Developing the mind of Christ begins by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. “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 (2Cor.10:5).” Learning to think on the things of God will follow as we rejoice in the Lord always. Philippians 4 tell us, “I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Finally, verse 8 directs us to dwell on 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Taking every thought captive is not an easy task. We have all entertained thoughts, if only briefly, about something contrary to our personal belief of right and wrong. Most morally conscious individuals will override those thoughts with rational thought. The Word of God instructs to take every thought captive. As Christians, we are not free from temptations, even though we know it is wrong and against God, we proclaim “I stumbled” into sin. We use the excuse, “before I knew it…”, but recognizably we know that the thought of sin was planted and watered and nursed in our mind. We coddled that sin, we rationalized the guilt, and the sin became reality. Remember the battle is in the mind and for your mind, so following through is impossible without the Spirit of God in control.
We must all choose to follow and live according to God’s commandments. Is it easy? No! Was it meant to be easy? No! Jesus said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved (Mat. 10: 22).” They hated him first. Timothy said, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..(2 Timothy 3:12).” The Word tells that sin and the lusts of this world are constantly inundating our thought processes. Further, proclaiming your faith, living by faith and living for Christ seems to attract the big guns. You have to understand that there is no rest from spiritual attacks if you are not cognizant of the fact that these attacks are purposeful and with one goal, destroying the faith and witness of the children of God. Positive thinking will not work here. You need the power of God that comes from trusting in Him. We must stand on the foundation of Christ. Not many Christians understand, at least not completely how the enemy operates. And more choose to deny, or ignore the influence of various forms of perverted media. Choosing to believe, choosing to follow, choosing to deny self, and living for God are choices, just like choosing to get up in the morning to go to work. “Choose you today, who you will follow.”