Taking Captive Every Thought to Make it Obedient to Christ

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“…and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b).

Long before a sin is committed, that sin has been entertained, dreamed about, fantasized, planned, imagined in our thoughts.

When you see a beautiful woman, a handsome man, a beautiful car or motorcycle you can’t help but notice the beauty. Thoughts happen. There’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s what we do after the original thought that is the problem. When we allow inappropriate thoughts to dwell, that’s on us.

Thankfully, most of us don’t go around committing the sins we think about. What we struggle with is our thoughts.

I find Paul’s admonition and challenge encouraging and helpful. Paul tells the Corinthian church, “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” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

  • Demolish
    • The Greek word for “demolish” means to “take down,” “pull down,” “overthrow”
    • Demolish what? Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God
    • Something other than the truth of God has set itself up as the authority and the standard of truth in our lives. We are called to demolish, take down, pull down, and overthrow anything that goes against the knowledge of God
  • Take captive
    • The Greek word for “take captive” means to subdue, subject
    • What are we to take captive?
  • Every thought
    • We are to take captive every thought. The good, the bad, the ugly. All…all..every thought
  • For what reason?
    • To make it obedient to Christ!


I love this!

  • We have the word of God to tell us what God’s will is
  • We have been given the authority, the responsibility to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

Imagine taking every thought captive in order to make it obedient to Christ! Wow!

Lone Ranger Christianity?

Screenshot 2019-06-15 at 2.50.26 PM“I am a Christian. I just don’t go to church anymore.”

“I don’t have to go to church in a building to worship. I am closer to God when I am on the beach, the mountain trails, or in nature.”

“Saul, Saul. why do you persecuteĀ me?

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4-5).

Saul had never met Jesus. How could he have? By the time Saul was persecuting the church Jesus had already ascended to heaven and was no longer even on planet earth!

How could Saul be persecuting Jesus? Jesus wasn’t even around. And, besides, Saul was persecuting Christians and the church, not Jesus.

The church is the body of Christ. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a part of the body of Christ – the church.


No local expression of the church represents the whole of church. However, every local congregation is a local expression of the whole church.

No. No local congregation is perfect. Every local congregation is flawed because she is made up of flawed people.

But, Christ is present there. The local church is a legitimate and Christ-ordained expression of who we are supposed to be as the body of Christ.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a part of Christ’s body and community. It is impossible to do solo Christianity. There is no such thing.

Do Not Under Any Circumstance Listen to Your Heart

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“What does your heart say?”

“Do what your heart tells you.”


This is one of the dumbest things we can tell ourselves and others.

Absolutely not, under no circumstances, go with your heart.

Our hearts cannot be trusted. Our hearts are fickle. It is unreliable. It is amoral. It has no boundaries. It has no loyalties.

I struggle with my heart all the time. I know what to do. I know what God’s word says. But my freaking heart doesn’t like what God says. So everything in me, all of me, every fiber of my being wants to do this thing. And, yet, God’s word tells me do this other thing. And my heart fights with all its might against God’s truth and God’s will.

My heart is my enemy. It betrays me.

I want to do what God wants me to do, but there are so many times my heart, flat out, betrays me because it seeks to do that opposite of what God wants.

So what are we to do?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

  1. Trust in the Lord. Do not trust your heart. It is a traitor. It will betray you and who God created you to be. Trust in the Lord. He has your best interest. God knows best what is best for you. Trust in the Lord.
  2. Trust in the LordĀ with all your heart. Your heart is to submit and obey God. It is only useful when it submits to God’s truth.

This is much easier said than done. I struggle with my heart multiple times a day. Multiple times a day, my heart betrays me. I have to continually realign my heart, flesh, and mind to God.

Under no circumstances, absolutely not, never ever trust your heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.