How do you take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ? Yesterday, I woke up and thanked God for a new day. I was blessed to go into work later than usual because the heart wasn’t starting until 10am. I got up, took the little dogs out, came back in, prayed, and read the word. This is my normal morning routine. Everything was great. Or so I thought.
The minute I got into the car to go to work, I was suddenly filled with worry and anxiety, the likes of which I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I was immediately thinking of the verse to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. But I couldn’t understand how to do that. My next immediate thought was to fast and pray for protection. I praised God for putting this idea in my head because I had just prayed for Him to teach me to fast and pray this new year. So with resolve in my heart and music to praise my God, I set out to fast and pray for protection and to find out what it really means to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Ezra 8 –
Fasting and Prayer for Protection
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
When I got to work, I was still overcome by a sense of dread. I was already in deep prayer to the Lord for protection, determined to fast until the sun set. I then started thinking about how to take my thoughts captive and the only thing I could think to do at that moment was to start singing to Him. I kept repeating “I have Decided to Follow Jesus” over and over and slowly the fear and worry started to dissipate. I did this all morning as I had surgery to focus on as well.
I ended up praying for and with my patient as he was a believer. As we prayed together before he went to sleep, more of the anxiety was alleviated. As the day progressed my fears just disappeared. I was so focused on the Lord, I was finally starting to understand how important fasting and praying could be.
Mark 9 – 14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
When it was time for my lunch break, I took my Bible and went outside to warm myself in the sun. I looked up the passage about taking every thought captive.
2 Corinthians 10 – 1 I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
The words in bold jumped out at me. Our weapons are not of the flesh! Our weapons are divine! I get it! We can’t just get rid of fear and anxiety in our own power. We have weapons that only come through our belief and faith in our Lord! I don’t know what was going on yesterday or why I was feeling so attacked. What I do know is that through the divine weapons of fasting and praying, my fears and anxieties were taken captive to the obedience of Christ! By lunch time I was set free! The rest of the day was awesome! Thank You God for Your protection! I love You!!!