…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
I have a new trainer for my dogs, Edward and Frances. Truth is, as we all know, the trainer is training me, their owner. When I learn how to assume my rightful position as leader of the pack, we will have a more enjoyable and peaceful environment.
I am learning that I am the Alpha (the boss), that I can just ignore those frequent demands for attention, that I set the direction of behaviors for a specific time and place, and that my responsibility is to provide leadership. Which has brought to mind something else that is critical to peace in all our lives…
Have you ever had thoughts, like little puppies, get in your face and demand your attention? Are you ever distracted by nudges from this or that when you’re trying to focus on the Lord? Do worries barge into your peace, demanding dominance and usurping God’s promises for you? We can probably all say a resounding YES.
The obvious conclusion here is that we all need training to know how to deal with our thoughts. They are out there, and they will always be on the periphery watching to see who will have dominance—the Spirit of God in our lives or our thoughts of anxiety, distrust, fear, and negativity.
God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of discipline. And so we, through God’s Spirit, confidently take control of those thoughts that threaten to destroy our peace and stability in Christ. We make those thoughts obey Christ. We control our thoughts through the truth of God’s Word; we ignore those thoughts that tempt us to fear; and we discipline those thoughts that want to introduce doubt.
And with faithful practice, as we are trained, the thoughts become captives to our focus on Christ. We dominate them; they are no longer in control. “And the peace that passes understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Lord, why does it take us so long to recognize the authority we have over what we think? Strengthen us to resist anxiety, negativity, anything that diminishes you, your will, and your peace in our lives, and help us to begin to discipline our thought life. We especially need your power for this. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.