Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bringing Our Thoughts Into Captivity

Felt the old, all-too-familiar worries & frets this week trying hard to take hold.  
Many times, I leave myself open ... an easy target, non-resistant, all too compliant.  
Not only do I listen to these voices in my head, I entertain them.  
I give them permission to stay awhile.  
Sometimes, I even believe them.

I decided this was not happening this time.
I determined not to just quote the familiar scriptures, but to believe them ... 
to stand on them.
I wanted a different result this time around.

I knew I had to gird up my mind.
I knew I could & must take charge of my mind, my thoughts, & emotions ... 
controlling them & not letting them control me.

I know what I do ... I am well-aware of my pattern.
It's all too often that I camp out in negative places {& stay waaayy too long}.
And it's not only me that's effected, but my whole family ...
even the atmosphere of our home.

I let 'the deceiver' take up residence.
I allow my thoughts to be a playground for the enemy.
Not only is he achieving his purpose in those striving against me
but also in me for passively allowing him to loiter where is doesn't belong!

My job to FIGHT against him, & boy, am I ever equipped!

The scriptures say this:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God
to pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, & every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, & bringing into captivity 
every thought to the obedience of Christ.  
2 Corinthians 10:4-5

God's Word is FULL of precious promises for me to stand on!
Do I believe them to be true?
Of course I do!
I decided to pick up my weapon, put forth a lot of on purpose effort, & wage war!

Every.single.time a destructive thought or a worry {over things I cannot control!}
tried to weasel its way in, I made a conscious effort to bring that thought
into captivity!
I was determined to be diligent & aggressively subdue all the negativity that tried
to enter my mind!    

Here's how I combated against the enemy:

1)  I stood strong & sure on the promises of God, without waivering.
     I named them & claimed them ... often!
     I took Him for His word!

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
Psalm 28:7

This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; 
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 
2 Samuel 22:31

2) I asked God for strength as I fought to capture my thoughts!
     He said He is our present help, so I asked for it!

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. 
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 
John 16:24

If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
John 14:14

3) I gave it to God ... & refused to pick it back up!
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~Pro. 16:3 
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,   whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,  think on these things. ~Phil. 4:8

4)  I kept {& continue to keep} reminding myself that fear & worry is not from God!

When I'm held captive by my fears & I give way to worry,
I am not only weighed down but I'm distracted.
This makes it more difficult for me to do what God's desires for me to do.

Half the things I worry over never come to pass anyway ...thank God.
I must bear this in mind instead of  going into a tail-spin over every little thing
that could or might happen.

For god has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, 
and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

5)  Lastly, but definitely not least, I must always remember:

I cannot change people.
I cannot change circumstances.
I cannot stop people from spreading gossip, lies & slander.
I cannot make people do the right thing.
I can, however, change how I react to it.

From the meddling relative, to backstabbing co-worker,
to the busybody on Facebook that is always in my business... 
I am in charge of how I react to the people & events in my life!

The Bible is clear that the things that come out of our mouth
(or typed from our fingers ;) ) are a reflection of what is going on in our heart.

I have a choice.
I refuse to be reactionary & in essence, lower myself to their level.

Charles Swindoll says that 'life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it'.

I can either give power to negativity over my life or I can choose to pursue
JOY & HAPPINESS instead! 

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, 
but those who plan peace have joy.
Proverbs 12:20 

I choose to stay sweet!

**I originally began writing this particular blog nearly a month ago.
I had not published it because I just wasn't ready to share it yet.
I can attest to you that since that day ... the day that I took charge over my thoughts,
claimed & stood on 2 Cor. 10: 4-5,  I've not been the same person.
Believe me, there have been several opportunities for me to slink back into my old,
despairing ways, but I have remained steadfast in my resolve.
With the daily help of the Lord, I am a conqueror!
I choose to live victorious in Christ!

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