Christian, have you ever been stupefied over some of the thoughts that go through your mind? Even worse, have these thoughts caused you to feel condemned and wondering, “If I am a brand-new creation in Christ, how could I possibly think such things?” I know I have.
In today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, we are going to discuss the daily battle going on in the believer’s mind and the battle plan Christ gives us in His Word so that we can walk in daily victory.
The verse we are going to focus on today is Song of Solomon 2:15:
“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”
Catch the foxes for us
An entire library could be written on the importance of following our Beloved’s command to catch the foxes. These foxes are the lies being fed to our minds by our enemy, and it is our responsibility to “catch” them.
A New Testament parallel to this verse is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. In this epistle, he was responding to the accusations of false teachers who had infiltrated the church and were attacking his integrity and authority as an apostle. Rather than viewing this conflict as a battle against flesh and blood, Paul recognized that it was a spiritual battle and described it in the language of military warfare:
Please notice that Paul is not referring to walking by the flesh (in dependence on the flesh), but walking in the flesh in this passage. This means that we live in a physical realm experienced through our physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Paul is pointing out that the battle he is experiencing is one in which the real culprits are hidden from his natural radar. His battle is against the unseen spiritual fortresses of “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.”
The Greek words used for speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God refer to thoughts that are hostile or antagonistic to Christ and His Word. These thoughts can rightfully be described as enemies of Christ because they oppose Him and His Word. And Paul instructs us to take every one of these enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
Practically speaking, what does it mean for us to take these enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ? First, the obvious must be stated. Soldiers capture their enemies, not their fellow soldiers. These enemy thoughts cannot originate within the new heart of a believer. I will say that again, just in case you didn’t catch it the first time. These enemy thoughts cannot originate within the new heart of a believer. They are introduced through sources outside the new heart. One of these sources is the flesh—the patterns stored in our physical brains that are rooted in deception and interfere with our dependence on Christ’s Spirit. Let’s take a look at a diagram of “The Flesh.”
Please notice that these patterns are not part of, but are outside our new man (our spiritual hearts). A commonly held misconception is that the thoughts of man are generated in the brain. Yet scripture describes them as being formed in the heart or spirit (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 1:51; Heb. 4:12).
Our brain is a computer where information is received, processed, and stored. Information received from our environment through our physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch will either reflect truth or lies, depending on its original source. Information that comes from our new hearts (the union of our new spirit with Christ’s Spirit) will always reflect truth. All truth ultimately finds its origin in Jesus (John 14:6). At the opposite end of the spectrum is Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). The word father in Greek means “generator.” All lies are generated by our enemy.
Information, whether in the form of truth or lies, enters our brains as thoughts. These thoughts could be classified as godly (truth), neutral (factual truth), or ungodly (lies). The believer’s brain can receive ungodly thoughts from outside sources, but ungodly thoughts cannot be generated in his or her new heart. Further evidence of this can be found when we examine what it means to take ungodly, enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Let’s look at Philippians 2:8 to find out what the “obedience of Christ” was:
Through Christ’s humble obedience in laying down His life on the cross, He caused all who would believe in Him to become the righteousness of God through their co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Him (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6; 1 Pet. 1:3). Those who are “the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ” cannot generate unrighteous (ungodly) thoughts. They have “the mind of Christ,” which means they possess His thoughts, feelings, and purposes (1 Cor. 2:16 AMPC). To “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” then, means to judge the thoughts we experience in light of the truth of our righteous identity in Christ.
If the thoughts we experience are ungodly, they didn’t come from our new hearts but from sources outside of it, which ultimately find their genesis in Satan. If they are godly, they either came from our new hearts (new spirits united with Christ’s Spirit) or godly outside sources, such as the Bible. If they are neutral, they came from factual outside sources.
When we first become aware of an ungodly thought, we must acknowledge that it did not originate with us but with Satan, the generator of all lies. Then, we need to take it captive by saying out loud, “That is not my thought! I refuse to own it, meditate on it, or act on it! I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, and I have the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart.”
We can enjoy many days of peace when we understand that the ungodly thoughts infiltrating our minds are foreign trash and we don’t have to accept them.
Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I will be sharing more of Satan’s strategies in the battle going on in our minds in future posts, so please stay tuned.
Now, I would love to interact with you concerning today’s content by asking you a couple of questions:
- Prior to reading this post, did you realize that not every thought you experience (hear in your mind) comes from you?
- Now that you have been made aware of how your enemy, Satan, can put thoughts in your mind, what is your battle plan?
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Until next time,
P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.
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Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070