As I was studying this section in scripture, and reading books on discipline (OUCH), I have discovered a few truths that are helping me.
How do we do it? How do we REALLY take every though captive to the obedience of Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Take some time to journal through these questions. (You might need to take quite a bit of time on these, and I highly encourage you to do it. Get to know yourself and what you are dealing with. Only then can we apply the full power of God's truth to the situation. If we don't know the situation, how can we apply the answer?)
1. You need to know what lies you are believing and thoughts you are letting run wild in your head. What are the lies in your head you might be believing? Maybe it's untruths like: I can't be forgiven. I will never be free of this sin. I won't ever be able to lose the weight. I am just an angry person. I was abused in the past and it's just who I am. I am unlovable. I can never forgive that person. I can't overcome this setback.
2. What thoughts and lies in our culture are you believing? Things like: I deserve better. Doing this is the only way I can unwind/relax/enjoy life. It's not really that bad, in the whole scheme of things. I deserve this pain and suffering. Everyone else does it.
3. What lies and thoughts do you believe about the Gospel? Maybe things like: It's too easy to just accept the gift of salvation, it can't be true. God can never love or forgive me. My prayers never make it through the ceiling. God is too busy to care about this. It's impossible to live a pure or righteous life in this culture.
Now that you've figured out some of your thoughts. How do you take them captive? The crucial part is to remember, it's not fleshly weapons that will give us victory. It's the spiritual ones.
1. Pray that God will convict you when you are entertaining these thoughts and lies. Pray he'll stop you immediately as soon as one pops up again and pray that He will show you His truth instead.
2. Begin really digging into the Word. You know which thoughts come up most in your head. Start finding scriptures that directly relate to that issue. Use a Bible concordance or search online for fitting verses then write them down and put there everywhere in your house. Jesus battled Satan only with the Word that He had in his head and heart. No psychology, no blogs or books or additional information. Only the word of truth.
Do NOT put this part off. In fact, start today. Settle down for just five minutes today and start finding and writing some verses out. Not sure where to start? Google "Scriptures for ______". Put in the area you struggle with like fear, lust, anxiety, or what you want to focus on like peace, wisdom, strength. Do this today. Really.
3. Remember this is not going to be an easy battle. Captives don't want to be incarcerated and they are always going to be looking for a way of escape. Be hard with these thoughts and lies. They are meant to destroy you. They are from the father of lies. Enter into a fierce battle. When they come up, quote your scripture, deny the lies, state the truth. Even out loud if you have to. And when they escape, drag them back. I even envision a prison cell and putting these thoughts there and then deliberately thinking about something else. Move. Sing a song. Do not allow yourself to sit outside that cell and look at the captives. Walk away and get on with life.
This section came from the new study coming soon on 2 Corinthians. I'd love to hear if you have any other ways you battle with taking thoughts captive.
Be sure to see the studies already written. They contain more of this real, practical, hands-on application, plus overviews of each chapters and help in how to fill your own Bible with titles and notes.