Your Thought Life 2 Cor. 10: 3-6 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Your thought life is something that must be controlled. Men and women have trouble controlling their thoughts in this world of pictures, movies, lusts and memories. 2 Cor 10:3-6 is one of the best passages in the Bible to help you with your thought life and the actions that follow your thoughts. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Back of every tragedy in human character, there is a process of wicked thinking.”
With all of the images and imaginations that are presented to you each day, there is an indelible mark on your mind that causes your thought life to run to places you often don’t want to go. God knows about the effect of those images. That’s why he warned the Jews to destroy the pictures in Canaan (Num 33:52). Dr. Ruckman used to say, “The use of the imagination involves images.”
When I teach in a Bible question and answer format, invariably the question gets raised, “How can I stop these thoughts from coming into my head?” The trouble is that they are held in the mind as strong holds according to verse 2 Cor 10:4. And they are not easy to get out. To make any progress with your thoughts, you must understand what thoughts do, what must be done with them, and how to do it. Here’s a simple outline from 2 Cor 10:3-6. Imaginations and thoughts:
Are in the flesh, 2 Cor 10:3 — see Gen 6:5. Thus, they can trouble you until you die.
Exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, 2 Cor 10:5 — thus, they are involved in the war between the flesh and spirit [Gal 5:17]. When your mind runs to fleshly thoughts, it cannot be thinking godly thoughts at the same time. For instance, during a sermon, Bible reading, prayer or other spiritual endeavor, your mind may often run to something other than the preaching and you aren’t able to remember anything that was preached during that “day dream.” What has happened is that your thoughts have exalted themselves against the knowledge of God. They competed with the Spirit and blocked you from thinking about God.
Lead to disobedience, 2 Cor 10:6 — When you find yourself in disobedience, check your thought life first; that’s usually where the problem is. Because you know that you cannot act on some of the things you think about in your thought life, you learn to derive pleasure from your thoughts alone. Those thoughts are sin in and of themselves [Prov 24:9]. However, after catering to your lusts through wicked thinking, you may find it impossible to resist acting on those lustful thoughts. You end up compounding the sin. A Christian girl met a young man and decided to travel to the Bahamas with him. She had been thinking about finding a man. So, she thought it would be alright to travel with him. Yet, she was disobeying God. She was led into this disobedience by her thought life.
Thoughts and imaginations must be:
Pulled down, 2 Cor 10:4 – since they have exalted themselves, you must reach up and pull them down so that they do not obscure the Lord or his words.
Cast down, 2 Cor 10:5 – when you pull bad thoughts down, you must also cast them down. In other words, it is not enough to simply keep pulling the thoughts down every time they come up or you bring them up. In other words, you can’t play with them when you want to and then put them back when you are through with them. You need to cast them down with the intention of being through with them for ever. In a manner of speaking, it’s easier to step on them than it is to haul them down from the attic.
Brought into captivity, 2 Cor 10:5 — the ultimate objective is to get your thought life in line with the Lord’s. This is done when your thoughts are taken captive by Jesus Christ; when they obey him rather than you. From 1 Cor 2:16, because we have the mind of Christ, Jesus is now supposed to be the ruler of our mind.
Overcome by God’s mighty weapons, 2 Cor 10:4 – they cannot be whipped by carnal weapons, [2 Cor 10:3-4]. Clever psychology does not work!! Paul recommends dead reckoning [Rom 6:11]. That is a Christian won’t give in to the desires of the mind when he recognizes that his flesh is dead. When you fail to recognize that your flesh is dead, you end up running errands for a corpse.
Some of the Lord’s weapons against your thought life are:
- Prov 16:3 – commit your works to the Lord
- Heb 9:14 — plead the blood of Christ
- Ps 139:23-24 — let God search your heart and try your thoughts. Rather than hide your thoughts in the private recesses of your mind, display them before God’s throne and ask him to turn them off.
- Ps 19:14 — meditate on things acceptable to God
- Is 26:3 — keep your mind stayed on the Lord
- Col 3:15-16 — sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
- Phil 4:8 — think good thoughts
Conclusion: If you will do these things, your thought life will make dramatic improvements, in time. And not only that, according to 2 Cor 10:6, you should be ready to revenge the disobedience of your past thought life when your obedience is fulfilled. That is, you will mark off time against the former wicked thoughts the further removed you are from them. Furthermore, since your actions follow your thoughts, as you think right, you will do right.