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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Inspired by . . . every thought

 

I, Paul, make my appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ.

I'm the one who is humble when I'm with you but forceful toward you when I'm not with you.
I beg you that when I am with you I won't have to deal forcefully with you.

I expect I will have to because some people think that we are only guided by human motives.
Of course we are human, but we don't fight like humans.
The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans.

Rather, they are powerful weapons from God.

With them we destroy people's defenses, that is, their arguments
and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God.

We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.

 

Another version translates "arguments" as sophistries. That translation helped me better understand what I believe Paul is saying here.

Sophistry: the use of reasoning or arguments that sound correct but are actually false

Remember, the most dangerous lie is the one that has an element of truth to it. Satan is the master when it comes to effective lies, and our culture is ripe with sophistry!

That is why we need to know the TRUTH. We use God's Truth {in His Word} to fight against the intellectual arrogance, the sophistries of those who oppose the knowledge of God.

James warns us:

My dear brothers and sisters, don't be fooled.
Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above,

from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars.

The Father doesn't change like the shifting shadows produced by the sun and the moon.

 

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Textured with Bonnie's Old World Charm 4

 

No matter how intelligent it sounds, or how much you want to believe it – if it doesn't line up with scripture – IT'S FALSE – NO EXCEPTIONS

So what does it mean to "take every thought captive in obedience to Christ." ?

It means that every thought matters.

Seemingly innocent thoughts, that you know are wrong, when justified can grow into sin. That is why James says:

 

When someone is tempted, he shouldn't say that God is tempting him.

God can't be tempted by evil, and God doesn't tempt anyone.
Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him.
Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin grows up, it gives birth to death.

 

Here's a quote from C.S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters that gives us a chilling insight on how this might work from the Tempter's point of view:

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

If you are a Believer then you have died to sin and have been raised to life with Christ. We must aspire to the realm above. Fix our thoughts on that higher realm, not on this earthly life. {Col 3:1-3}

But how do we do this when the earthly life is screaming the loudest?

By wrestling with the will. Fighting the good fight. Our enemy {Satan} prowls around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. {1 Peter 5:8} The New Testament is rich with images of battle – because the Christian life IS a battle! But before you give in, before you say you're too weary for the fight, remember: It's only exhausting when we try to fight in our own power!

 

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Begin each day by receiving your power from the Lord {Ephesians 6:10} and by putting on the armor that God supplies {Ephesians 6:11}.

 

Armor

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The Bible tells us to "work out" our salvation – that doesn't sound like the couch potato life to me! {Phil 2:12}

We are aliens in this world, and while we are here we should be uncomfortable. Our minds should be seeking a better place. {Heb 11:13}

 

To live is Christ,

to die is gain.

 

Blessings,

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Sharing inspiration here:

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Missional Women Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday Renewed Daily - Recommendation Saturday A Soft Gentle Voice

8 comments:

  1. June, great message! It really spoke to me as I wrestle with thoughts in my mind and trying to push away what is coming from the enemy and what is truth from God. Because that enemy can be sneaky and does try to throw in an element of truth to trip you up. The struggle reminds me to keeping seeking Him...reading His Word daily...and His truth WILL set me free.
    Thank you for the encouragement always found here. Blessings to you. xoxoxo

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  2. each and every thought captive. each and every one.

    wow.

    no wonder we need Him so ...

    thanks for this powerful reminder today, June ... I appreciate your writings!

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  3. June, there is so much to chew on here! I am reminded of the fact that cashiers are told to study a real dollar bill so that they can pick out a counterfeit one -- we must be immersed in the truth.

    Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

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  4. June, that is some amazing armor in that photo! Lots here to ponder...

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  5. I love the photo :-) Powerful tekst, tank you.

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  6. Oh, yes, every thought matters! And you are so right that the greatest lie has a little truth mixed in. Dangerous that way! Thank you for linking up with Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  7. Good call. We live in a society that uses a sliver of truth to pollute the willfully ignorant. Like rat poison, it mostly truth, just enough non truth to kill the soul... The gift of free will is a responsibility not a luxury... we; the chosen get that... and pray the lost will... Great post, sister.

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  8. June, I love the quote you included from the Screwtape Letters. It makes me want to read that book again! I, too, wrote about struggling this week, although with a little different perspective. But the point is that we must choose to focus on truth if we are to keep up the good fight, especially in this day and age when wordly wisdom so often counteracts biblical wisdom. I'm your neighbor at the SDG link-up. :)

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June