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How to Take Every Thought Captive – Rick Warren

“Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

Romans 8:6 (NLT)

Have you noticed your mind doesn’t always do what you tell it to do?
Sometimes your mind has a mind of its own. Sometimes your thoughts go off in directions that you don’t intend. When you need to pray, your thoughts stray. When you want to ponder God’s Word, your thoughts want to wander.

The Bible says, when this happens, you need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). What does that mean? The Greek word used in that verse literally means you take thoughts prisoner. You conquer them. You bring them under control.

That’s only possible when you use the two weapons every believer has available to them: the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

First, you need to recognize the power of God’s Spirit inside you. Without him, you are defenseless. Romans 8:6 says, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (NLT).

You need Jesus in your life because, without the Holy Spirit, your sinful nature controls your mind and will always lead you in the wrong direction. But when the Spirit controls you, you have the power you need to take every thought captive.

Second, you need the Word of God. Jesus says, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32 GNT).

People like to quote the second part of that passage. In fact, it’s posted on university buildings all over the world. But very few people quote the first part, where it says you have to learn and obey God’s Word. People want the freedom without God’s truth.

In reality, there is no freedom without truth. And there is no truth without God’s Word. God has given you the direction you need for life, and you can trust every word the Bible says. The more you get to know God’s Word and fill your mind with his truth, the easier it will be to direct your thoughts where you want them to go.

Talk It Over

When do you most often find yourself having to take a thought captive?
How does it make you feel to know that, if you want God’s power, you have to surrender control to the Holy Spirit?
Why do you think many people want to ignore God’s command to obey his Word? Why do people want freedom without the truth?

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