October 29, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
What a tremendous challenge this verse is to every believer. Meditate on the implications these words convey, and the radical change that would take place in our life, if we would so discipline our lives to make them a reality. You might say, "I don't think I could do that." TRUE...not in your own strength or individual effort and determination, BUT the Holy Spirit, who dwells within, can enable us to conquer our natural limitations.
We place much emphasis on service, being active in some program of the church, or desperately busy with much "doing." Many of our efforts are the result of an undisciplined impulse in which we react from our human nature. Paul is challenging us in this verse to "Bring into captivity (into control, into submission) every thought to the obedience of Christ."
How can we do this? First of all, we must recognize that our much activity, however good and meaningful it may be, is not God's priority for us. God is concerned first of all with OBEDIENCE to Him and His Word. Everything else takes a back seat to obedience. To obey is to discipline our mind, our emotions, our heart, and the whole of our life to His lordship. He is the priority. Therefore, if He is the Lord of our life, it is only natural that we should "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
This is not easy, nor does it come automatically in our spiritual journey. This comes through a daily mortification of our human nature, but more importantly...being "clothed with the virtues of Christ." The more He controls our life and manifests through us His will and purpose, the more we will become "in the image of His Son." This takes determined discipline that comes from having the "mind of Christ" (Philippians 2:5). This should be the goal we seek, making every occasion, every opportunity, and every circumstance "a prisoner, to make it obey Christ" (Moffet translation).
"Becoming" is the process of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, my self-assertiveness and my will to God's control and authority. This is where the battle is fought. We often settle for what is good and noble and right from a natural standpoint, but this "status quo" keeps us from God's best. Our "good" will always strive against the "best." We see this principle in those whose lives are characterized by many "good things." The higher up you get on the scale of natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to the Holy Spirit who seeks to bring you into the "best" God has for you. Never settle for the "good" when the "best" is God's choice for you.
Our spiritual character is revealed in the seemingly insignificant things we face every day. We see God revealing things in our lives that are beyond our doing...going before us in relation to people and circumstances that cause us to stand in awe of God. This reveals an intimate relationship with God that takes God into every activity and circumstance that we face.
It is a constant "becoming" like Him...a growing process that will enable us to be more sensitive, receptive, and responsive to the Holy Spirit. "Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Thus, we will know the joy of being "more than a conqueror in Christ who loved us." God wants His Best for you...don't settle for anything less!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-29
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