One of the most tragic things we can do as a Christian is to let our thoughts go unchecked. Another thing I know from my own life is that a thought can hold you captive to the point that  you are unable to move forward in life. This is why the Bible tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ in 2 Cor 10:5. The challenge I have for each man is to get up each day and examine your thoughts. This way you will not have to speculate on what God wants from you.

From Charles Swindoll:

As the Spirit of God attempts to communicate His truth to us, He runs up against the “wall” of our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. Along with the wall-like fortresses, we have natural, humanistic reasonings that give the wall additional strength.

I’m thinking of those defense mechanisms, rationalizations, and other thinking patterns that are habitual to us. In Romans 2:15 we read of two such “guards” – blaming and justifying.

As the Lord God pushes His truth to enter (and thus “renew”) our minds, our habitual reflex “guards” the entrance of such alien thoughts! This explains why there is often such a battle that rages when biblical truth is introduced into a mind that has been walled and guarded by years of secularized thinking. We defend the old rather that consider and accept the new.

This could have happened in your own mind when you read what the Scriptures teach on forgiveness. It also may occur when you read what the Bible teaches us to do when we have offended someone. More than likely, you found yourself resisting and defending. I certainly did when I first discovered those truths! We would much rather blame the other person than accept our responsibility. Our “speculations” work like that. They put up a guard against change, causing us to rationalize and justify our actions.

Accompanying the resistance of our internal wall and guards are “lofty things” that reinforce our defense system from within (2 cor 10:5). It’s the idea of a thing lifted up or exalted.

What comes to your mind right now? How about pride? And those things pride prompts: argumentation, an unteachable spirit, stubbornness, and refusal to change. Is that striking a nerve yet?

As the principles of the Scriptures are declared, our natural, unrenewed minds not only resist them, they ask, “Who needs that?” or “I’ve gotten along pretty good up ’til now.” These are the lofty things that are “raised up against the knowledge of God,” as Paul put it (2 Cor 10:5).

We need to destroy those things . . . . . before they destroy us.

Excerpted from “Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living.” 1981, by Charles Swindoll

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