The Bible tells us to capture every thought. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV.) We have to catch every thought, and then I have a chance to do something about all these thoughts that are not pleasing to God, before they come into my heart and become a part of me!
“As a man thinks, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. What we think about shows who we are. Scientists don’t agree on how many thoughts we have every day, but they all agree there are many of them. The thoughts that we let come into our hearts and minds form us, either in becoming more godly, or more ungodly. But how can we control the many thoughts that come into our minds every day? What do we do with the thoughts that are not pleasing to God? How can we really capture every thought?
Capturing every thought – a battle
Of course, we have to think of the things that we have to do in a day. But, as we go through the day, there are also thoughts coming up that go against God’s will and we have to make sure that they don’t control our mind and heart. Paul explains how this can be done: “We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy's strong places. We destroy people's arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.’’ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NCV). It is written that we need to fight to keep our thoughts pure, but it is also written that we have weapons to fight with!
Let’s think of a normal daily situation where I have the chance to capture my thoughts: Maybe my boss at work gives me a job that I hate, and complaining thoughts start to come into my head. These thoughts are temptations – and I have a chance to do something about them before they come into my heart and become a part of me. It is these kinds of thoughts that we need to capture by choosing to obey a word of God such as Philippians 2:14 (GNT): “Do everything without complaining or arguing.”
When we choose to obey God’s Word, it will lead to a real battle in our thoughts, but our weapons – God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit – are full of power to help us. By praying to God in the moment that we feel we are being tempted, we can get power to keep our thoughts pure. Then I have captured the thought!
Get ready for battle
We must also get strength ourselves for this battle before it starts. We do this by following Jesus’ example when He was tempted by the devil to turn the stones into bread: “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” Matthew 4:4 (GNT).
The Word of God and the power of His Holy Spirit are full of power to help us capture our thoughts. Jesus had armed Himself by reading and thinking about words of God that could help Him in difficult situations. If we see that there are areas in our thoughts that are difficult to overcome, we can find specific verses in the Bible that can help us to overcome them, and believe that God will help us.
God’s Word is our weapon!
For example, if we know we are easily tempted to impure thoughts about the opposite sex, we can use Jesus’ words as a weapon: “But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, in his mind he has already done that sin with the woman. If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:28-29 (NCV).
Is it even possible to keep my thoughts pure? Click here for the answer!
If you get angry easily, you can use the verse in James as weapon: “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry. This is because an angry person doesn't produce God's righteousness.” James 1:19-20 (CEB). These words of God are our weapons, and will give us power to capture all impure thoughts!
Read also on ActiveChristianity.org: 20 Bible verses to use as a sword against impure thoughts
Being changed – by the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit can help us and give us power to capture our thoughts and only allow those thoughts that are obedient to Christ, to His word. Then we change into the person He wants us to be. We have the wonderful hope that by overcoming sin in our thoughts, we can little by little become more like Christ day-by-day. In this way, we become useful tools in God’s hands. Letting God do this work in us is the greatest task we can take on in life.