Making Every Thought Serve Christ Jesus

By Dr. Norman Wise

“(3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, (4) for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (5) [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 10:3-5 NASB}

“(3) We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. (4) We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (5) We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” {2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT}

Christians through these verses alone should have known that one could not promote the Kingdom of God through military crusades, the killing of heretics, or heated church politics.  The way that people normally try to resolve conflicts through violence, threats, manipulation, lies, and cunning simply cannot advance the cause of Christ Jesus in our lives or the lives of others.  These methods cannot promote being sane, stable, and spiritual.  We will never become holy, healthy, and happy by abusing others or ourselves.

Human beings use the tactics of abusive behavior naturally as they strive to have power and control over other people and their circumstances.  But this is not the way that we are to advance the rule, way, and will of God in Christ Jesus in our lives and the lives of others.  If we use these methods, nothing truly good can ever take place.

But if not by these methods, how?

The real problem is that within our souls we have strongholds, fortresses, and castles of false thoughts, proverbs, ideas, beliefs, convictions, and perceptions that are the root of our unhealthy and unholy words, actions, and attitudes.   The inner sanctums are what poisons our souls and brings rebellious chaos into our lives.

How do we get rid of these proud, irrational, and rebellious thoughts?

  1. Define the “stinking thinking” and capture the content of these thoughts in our mind by listening to what we are telling ourselves. What is the script of our lives on Monday morning?  How do we see ourselves and others?  How does life feel when we experience life based on these beliefs?

For Example:

“I am a loser, nothing ever goes right”

“I would never do something like that!  That person is horrible and should be hated”

“I just don’t ever have any luck!  I never can win”

“Everyone is out to get me”

“The only way to win is to sin!  Nice people finish last”

We must remember that “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  Carl Jung

So when life irritates you take notice of your immediate reactive thoughts.

  1. One we have defined the strongholds we need to reframe these thoughts and take them captive to the gospel of Christ Jesus. We do this by debating the thoughts when they occur and meditating on “gospel proverbs” that we write to replace these lies with gospel truths by regular mummering the truth to ourselves.

For Example

“I am ordained by God in Christ Jesus to have an effective and productive life of good loving deeds” – Ephesians 2:10

“I am just as sinful as others and need to fight my own moral failures instead of wasting my time judging others” – Matthew 7:1-3, Romans 3:23

“The Lord is my shepherd and even when I fail, God will use it for my good.  My life depends on God’s love in Christ Jesus, not luck.  – Psalm 23; Romans 8:28

“God has given me some people to be my friends and by loving my enemies my good can overcome evil.” Romans 12:19-21; Phil 2:1-3

“Sin is not a solution but only bring pain and death to my relationships and inner world.  To live right I need to have the righteousness of Christ flowing through me” – John 15:1-8; James 1:1-12

In addition to this we need to focus on the person, work, teaching, and character of Christ Jesus in the gospels and by the examination of our own lives from the perspective of encounters with the LORD that have come into our lives.   This is our “personal gospel of Christ Jesus.”   I have attached a link that outlines how to do this type of journaling process. [1]

Faith comes by hearing the WORD of Christ Jesus and focusing all our attention to him.  Then the Lord Jesus can capture every thought and destroy the strongholds of lies that all too easily dominate our lives.

The Christian martyr and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer summarized this well at the end of his book The Cost of Discipleship.

“Now we can understand why the New Testament always speaks of our becoming ‘like Christ’ (KOOOX; Xpioxoc). We have been transformed into the image of Christ, and are therefore destined to be like him. He is the only ‘pattern’ we must follow. And because he really lives his life in us, we too can ‘walk even as he walked’ (I John 2.6), and ‘do as he has done’ (John 13.15), ‘love as he has loved’ (Eph. 5.2; John 13.34; 15.12), ‘forgive as he forgave’ (Col. 3.13), ‘have this mind, which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 2.5), and therefore we are able to follow the example he has left us (I Pet. 2.21), lay down our lives for the brethren as he did (I John 3.16). It is only because he became like us that we can become like him. It is only because we are identified with him that we can become like him. By being transformed into his image, we are enabled to model our lives on his. Now at last deeds are performed and life is lived in single-minded discipleship in the image of Christ and his words find unquestioning obedience. We pay no attention to our own lives or the new image which we bear, for then we should at once have forfeited it, since it is only to serve as a mirror for the image of Christ on whom our gaze is fixed. The disciple looks solely at his Master. But when a man follows Jesus Christ and bears the image of the incarnate, crucified and risen Lord, when he has become the image of God, we may at last say that he has been called to be the ‘imitator of God’. The follower of Jesus is the imitator of God. ‘Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children’ (Eph. 5.1).”[2]

May each of us so seek a vision of Christ Jesus so transforming that we will think HIS thoughts after HIM so that we may become an imitator of HIM, day by day.  Amen

[1] https://www.soulshepherding.org/mapping-your-spiritual-journey/

http://soulcare.net/resources/Life%20Mapping%20Exercise.pdf

[2] Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship (SCM Classics) (Kindle Locations 4180-4191). Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition.