“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).
Several years ago, my family went on an excursion out West. We flew to Nevada, rented a car, and then proceeded to log in 2500 miles in ten days. One of our stops was Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Cowboy Country.
On Saturday night, we attended the local rodeo. There we sat, three city slickers among whoopin’ hollerin’ locals. The cowboys’ skills entertained and amazed those of us who thought a Bronco was a 4-wheel drive. Cowboys, young and old, rode bucking broncos, raced around barrels, and conquered angry bulls. But the most thrilling event was the lassoing contest.
We all sat on the edge of our seats as the cowboy waited, poised in his saddle, anticipating the calf’s release from the chute. The corral door swung open and the calf burst from the gate. The cowboy exploded through a second door with lasso in hand, and pursued the bucking, twisting, galloping animal. He lassoed the calf’s neck, threw him to the ground, quickly wrapped the rope around his legs, tied them securely in place, and immediately jumped up and raised his arms in victory. As the victor stood receiving his applause, his trained steed took three steps backward to secure the rope in place.
The timer continued to run for a few seconds to make sure the calf was indeed captive. Then the cowboy’s time was posted on the scoreboard. Time and time again, cowhands lassoed little calves, secured their captives, and raised their hands in victory. Only a few times did a calf escape the rope and make his way out the door on the other end of the corral.
I’ll admit that I was feeling a bit sorry for the little calves, even though they were released as soon as the time was logged. The first time one escaped the lasso, I applauded wildly. Angry onlookers let me know with a glare that cheering for the calf was not acceptable. As I continued to watch the contest, the Lord prodded my mind and told me to look and learn. Suddenly it hit me. This event was a perfect picture of what Paul described in today’s truth.
Those calves reminded me of wild and wooly thoughts that burst forth from the stable of my mind at times: negative, rebellious, fearful, angry, worrisome, jealous, degrading thoughts that are untamed and unruly, bucking, jumping and running wild across pleasant plains. And when my thoughts are ungodly, my reaction should be like the cowboy’s: ride up hot on the thought’s heels, lasso it with the truth, tie it up securely, and throw it in the dust. My response should be just like the cowboy’s trusty trained horse who, automatically, because of practice, takes three steps backward to make sure the deceptive thought “ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
Trained because of practice. Taking every thought captive. Yes siree. Let’s lasso those thoughts little sister, tie ‘em up, and throw em’ back in the dust where they came from in the first place. Then we can raise our arms in victory with all the heavenly hosts applauding in victory. And believe me, the faster we do it, the better.
In my next four blog posts, we’ll look at four simple steps for taking every thought captive. My prayer is that you’ll put these steps into practice in your own life and light up the scoreboard with victory in lassoing those runaway thoughts.
Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes my thoughts run wild. I believe things are true when they aren’t and don’t believe things are true when they are. Help me to take every thought captive that is not of You. Fill me with Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn?
When is the last time you had a runaway thought that was not godly?
At what point did you realize the thought was not of God?
Look up Philippians 4:8 and meditate on this litmus test for our thoughts.
Pick one of the guidelines from Philippians 4:8 and tell me which one you are going to focus on today.
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, mybook,This will help you change that stinkin’ thinkin’ and start believing God’s truth. Check it out on the bookstore page, and while you’re there, download a free sample chapter or watch the introductory video.