoughts. I was reading one of  my Christian fiction novels and one of the characters was thinking some thoughts about someone she was having difficulty with. Then she thought to her self, “God, you said to take every thought captive unto Christ. How do I do that?”  I have often wondered the same thing. Sometimes I read a scripture and it is clear as a bell to me and there are those scriptures that it takes a little longer for me to interpret and to activate in my life such as this one about taking thoughts capture. My pastor sometimes says we need to “practice the principles”.  In other words, what we learn from the scripture, we must put it into action. We must also be careful about the books we read, the music we listen to, and the television shows and movies we watch. All of these things affect our thought life.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, “ (New King James Version).

So many times I have built up a scenario in my mind about something that I think the another person has said or done and I let my imagination run wild with these thoughts. Most of the time what I am thinking is not reality and never even comes to pass. So the question is how do we take thoughts captive when we they can so easily run away from us?

My research on this topic gives good biblical advice on how to grow in this area. The first thing I found is that taking thoughts captive is a choice. We have a choice to choose right thoughts or wrong thoughts. We have a choice to recognize unhealthy and negative thoughts and turn from them. This goes back to what I said earlier in the post about practicing the principles.  What do we need to practice to be able to take thoughts captive?

  1. We must be diligent in reading and studying the Word of God
  2. We must actively focus our thoughts on God
  3. We must speak the Word of God
  4. Listen to praise and worship music
  5. We must pray and ask God to redirect our thoughts when they go astray

Prayer, faith, hope, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit are all effective weapons to use in the battle against thoughts that are negative and are not of God.

Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible)“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”

Looks like I have some more work to do in this area of my life. I am a work in progress with rough edges that are being ironed out every day. I thank God for His mercy and grace.