A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Taking our thoughts captive

Posted by appolus on November 14, 2013

Its a terrible thing to be held captive by our own thoughts. How exhausting can it can be when we allow them to consume and overwhelm us? They can begin to eat away at us. They can even rob us of sleep and leave us tired and weary. I thank the Lord that He freed us and gave us the ability to take every thought into captivity and focus on Him. If a specific situation or trial has taken your mind captive today, know that there is a way of escape, you are no longer slaves to the flesh but bond-servants, willing servants to the Lord of power. If you have been set free by the Lord then you are free indeed. You now have the power to take those thoughts captive, they must bow to the Spirit of God in you. By an act of your will, take your eyes off of that situation today and turn them to Jesus and draw close to Him and peace will flood your soul. “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

37 Responses to “Taking our thoughts captive”

  1. Good stuff….

  2. sharon said

    Thanks so much for this word today. It was needed and recieved!
    They always come at just the right time, for God to bless and remind us of all He has promised.
    When we keep our focus on Jesus and the finished work, then praise and rest will follow.

  3. John said

    I have trouble taking my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. How do you do it?

    • appolus said

      Hey John, first of all we have to realize that as children of God we are no longer slaves to sin. The Lord requires us exercise our freedoms. And we do that by choosing. We can choose where our focus will be. We can choose to take our eyes off of our circumstances and put them on the Lord. We see that King David often came before the Lord with a lament over the circumstances he found himself in. Then we see he begins to think about all the times in the past that the Lord has delivered him. As he does this, something begins to rise in his spirit, it is praise. Before the psalm is over he is praising God. He has put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. In our own lives we can and should do this. First and foremost we need to remain in a place of thankfulness and all the more so when we face difficult situations. From that place, when the shadows of our dark thoughts try to overwhelm us and tempt us away into a land of melancholy, we can look back at our own lives and bring to our minds rememberence of how the Lord has been faithful to us. You see, when we do this we begin to take our eyes off of our circumstances and fix them on Jesus. As we do that we are encouraging ourselves in the Lord. And that praise will begin to rise in us as we throw of the heavy overcoat of despair and put on garments of praise……….bro Frank

      • W.E. Smith said

        Bro Frank – this is a wonderful lesson, thank you. Mary said this, facing an impossible situation (to become pregnant without knowing a man) from the Lord – “Let it be according to your Word”. What miracle, power, deliverance releasing faith this is. He loves it when we just trust Him, depend on Him for everything. We must also remember that when we stumble as His children there is no longer any condemnation. There is estrangement yes, there is disappointment yes, but not judgment, not casting off. He paid the price for us, and we are His. The old man is gone forever. We often make sin a bigger deal than it really is, on this side of the cross. We should never focus on sin, but on Christ in us, His life, His righteousness. Now many fundamentalists and evangelicals are reading this and the hair on the back of their stiff necks is rising. The truth is, if we measured our thought and heart life according to the law we would die from self-loathing. Jesus came to give us a new heart, His heart, a new life, His life, a new status before the Father, His status. This is so vitally important. Ok Mr. Southern Baptist, you can breathe now.

        • John said

          Thanks Mr Smith and Appolus!

        • appolus said

          Hi bro Wayne, I agree with what you write but I think it depends where your coming from when we talk about not making sin a bigger deal than what it is. Sin separates us from the presence of God and requires us to come before the throne of grace where we , His children, find mercy and not condemnation. So it is always a big deal to the saint, and to the more sensitive saint it is a bigger deal. No condemnation is the answer to the sum, but we cannot ignore the working out of the sum. Remember you had to show your maths teacher your workings, not just give the answer? Many know the answer in their head, the answer is that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. If there is no workings, meaning, if there is no anguish over our sin, and then humility to draw close to the Lord then we face the danger of presumption which is part of the equation of pride. Anguish is not a work but the genuine reaction of any saint to any sin they commit or any falling short of His glory. This is why Paul can say ” God forbid,’ to the accusation that they had a license to sin. Only those insensitive to the presence of God could ever make such a preposterous accusation, for the genuine saint loves his Lord so much that any sin cause him to grieve, humble himself, and draw close to the Lord and find forgiveness so that nothing hampers the presence of God in their lives. We can certainly quench the Holy Spirit and for those of us who have done that, we know how much that hurts. So we see the two extremes. One side presumes upon the Lord and grieves the Holy Spirit by their lack of concern over sin in their lives. The other side, perhaps our Southern Baptist brothers languish in the depth of Romans 7 and can only ever cry out ” Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from thsi body of death?”
          There is a balance and it lies at the center, the radical center of God’s will. Tozer used to say that when he spoke to a Calvinist then he spoke like an Arminan and when he spoke to an Arminian he spoke like a Calvinsist. I find myself doing that with the two extremes I just mentioned. ……………………..bro Frank

          • W.E. Smith said

            You lost me for the most Frank, maybe its the Scotsman to Englishmen translation thing, goes way back hundreds of years. LOL.

            I will say this this – Jesus spoke very little of sin, but much of life, love, faithfulness and fruitfulness – all things that take the oxygen out of the old man and sin nature.

          • Susanne Schuberth (Germany) said

            Dear Frank and Wayne,

            As strange as it may seem, but I think you are both completely right about what you said here on this issue.

            Frank, you described perfectly my recent experience on having fallen into a sin which grieved the Holy Spirit, and thus made me grieve as well, that is, I found no peace in the presence of the Lord while praying. Although I knew that there is now no condemnation for me (Wayne), I was still angry about a stranger in the street who unexpectedly asked me something me which left me dumbfounded. And instead of asking the Lord, ‘What shall I answer him?’ I replied in an arrogant attitude. Ouch! So much for offering the other cheek. Ha! Wretched woman that I am!!!
            Almost two days I was searching for the Lord’s presence, yet I couldn’t feel Him as usual (estrangement, yes). Although I was confessing my sin more than once, I was feeling at the same time that I had not been honest about it because I was still annoyed with that man. Therefore I gave up on it and merely prayed, ‘Lord, if you won’t help me out here, nobody can help because I cannot change my heart at all.’
            Yesterday I had been feeling weighed down all day long, but in the late evening I was sitting in front of the computer, as suddenly, like a flash of lightning, the whole load disappeared somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I felt His peace and calmness without having prayed for it at that very moment. Afterwards I had been sleeping like a newborn baby, and today – while hair washing 😉 – I broke down feeling perfect contrition and LOVE for that man.

            Isn’t our Lord more powerful and gracious than any human being can imagine? Jesus always leaves me amazed at His tender and meek heart. He always wants to forgive since He came to save, not to judge – yet.

            Wayne, I do agree with you on your observation that the evangelical camp in a large part overemphasizes Romans 7, and zeroes in on “sin” and “the sinner” instead of looking to Christ. Thus they are having much difficulties to arrive at Romans 8, don’t they…

            Blessings,
            Susanne

      • sharon said

        Very practical helps, taking thoughts about how we have been delivered in the past. Thanks, that really gave me a hopeful way to do when evening comes and things have a tendency to look dreary. Darkness is the time to put on praise.
        In the morning things always seem more encouraging.i

  4. wendy said

    Thank you for sharing this bro. Frank. Especially your comment to John. Bless you!

  5. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) said

    Correction :
    ‘I was still angry about a stranger in the street who unexpectedly asked me something which left me dumbfounded.’
    Thx,
    Susanne

    • appolus said

      HI Suzanne, your story is a great illustration of my point. Praise the Lord. Let me just correct one thing though, there is no space between bro Wayne and I on this, just two sides of the one coin. Perhaps upon reflecting on my reply he may understand more perfectly as Englishmen typically lag behind Scotsmen 🙂 I will wait to see what bro Wayne makes of your testimony as an illustration of my point, for I agree entirely with him that so many of our evangelical friends have taken up camp in Romans 7 never arriving at Romans 8 while so many in the Charismatic world have skipped romans 7 altogether and have camped out in Romans 8. Here is a key which has never changed, God loves a broken and a contrite heart, he always does and He always will. When we come boldly to Him in that state we shall always find relief as you did sister in your story………………..bro Frank

      • Susanne Schuberth (Germany) said

        I was not sure whether you both agree here, but now I know. Thanks for your immediate reply, bro Frank.
        Love,
        Susanne

  6. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) said

    Another correction:
    ‘Thus they are having much difficulties to arrive at Romans 8, aren’t they…’
    🙂

  7. W.E. Smith said

    I was told once that if you give a Scotsman just a little more time, he will eventually arrive at good sense, may take a while, but it may happen.

    Yes my dear brother, we are in agreement because we are in Him, fully in Him, not in ourselves. Agreement in life is better than agreement in doctrine, We are in agreement because your branch and mine flow up from the same Vine. We are immersed in His precious love and life. Sin is nothing because He is everything. He has loved us with an everlasting love, the love only John (the only one who felt his heart beating) had a deep revelation of – not Paul not Peter, no one else. Yes Romans 7 and 8 have a place, but pick them both up and drop them in the ocean that is His love, always do this and you will know Truth and Balance in the ways of the Lord.

    If you need me to translate this for you, I will happy too. Love you my brother.

  8. Allan Halton said

    Hi Frank, I read this post over again today because a friend of mine told me over the phone a few days ago that the Lord had quickened afresh to him the following verse: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds…” (2 Cor. 10.4). Paul goes on to describe what these “strongholds” are– “…Casting down imaginations (reasonings) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”

    I realize that the context of Paul’s words has to do with strongholds in the minds of others who were calling into question the genuineness of his apostolic ministry. Paul cautioned them to bear in mind that he had mighty weapons that were capable of pulling that– he called it an enemy “stronghold”– all down.

    But the words certainly apply to strongholds in our own minds also– in fact if we don’t deal first with the strongholds in our own minds, it’s vain to think we can pull them down in anyone else. Wrong thinking can be so debilitating. Yet it’s futile to attempt to deal with wrong thinking by our own carnal weapons and strength. The encouraging thing is– and it is this that my friend passed on to me– there truly are weapons (yes, there are), spiritual weapons, by which we can pull down all these “imaginings” of darkness, all these “high things” that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, weapons that are capable of enabling us to bring into captivity every single thought that is disobedient to Christ. The end result? A mind armed with spiritual Light– faith, hope, love– not filled with darkness.

    So… thanks for this post. Taken together with my friend’s words, I felt this was a word from the Lord for me– a much needed word at this time. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

    • Susanne Schuberth (Germany) said

      Hi Allan, I believe that God was wielding the pen while you were writing your comment. Wise words being spoken here! 🙂
      Particularly the third paragraph hits the nail on the head. In fact, how could we help anybody in case of realizing that he is in darkness, bound with demonic chains to believe false doctrine contrary to what Jesus, Paul and the other apostles taught (Jude 3:3), if we ourselves “do not notice the log that is in [y]our own eye” (Mt 7:3 – ESV)?
      How futile and loveless it would be to fight with ‘our own carnal weapons and strength’, as you said above, since then we would fight against our brother or sister, and we could hurt them in doing so.

      May we never forget that we don’t fight against human beings “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12 – ESV)
      Amen.

    • appolus said

      That Scripture was foremost in my mind when reading that, but since the focus of the Holy Spirit for me was on taking our own thoughts captive and not allowing them to enslave us and rob us of His presence, then I did not quote that particular Scripture. It is interesting that you came up with Psalm 139 for it touches on a point I had in the back of my mind when writing this post, but more especially psalm 51. David cries out to the Lord to to ‘ take not thy Holy Spirit from me,” and to restore the joy of his salvation. He had lost something very precious to him, not his salvation but the presence of the Lord and the joy of the Lord. This is what I believe is at stake when we allow our thoughts to take us captive, or when we sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, we quench Him, meaning that we lose the sense of His presence and the joy that is found in the felt presence, the manifest presence of God………………………….bro Frank

      • Allan Halton said

        Hi Frank, that, in turn, reminds me of this verse: “Blessed is the people who know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps. 89.15). Now, that is some walk– walking in the light of His countenance! And we can walk in the light of His countenance regardless how dark it is out there! …And what is the joyful sound that introduces us into this walk, and continues to speak to us every step of the Way? It has to be the Voice of Him who has the Glad Tidings of great joy. Oh my. Let all darkness be put under our feet!

        • appolus said

          I have thought about that a lot. This countenance thing, can people look at us and tell there is something different, do we glow by His presence? I can see it on saints, not all saints, but I can see the glory of God glow from deep within, it is a beautiful thing…………………bro Frank

          • Allan Halton said

            Of late this has been much on my heart as well. Moses wist not that the skin of his countenance shone while he talked with God. Yet that glory was to fade. Ours (in the New Covenant) is to be a glory that abides. Oh for more of the reality of this! If we are beholding His glory we should be reflecting it as well! The old paintings always showed that “halo” on the Christ… and on the saints as well. I believe there is a reason for that. As with the Christ, something about those men… shone. And so we too, we must be seeking Him earnestly to look upon His face! While being unconscioius of it, we should have that same halo of glory about us!

  9. Allan Halton said

    Susanne, another verse comes to mind. David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts…” (Ps. 139.23). I greatly appreciate it when the Lord intervenes in my thinking with a searching question– What are you thinking?– and I am suddenly aware that all these evil surmisings or whatever… they are just darkness! I must “put off” this mind, and “be renewed in the Spirit of (my) mind” (Eph. 4.17,18,23). As David concludes, Lord, please look into my mind, it’s no use me doing it, YOU have a look by your Spirit, and “…SEE if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

    • appolus said

      There should definately be something about us that can be seen yet perhaps not understood by unbelievers. It should prompt them to want to know what it is……………..bro Frank

      • W.E. Smith said

        Bro Frank – whereas our Lord always looked to the heart and the personal power of God, we today seem to think that the best, the first, even the only way to convey the Lord is through the mind, through arguments and intellect. So where has this led us? We have a generation of bible-schooled mini-theologians and scribes who would not recognize the Lord if He were sitting on the edge their nose. This is why I despise religion of all sorts, especially the christian brand of it. We have made the bible an idol, plain and simple, and seem to think that the Father loved the world so much He sent His only begotten bible, not his Beloved Son.

        There is no power in the bible alone, only in the Lord Jesus Christ!!!!!!!

        And if this offends anyone I do not apologize. When He walked among us, there they sat, with their smug head knowledge of all that Moses and the prophets and the psalms said. But they did not receive Him. Why? They had no deep penetrating epi-gnosis (heart knowledge) of the Lord.

        When He says we are not to live by bread alone, but by every word He has breathed into the world, strange how we limit this to just what is recorded in the bible. So He has stopped talking to His children, to them personally, directly, in the silence and loneliness of the brooding wilderness apparently.

        How sad and low that a child of God does not hear His voice each and every day. I really dont know how I would survive a second without Him leading me from moment to moment.How would I know His business, what He is doing?

        The bible has been called many things but the word I hate is a manual, a guidebook. Oh how terribly low this is – that we are children of God and are led by a mere manual. So many saints cannot even talk about Him from their heart without quoting something Paul or Peter said 2000 thousands years ago. The very best they have apparently is to live vicariously through other saints. If this is what He promised us, then I am sorry you can have it.

        Oh I know already all of the objections to this message, but I care little for that. Those who walk in Him intimately know of what I am saying here. I know you do brother.

        We will never see His power again manifest in our lives until we learn these things. Oh how low we are in this generation, with so many schools, churches, teachers, concepts, presumptions. And the Lord sleeping outside the gate of the city, on a hillside somewhere,

        We need Nehemiahs right now not Ezras. Ask Him what this means.

        It was zeal without life that caused the crusaders with red crosses emblazoned on their chest to slaughter thousands of innocents all in the name of the name of our Lord. We will see such a thing as this again very soon. Mark my words.

        • appolus said

          As usual brother, we agree, with one caveat perhaps simply because I know it would be open to misunderstanding. I do not mind quoting Paul or Peter from 2000 years ago because I am quoting God as it was He who spoke through them. Sometimes in the toughest times of my life, I did not hear God speak. Was I going to curse Him and die? Was I going to give up on Him because His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts so far above mine? No, sometimes all I had to cling on to was His written promises like ” I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Or at one period in my life Psalm 57 gave me something to hold on to until the breakthrough came. His word, all of it, is a lamp unto my feet. Lamps are particularly needed the darker it is. Anyway, having said all that, here is a post I wrote several years ago which shows you that our hearts agree………
          https://acalltotheremnant.com/2008/01/07/bibliocentric-or-christocentric/ ………….. bro Frank

          • W.E. Smith said

            Thank you my brother. Yes I know the silence of the Lord all too well, it is, quite frankly, horrifyingly dreadful, I am not referring to this as you inferred. But rather of making the Bible an end unto itself, rather than the means to inform and affirm what the Living Word (Logos – The God-breathed One) is doing inside of us.

  10. Robert Halton said

    We love -,because HE First loved us–(Commenting on Susannes’ Love for “That offensive man”)–How wonderfully EASY it is to love,- when –He first loves us — It isnt the memory of Love -from yesterday–or last week — last month –but at this moment –It is the “Law of Life”—not a doctrine — not a labour– but the Simplicity that is in Christ Jesus our Lord– I was pleased to read this blog– I am Allans younger brother — Robert

    • appolus said

      Hi bro Robert, so good to hear from you. Indeed, we love because we were first loved. If we have never encountered God, experienced that love first hand rather than an abstract truth to which we give mere mental assent, then we can only ever love as the world loves, with much limitation. I think a sign of those who have encountered God’s love is that they love what He loves…………….bro Frank

      • Allan Halton said

        Hi Robert, what a nice surprise to see you here! You’ll enjoy Frank’s blog. He is cousin to Martin, who sometimes comments on my own blog. You said, “It isn’t the memory of Love -from yesterday–or last week — last month –but at this moment –It is the “Law of Life”—not a doctrine — not a labour– but the Simplicity that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Amen. Here’s a bit from an old poem you probably know by heart:
        Oh, struggle not to “abide,”
        Nor labour to “bring forth fruit,”
        But let Jesus unite thee to Himself
        As the vine branch to the root.
        (Only A Branch by Freda Hanbury Allen)
        Meaning that when we abide in the Vine, bearing fruit is a matter of Life, not labour.

  11. Can I join this cyber church?

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