“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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 10:3-5 NIV).
In my last post, we looked at 2 Corinthians 10:5 and the idea of taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We compared it to roping a calf in a lassoing contest. Every spiritual battle is won or lost at the threshold of the mind; right as the calf comes bursting through the door. Let’s look at four simple steps for taking every thought captive and lassoing those runaway thoughts.
Realize the Enemy’s True Identity
On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, after I got my son off to school and my husband off to work, I took a long walk through my neighborhood. The sky was crystal clear blue with a gentle breeze. It was a gorgeous cool North Carolina fall day with just a hint of color on the leaves. There was nothing special on my schedule – just the ordinary. However, one hour later, because of a horrendous terrorist attack on our country in New York City and Washington, DC, by evil personified, the day turned into anything but ordinary. I watched in horror as the television played and replayed the airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.
Amazingly, we never saw it coming. As I thought about that, God reminded me: That’s how the enemy always attacks. When you least expect it.
Let’s think about another monumental day in our country’s history. On December 31, 1999, the country and the world braced for the potentially disastrous effects of Y2K. Families and businesses alike prepared for months for what might occur as the clock ticked past 11:59 PM and into the new millennium. We held our breaths, clasped our hands and braced ourselves. Yes, we were ready. What happened? Nothing. The new millennium came without incident.
Oh dear friends, do you see the correlation? There is an enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). His name is Satan. He desires to destroy us just as sure as the hijackers drove those airplanes into, and toppled, the twin towers in New York City.
Satan has other names – the devil, the accuser of the brethren, a liar, the father of lies, and the deceiver. A deceiver is someone who presents a lie in such a way, it sounds like the truth. He can make you believe something is not true when it is and make you believe something is true when it isn’t. He speaks in your own voice. The thoughts feel like you, because they are the old you that he has memorized so well. He’s not very creative, but he is very effective and he uses the same methods with us he’s used since the beginning of time.
The first step to changing the way we think is to recognize the enemy’s true identity. It’s not your mother; it’s not your father; it’s not the person who abused you as a child. The real enemy is Satan himself and he uses your past hurts and failures as cannon fodder to wound you. If you don’t have sufficient ammo in your past, he concocts some of his own.
In my next three posts, we’ll continuing look at the steps for taking every thought captive.
Heavenly Father, I know that I cannot win a battle if I do not know who I am fighting. Help me to recognize the enemy’s true identity. Spiritual warfare is very real. Today, I put on the armor of God and stand firm against the powers of the enemy. I am more than a conqueror through the power of Jesus Christ.
In His Name I pray and stand, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Can you think of a time when you blamed someone for a difficulty in your life when it might have been an attack of the enemy?
Go back and read John 10:10. What does the enemy desire to do?
What is he called in John 8:44?
Why do you think it is important to know who the real enemy is in order to win the battle? Click on “comment” to share your answer.
Every spiritual battle is won or lost at the threshold of the mind. If you would like to learn more about how to take every thought captive, my book, , is the perfect resource. This will help you change that stinkin’ thinkin’ and replace the lies with the truth. While you’re there, download a free sample chapter and watch the introductory video.