Controlling Your Thoughts

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

The female brown-headed Cowbird doesn’t lay its eggs in a nest she built. Instead, a Cowbird searches until she finds another female bird–let’s say it’s a cardinal–that built a nest and laid eggs. The Cowbird sneaks into Mama Cardinal’s nest when she is away, removes one of Mama Cardinal’s eggs, and replaces it with an egg of her own.

Instead of kicking the Cowbird egg out of the nest, Mama Cardinal incubates the Cowbird egg along with her own. The baby Cowbird usually hatches first and grows very quickly. Most of the food Mama Cardinal gathers goes to feed Baby Cowbird. Baby Cowbird may even kick Mama Cardinal’s chicks out of the nest. Mama Cardinal’s nest is taken over by an intruder, and her plan to raise her baby birds fails.

Our thoughts can be like a Cowbird in Mama Cardinal’s nest—intrusive and destructive. We must be proactive in monitoring our thoughts and bringing them in line with God’s word. Our warfare is largely influenced by our thoughts. Our thoughts can be our enemy or our victory.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, the apostle Paul gives us instructions on conquering the battlefield in our mind.  He instructs us to, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” This means we must pay attention to our thoughts, and notice when we have negative or untrue thoughts. When we identify one of these thoughts, we capture it, we grab hold of it, we pray about that thought, and we replace it with a correct thought.

For example, if we find ourselves thinking, “I’m a loser,” we can replace that thought with, “I’m an overcomer.” We could replace, “Nobody cares about me,” with, “God’s love for me is unfailing.”

Eventually, an uncorrected negative or untruthful thought can become a stronghold that must be demolished. Just like the Cowbird egg becomes more and more destructive to the cardinal babies, lies and negative thoughts left to run wild become more and more destructive in our lives.

Our thoughts can propel us to victory or drag us down to defeat. Thoughts must be examined. They must be corrected when they are wrong. It’s like the old saying, “You can’t keep a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest there.” We may not be able to keep a destructive thought from entering our mind, but, with God’s help, we can make sure it doesn’t make its home there.

Dear God, help me identify thoughts that are negative or are untrue. I want to think positive thoughts and believe truth, not lies. Show me any strongholds in my thoughts and give me power to demolish those strongholds. Show me lies I have accepted as truth and reveal negative thoughts that hinder my walk with you. Lord, I want my thoughts to be my victory, not my enemy. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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