It is my hope that through this blog I can share experiences and challenges from day to day life.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Captivity---is good

For some the word captivity brings negative thoughts to mind.  If you look the word up you may find various meanings.  Here are some I found: "the state of being confined to a space from which it is difficult or impossible to escape."  "The keeping of either domesticated animals (livestock and pets) or wild animals."   There are more to be sure.  But at looking at these I started thinking of other instants where the concept of being captive may be a good thing or a positive thing.  

Think of those who are helped by "protective custody" or "witness protection."  In these cases there definition is not much different from captivity.  Protective custody is a type of imprisonment (or care) to protect a prisoner (or other person) from harm, either from outside sources or other prisoners.  Witness protection is protection of a threatened witness or any person involved in the justice system, including defendants and other clients, before, during and after a trial, usually by police. While a witness may only require protection until the conclusion of a trial, some witnesses are provided with a new identity and may live out the rest of their lives under government protection. 

For many the above all sounds the same.  But is got me thinking about how all of this can benefit us in other ways.  Weather you are being held so as not to hurt another or being held so that another does not hurt you it can be considered captivity if you have no freedom to do as you like.  

2 Corinthians 10:5 says:  "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."  (English Standard Version)  The NIV says: "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."  It is this verse that got me thinking about all the above.

Many of us when faced with trials and hard times can get caught up in a battle of the mind.  Our mind is good at playing tricks and keeping us from focusing on what is true or important.  Now I realize the verse is talking about removing false ideas about God, but I think we can also move it to thoughts we mistake for ourselves. I am not trying to change the meaning of this verse I simply saying that we can apply it to other areas of out lives and thoughts.  Read the passage again and read from verse 4-6.

So how to we take captive our thoughts??  Not easy I KNOW!..   I am sure you have been in that place where you are overwhelmed about something or fearful about a coming event or many other times when the mind runs wild.  It is these times I am referring.  Alone times and night time can be the worst time for these battles.  So as I thinking about this I was reminded of other verses that address the issue well.  My favorite is  Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Whenever I hear the word "whatever" I think of this verse; and often throw it back at a person I am talking to if they have said it as if giving up on something.  

When we are bombarded by thoughts that bring fear or lies our way we can take this verse and rest on it's truths.  Doing so we can accomplish two things: 1) taking captive the bad thoughts, those that have no truth or go against the character of God; and tossing them far from us.  2) taking captive or a hold of the good and true thoughts--those that lift up God name and his character.  Those that remind us of his promises, and linger in them.  

Lastly I think of the other verse that ties in so well in helping to defeat the battle of the mind.  Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.   Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.   In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."

This verse for me sums it up well.  The devil's scheme's are to deceive us and mess with our heads when we are most vulnerable. So I encourage you; no matter what you may be struggling with don't let the battle of the mind get to you.  Soak yourself in the word. Think on His promises--you can find them in the Bible.  Use captivity to your advantage. 

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