The Bible tells us that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. That is simple to understand, but sometimes seems really difficult to do. Many of us have tried to not think fearful or sinful thoughts, yet it can often seem like the more we try to not think those thoughts; the more we think about them. Even when we try to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, we only see marginal improvement as our mind is constantly wondering to all the wrong places.
So how do we take our thoughts captive? Jesus gave us the answer in Matthew 6:31:
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
According to Jesus, we take a thought when we speak it. When we speak fear, worry, and unbelief we are taking those thoughts and in turn taking positive thoughts captive. On the other hand, when we speak the promises of God when we are bombarded with thoughts of fear and worry, we are taking negative thoughts captive!
I want to emphasize, We can’t take negative thoughts captive by trying to replace them with positive thoughts. The way we take a thought is by speaking the word!
Your ears hear the words you speak. According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. This doesn’t say faith comes by thinking. Something supernatural happens when we hear the word of God!
I usually illustrate this point during a church service by asking the audience to begin to count silently in their head from 1 to 100 until I give them a different instruction. After a few seconds I’ll ask them to tell me their name. All of a sudden, everyone in the crowd blurts out their name. I then ask, what was the number you were on when I asked you to say your name? Most people don’t remember and the ones that do usually have to take a few seconds to recall the last number they had counted. This is because God designed human beings to focus on the words they hear.
Jesus wants to wash our minds with the water of his word, but he can only do it as hear it and declare it over our lives! I want to encourage you to speak the promises of God over yourself this week. When thoughts of fear, sin, or discouragement come against you don’t just sit and take them. Speak God’s promises over your life! As you put your focus on the promises the negative thoughts will be held captive and the Holy Spirit will have free reign in your thought life!