Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Take Every Thought Captive
by John Paul Jackson

Every day, we make a series of choices. Some are trivial, such as what shirt to wear, while others determine success or failure in our lives. Scripture clearly reveals that we are who we are, and we are where we are because of various choices we have made. We make choices�and then our choices make us!

Over the years, I have taught many times about the �Law of Focus.� That spiritual law simply says that �what you focus on, you make room for.� It sounds simple, but its effects are enormous. The Law of Focus is certainly evident in the issue of our decision-making skills.

From the atmosphere of our thought life, we make various decisions. Therefore, what we �focus on� causes an atmosphere of thoughts to surround us which influences the decision we are about to make.

Our focus can come from the books we read, movies we see, songs we listen to, and even the conversations we have. All of these form the spiritual, or in some cases soulish, atmosphere from which our choices are made.

The old adage, �garbage in, garbage out� deeply applies to our thought life. Those thoughts form the basis for the choices we made, we are making, or we are about to make. Errant focus produces an errant atmosphere of thinking, and results in errant choices. The Bible calls this atmosphere �darkened thinking� or �darkened understanding.� Darkened thinking comes from living in an atmosphere that lacks light and results in tainted spiritual perspectives. Tainted perspectives will always result in tainted decisions that can create devastating consequences.

Conversely, �enlightened thinking� comes from moving within the eternal light of God�s Kingdom. True enlightened thinking can only come from God, and occurs when His presence is the central focus of our thoughts. If we live in the atmosphere of God�s light, we will automatically think differently about what we observe.

As God becomes our focus, we make room for His thoughts to illuminate our understanding. The chain continues: our thoughts come from what we make room for. Our thoughts then determine our choices, and those choices determine our destiny. Thus, it is what is inside our hearts that makes all the difference, and the difference is made when we �choose� what goes on inside our minds. We must build God�s Kingdom within our thought life.

Repeated cycles in our lives are the result of wrong choices, no matter how good or justified they seemed at the time. No wonder the Apostle Paul exhorted us to take every thought captive and to be renewed in the spirit of our mind�thinking about things that are good, kind, lovely, holy, pure, just, virtuous, and praiseworthy!

When we enter into this higher level of Kingdom thinking, we can receive the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:20-14). We will have the ability to know the mysteries of life. We will be able to think in spiritual terms and on a spiritual plane that we could not before. Therefore, we can experience transformation as we clothe ourselves with a brand new understanding �which is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you� (Colossians 3:10, NLT).

God will move mountains to create the opportunity for you to walk in His perfect will. It is up to you to be ready to choose the opportunities He has chosen for you.


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