2 Corinthians 10:15 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.
Growing up I used to love playing chess, especially when I was in junior high. I loved the strategy, planning ahead, and trying to out think my opponent. I don’t play chess much anymore, but I read a quote a while back that has kind of stuck with me, “Satan plays a wicked game of spiritual chess. He knows he’s doomed, but he’ll get your last man if he can.” That statement is so true. I remember that feeling in a chess game of knowing that I was going to lose, but if I was I was going to take as many of my opponent’s pieces as possible.
As Christians we need to think about the spiritual warfare we are involved in as God’s chess game against Satan. Satan is beat, there is no way he will win the game, but he is going to use everything he can to leave God with as few pieces(children of God) as possible. Christians need to understand how important it is to combat the lies, tricks, and temptations Satan uses. When I think about the goals of Satan his number one goal is to keep people from coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the cross. When he can win these single person victories he is accomplishing his goal. It seems to me though that not only does he try to directly keep people from coming to the Lord, but he tries to take down Christians in front of non-Christians to turn them away from God.
When people who do not have a personal relationship with Christ see someone they know to be a Christian fall, it helps Satan’s case in keeping them from becoming a Christian. When Satan can get people thinking, “Look at those hypocrites, why would I want to be like that.” Or how about, “Christians are so judgmental.” I could go on and on with things that non-Christians say. I will be the first to say even saved people sin. Even saved people make mistakes. No one is perfect all the time, but the question is what kind of lifestyle do we live. What is it that other people see when they look at us over a long period of time.
As I thought about that I started to think what can I do personally to help myself live a more consistent Christians lifestyle? What can I do to keep Satan from gaining any ground and taking down more chess pieces? A verse came to mind and I shared it above. The last part of the verse is what really stuck out to me, “take captives every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” What a game plan to build a strong Christian life upon!
A thought doesn’t seem like much. Sometimes we have one that lasts only a few seconds and is gone forever. When you think about it though, when we make bad choices and decisions, they start with a thought!
Think about it, what would your life look like if you ran the decisions you made in your life through those words in scripture. I am not talking about should I wear my green or blue shirt today. I am talking about the choices and decisions we make. The relationships we are building. The way we choose to spend our time and finances. Thinking back over my life I can see times where I didn’t do a good job of taking my thoughts captive and making sure “this is what God would want me to do.” Too many times it was what Matt wanted to do, and sadly that was often what Satan was hoping I would choose to do too!
As Christians we have to control our mind! We have to spend time filling it with God’s Word, with prayers to God and take captive the thoughts we have . Make sure they are what God wants us to think about. A good way of saying it would be, sitting down at lunch with Jesus, would you share this thought with Him? If you did, what would he say you should do in regards to it?” I am guessing many times we wouldn’t get past the first part of that question. We would realize this isn’t something we would share with Jesus so we probably shouldn’t even be thinking it. So get rid of the thought!
There is a quote that says “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” For Christians this is very true. Change your thoughts by taking them captive and making them obedient to God. It won’t just change your world, but it may also change the world and eternal future of someone who is watching you!