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Foundation Truth, Number 27 (Winter/Spring 2011) | Timeless Truths Publications

Dear Reader

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”* (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Do you have a “military” attitude toward thoughts? In temporal warfare, a civilian thinks of enemy soldiers primarily in terms of hoping they stay far away, avoidance and escape, and hoping to avoid having their own lives and property harmed. If enemy soldiers do come and can’t be avoided, there is commonly an attitude of helplessness about conditions they bring on. A soldier, on the other hand, has a much more active role—it’s not just a matter of escaping harm or capture, but of seeking to capture the enemy, if possible. If a civilian were to become a soldier, they would need to be trained in detecting the enemy quickly, and learning to use weapons and tactics in order to do so.

A “civilian” attitude toward thoughts reflects these same principles—hoping to avoid capture or damage from “enemy” thoughts, avoidance as much as possible, and a sense of helplessness when “caught.” But we are called to be spiritual soldiers to the extent of capturing thoughts to obey Christ. If I’m going to get victory over imaginations, ideas and thoughts that oppose “knowledge of God,” I’m going to need to apply for the Lord’s training to recognize the nature of thoughts quickly and learn the weapons and methods of bringing them “into captivity.” There is a necessary combativeness to develop in our souls, a necessary alertness, and a necessary confidence.

Some time ago I was called into a spiritual battle where someone was feeling “locked” by the devil, unable to love somebody as they needed to, and barely found the will to nod when asked if he wanted me to come over. As the first “military” step, my family and I had prayer before I started over. I found that as I drove over there was already a battle-before-the-battle, so-to-speak. I had no idea in myself how to approach this, and time was short, so the first thoughts to bring into captivity to obey Christ were my own attitudes toward the battle. I had learned from prior experience as a soldier for the Lord that He has no problem whatever in getting the victory, and our confidence must be placed in Him, not in our strength or weakness. So I told the Lord that I was determined to go with Him to victory, that I knew I was perfectly safe with Him, and that I was set to cooperate with Him for the deliverance of this friend.

It was essential preparation. When I arrived, nothing in the attitude of the person offered encouragement, but I wasn’t looking there for it. God did indeed guide in the battle, and after several rounds of spiritual artillery fire had only slight effect, the Lord began to fasten my attention on the need for an attitude of thankfulness on the part of the person feeling “locked.” It was already apparent (even, a little bit, to the person himself) that the devil’s lock wasn’t as effective as first appearances suggested, because of some steps he was already able to take. I asked him if he was thankful for his wife and a certain good friend of his. He was, but didn’t see how that related to his problem. I found myself impressed to commend to him thanking the Lord for his wife and friend, just because it was a good and right thing to do. It took some time and persistence, but finally he began to pray. Within a few moments, the “lock” was over, and he went on to thank God for the person he hadn’t felt it possible to love on his own initiative, and a whole slew of thoughts were brought into captivity to obey Christ!

Victory! Hallelujah! Hurray for God!

Love and prayers,
The Editor