Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
Quick question…what do you think about when hear the word captive? My mind goes straight to kidnapping and imprisonment. I imagine an army force taking over an enemy army and capturing them and holding them captive. I imagine terrorists taking people captive and holding them for ransom. I imagine interrogations and delving into their lives. Even in extreme cases, I image them being executed.
In all these cases, I think in terms of the negative. The same holds true for the verse found in 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says, “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.” There is a very clear teaching here which directs us to take the negative, anti-Christ, self-serving thoughts that enter our minds and hold them captive and submit them to the truth of Christ. This is a very important teaching, and one that I think most of us need to do more often.
However, the other night with Mark Batterson was here for the prayer conference, he said something that totally changed how I thought about this verse.
What if instead of holding the untruths captive, we instead held the truths of Christ captive?
When I focus on the negative thoughts in my life, what I need to be doing is submitting them to the truth of Christ. The problem is, too often I just end up focusing on the untruth, and in many situations, it ends up holding me captive. I allow myself to get trapped into thinking these lies are true, that I am the problem, or that I am not good enough, or that God does not love me. It is very self-centered thinking, which is opposite of what Christ has called me to. What I need is to get rid of those thoughts; to drive out the lies that I am being held captive by. Christ is able to do that. But once that thought is gone… then what?
Matthew 12:43-45 tells the parable of the spirit that is driven out of a life. The house is made clean, but that spirit is likely to get seven of his friends and come back and make our lives even worse. The teaching is that we need to fill our lives with something else, with the Spirit of Christ. I think we too need to fill our thoughts with something else…something true.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
Let us hold captive the truths of Christ, the living word of God, every day, as a way of taking our eyes off of ourselves, and on to Him who has come to set us free. It is time to set the captives free, and be captivated by the truth of God’s word!