Treasured Help: 5 Things To Help Take Our Thoughts “Captive To Obey Christ”
By Steph Nickel
What types of resources do you use to help you obey Christ? Steph Nickel shares five things that help take her thoughts “captive to obey Christ.”
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Recently I have been discovering the tremendous wealth of encouragement and challenge in the opening paragraphs of the New Testament epistles. We may have a tendency to skim over these passages, but I would encourage you to slow down and really think about the riches in these verses, verses like those at the beginning of 2 Corinthians for example.
Second Corinthians 10:3-6 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete” (ESV).
There is so much we could discuss from these four verses, but let’s concentrate on what it means to take our thoughts “captive to obey Christ.”
Here are five things that have helped me do so:
Personally, I prefer upbeat contemporary Christian music. Others like mellower, more contemplative selections. And still others prefer traditional hymns.
Although I know there are those who would disagree with me, I believe 100 percent that the most important element of the music we listen to is the lyrics.
Are they biblically sound? Do they fill our mind with truth about God and His Word? Do they motivate us to honour Him in word and deed?
I would encourage you to spend time listening to music that fills your mind with thoughts of our great God, thoughts that will help you take your thoughts captive to obey Christ.
Another thing I find extremely helpful is listening to Christian podcasts.
(According to Google, a podcast is “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series …”)
Whether podcasts or other recorded teachings, listening to those that expound the truth of Scripture can prove invaluable to our spiritual growth.
While Facebook can be a huge time-suck, it can also be an amazing place to connect with other believers. I belong to a number of communities that provide encouragement and support from Christian brothers and sisters, many of whom I will never meet in person this side of heaven.
Not only do they encourage me, but I have the opportunity to encourage them as well. Only in this, the cyber age, could I come alongside these precious individuals.
And as much as I value my interactions online, it’s by “doing life” with others that I am stretched and have the opportunity to live out the lessons God is teaching.
I have the privilege of serving as administrator at our church and work alongside others who are committed to taking their own thoughts captive to obey Christ and setting a good example for those who look to them for spiritual leadership.
Each week we meet together for prayer. And at our most recent staff meeting, we walked throughout our facility and prayed for the different individuals and ministries that made use of each area. What a powerful exercise!
If you can’t pray with your co-workers because they aren’t believers or because it’s prohibited, I encourage you to meet regularly with a group of fellow believers and commit to seek the Lord together. What an awesome privilege it is!
And finally …
The Lord uses each of these things I mentioned up to this point to help me take my thoughts captive to obey Christ: replacing doubt with faith, despair with hope, exhaustion with energy.
He also uses the words of countless authors. My bookshelves—physical and virtual—are overflowing with treasured volumes that help me know Him better.
And, of course, the most treasured book of all, the Bible, is indispensable.
May we treasure these and other resources God has blessed us with.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.Mike from MS