I think I've quoted the verse, "taking every thought captive" at least a gazillion times...but tonight in study, I was convicted about the fact that I hadn't taken the time to study that verse in it's entirety.
The end of that verse takes it a level deeper...it says we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Wow! That makes me much more accountable. Much.
Well, if I'm totally honest with myself, the reality is that I might claim to take a thought captive...but THEN what do I do with it?
If I take it captive, and then have to surrender it to the obedience of Jesus, then I am CRYSTAL about what that thought means...what it breeds...whether or not it is edifying to me or others.
Yes, "to the obedience of Christ" takes it to a higher level...for when I look at even my thoughtlife under the microscope of obedience to The Lord, then it leaves me little room to think like a schmuck. ( is that how you spell schmuck?)
I confess. I do still think like a schmuck at times...sometimes I have words enter my head that used to be my favorite *bombs*...you know...curse words.
Ugh, how I hate it when they come! I was such a toilet tongue before I gave my life to Jesus...and I hate it when I blow it today and say something that the "old Jesica" would have said!
But, today...I'm praying that God will etch forever on my heart the truth of the Scripture I've just studied...that I will practice the discipline of "taking every thought captive TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST".
I'm certainly not perfect ( I learned today that Paul wasn't either )...but my heart's desire is to grow more and more like my Jesus until the day that He takes me home to be with Him.
I remember, before giving my life to The Lord, that I battled for YEARS with thoughts of suicide. YEARS. The comfort of knowing that I could end my life when it truly got too bad, was a constant companion to me. It gave me a sense of control in a life where I felt I had absolutely none.
Then, when I was 29, I surrendered my life TOTALLY to The Lord. I was so done with me that I couldn't stand it anymore..and all that I wanted was God's leading and healing and love in my life. ( And this is where I still am today!)
I got saved 13 days ( I think I've been saying 11, but I just checked a calendar and it was 13) after Shane and I were married. Then, a few weeks later, I remember sitting with him and saying, "Hey, let me read you some stuff from this journal I've had for the past 15 years."
It was a journal that I wrote in about once or twice a year, from 14 years old and up.
As we sat on the bed and I read that journal, I was blown away! See, God had taken away the veil...He had removed the scales from my eyes. I now had "eyes to see"as He saw, and as I read that journal, every single page held entry after entry of my hopes to kill myself.
I was dumbfounded as I looked at the words on those pages with new eyes...through the Holy Spirit.
God led me then and there to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" and I didn't even know that verse existed yet!
I got up and took the journal that I had once so cherished, and burned every single page of it. Then I yelled out to satan, "I'm done with you! I'm God's now...you wanna fight? Bring it on!" ( Word to the wise...don't EVER say that! I regretted those words for the next 5 years.)
I knew that it would not serve me, or my walk with God, to have those lies of the enemy in my home, or available to read ever again.
I then went to Shane and said, "Honey, until I know that I know that I know that the enemy doesn't have a hold on me in this area any more, we have to get rid of all of our guns."
And we did...within the week.
See, God made it clear to me that I was to trust Him, and trust that He would be my Protector.
I had never before lived in a home without a gun. To me, having a gun was protection...so this was a big leap of faith for me.
But, God honored my desire to walk in obedience, and He has faithfully protected us every day since.
And, when the enemy would shoot his fiery arrows my way, arrows labeled "suicide", I ran to The Lord, and cried out to Him, and begged Him to remind me that He had different plans for me. That He would never want me to take my own life.
Those thoughts are so powerful to someone who is not washed in the Word on a regular basis. Like I said, they were a constant companion to me as a young girl, and into adulthood.
But, now that I belong to The Lord, the discipline of "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" has rendered those thoughts powerless....has rendered the enemy powerless in that area of my life.
Today, I KNOW that I was bought with a price...and that God has a purpose for my life...and that the purpose is to Glorify Him in all I do...to edify the body of believers..and to share the good news of the gospel of reconciliation with the lost.
Praise God! I'm free indeed! :)
So, I encourage you to bow before Him today...and ask Him what thoughts you need to take captive to obedience to Him. Then, listen as He speaks to your heart. And then, obey.
I promise, obeying Christ is the only way to go.
All other ground is sinking sand.
If I can ever pray with or for someone you love who is battling the same demons that I did, I'd be honored to do so. I think it's so very hard to understand the hold that the enemy can have on someone's life through thoughts of suicide, unless you've been there.
It's a dark dungeon of pain and lonliness and utter hopelessness that life could ever be better.
However, once free of those chains, life is rich...and God gives purpose to the once empty soul.