Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Thy Feet Our God And Father"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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. (NIV)
I started to scratch my head the minute that my daughter announced that my oldest granddaughter had picked up head lice: those creepy-crawly, hard-to-get-rid-of, teeny-tiny creatures that live in your hair and suck your blood.
Immediately, I stripped the girls' beds at my house, as well as the couch throw, and tramped up to their house where piles of bedding, car seat covers, and throws were already overflowing the laundry room. Adding mine to the pile, the task of getting everything thoroughly vacuumed and washed began.
Next came the dash to the health clinic to pick up the special Malathion solution to kill the lice. Both girls had to have their hair washed and then sit with the solution on their heads for ten minutes before rinsing. Then came the combing with a special nit comb to pull as many lice and their eggs out of the hair as we could. The eggs are especially important to remove, as the solution does not necessarily kill them, and a louse nit can take one to two weeks to hatch, which begins the whole lousy cycle once again. What a job! But it had to be done, painstakingly, day after day, until they were gone.
Ridding ourselves of lousy thoughts is also a painstaking job. It's a life-long job for the Christian, for it is our thoughts that shape us and make us who we are. We must therefore be vigilant in guarding what we allow into our hearts and minds each and every day.
But how do we do this? How do we take every thought captive to Christ? By knowing the truth of Scripture, wherein lie the good and perfect thoughts of God. We must do as the apostle Paul wrote when he penned, "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." (Philippians 4:8 NIV) We can also do this by calling upon the Holy Spirit daily to nudge and convict us, when our thoughts are not in line with God's.
John 14:26 – But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV)
When applied to our lives, these truths have the power to keep in check and gradually clean from our mind any and all lousy thoughts — ungodly thoughts that lay the eggs of anger, hatred, discrimination, jealousy, lust, laziness, prejudice, scorn, arrogance, and the like — and replacing them with God's thoughts. His good and perfect thoughts can change us and our world, one thought at a time.
I think that's something that we all want. Don't you?
Prayer: Thank You, God, for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. Strengthen and motivate us to know and apply Your Word to our hearts and minds day by day through the power of Your Spirit within us, that our every thought might glorify You and transform our world. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.