Taking Thoughts Captive

Our old, carnal nature is very susceptible to temptation. Satan attempts to distract our passion for God by stirring up our former desires for sin. His lies remind us of forgotten memories, which trigger negative thoughts and behavior from our soul. The devil knows that if he controls our thoughts, he will also control our actions.

Discouragement often opens our ears to hear Satan’s lies, but focusing on the positive, beautiful aspects of God and His Kingdom keeps our mind on praiseworthy issues (Philippians 4:8). A grateful attitude will ensure our success in this area. The friends we keep, the people we work with and our other associates may influence us to sin or to walk away from God (1 Corinthians 15:33).

However, as we bring our thoughts into obedience to Christ, Satan has no power over us (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). As we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the former lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We seek to build God’s eternal Kingdom, rather than to erect our own little kingdom here on earth (Colossians 3:1). Issues which grieve God’s Spirit grieve us as well (Ephesians 4:30).

We can also meet with an older Believer for discipleship, to learn the elementary teachings of the Word (Hebrews 6:1). We devour the Word of God, by using a Bible translation we understand or by using a topical Bible. We attend Bible studies with our church family and in our community. God’s Spirit perfects us in holiness with the mind and divine nature of Christ (2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 1:4).

Prayer:
Father God, if we sow sin, we will reap corruption (Galatians 6:7-8). That is why You encourage us not to fellowship with unbelievers who walk in darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14-15; Job 4:8; Proverbs 22:8; Hosea 8:7). You pour out Your wrath on all ungodliness and unrighteousness, which prevent Your elect from knowing Your Truth. Submitting our life to Your Word and living according to Your precepts is the only way we can enjoy a fulfilled life on this earth and be ready to rule and reign with Christ in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
We have less of a desire to partake in carnal behavior every day that we spend with the Lord.

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Entering the Promised Land

When we succomb to hopelessness and anxiety, this is a sign that we are not seeking our comfort from God. We are wandering in the wilderness of desires, rather than in the Promised Land, which God prepared for us. In the Wilderness, Israel constantly struggled with discouragement, toil and deprivation. Their rebellion and unbelief brought this hardship upon them. They even despised the food God provided and were not grateful that their belongings never wore out (Numbers 11:1-5; Deuteronomy 29:5).

Our unbelief in God causes us to suffer from the stress of life too, because we rely on our self, rather than on God. We use our human effort to attempt to procure what we deem is necessary for our happiness. However, if we abandon human reasoning and rely totally on the Spirit of God, He gives us direction, provision and hope. The divine life of Christ abides in our spirit (2 Peter1:4; Colossians 2:10), expresses through our soul, which in turn strengthens our biological body.

When we come to the end of our self, to our wandering in our wilderness, to our attempts to equip our self and to succeed at life, we place our complete faith and trust in God, who deserves more than we could ever repay. We relinquish all, in order to receive the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46), to win the race (1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:14), and to come into His divine presence, never to leave again. We enjoy fellowship with Him and His Saints each moment of our life.

We resist all desires birthed by the finite, carnal nature, which is dead in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3), and pursue the realm of the Spirit instead. Peace comes as we completely trust in God. We live in faith, as we serve our Living Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:3), and He provides for us in every area of life, which concerns us (Psalm 138:8). We enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10) and find contentment regardless of any emotional, mental, financial or physical issues.

Prayer:
Father God, You are worth so much more than anything or anyone that we hold precious in this life. You deliver us from darkness and bring us into Your Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:33-23). When we enter into the place of perfect rest in Christ, You give us all things as co-heirs with Jesus (Psalm 62:1-2; Romans 8:17). Help us to walk worthy of the calling You placed on our life (Ephesians 4:1), and always remind us to seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Thought for the Day:
We receive infinite fulfillment and joy in this life, corresponding with the extent to which we surrender to God. – 1 Samuel 2:30