Bringing every thought into captivity to Christ? How?

I woke up at 2:00 am, my mind thrashing away about things I was falling behind on, the new pains I was getting, the horrible way people dealt with each other in the movie I watched last night, and on and on it went. My mind was all over the place, like a herd of startled wildebeest.

It worried me, because if I don’t have the power to bring just those thoughts “into captivity,” how can I bring EVERY thought “into captivity to Christ,” as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:5?

Well, I’ve clearly learnt that I can’t. Once my mind gets started on something it’s impossible to get it to stop. I’m just like Eve who couldn’t stop thinking about the forbidden fruit, and the Israelites who couldn’t get their minds off wanting what other nations had.

But why would God give us a mind like that? Why give us the remarkable ability to think, but not the ability to control everything we think, as well? Why give us powerful drives and appetites but not a powerful braking system that automatically kicks in every time our thoughts race out of control or drift off course? It’s like giving a teenager the keys to a Ferrari and expecting him to drive at the speed limit. Of course he can’t. So why would God expect us to keep our minds at his speed limits too, when he gave us minds that can’t?

Because, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9, our helplessness allows Christ’s power to be made perfect in us. What we lack in our brains is the power of Christ, and what better way is there of helping us admit it and want it, than hurtling through life in a Ferrari approaching a right angle bend and finding the brakes don’t work? That’s me at 2:00 am; I’m a Ferrari with weak brakes, a mind full of racing thoughts I cannot control, and it’s scary, because where might my thoughts take me if I can’t stop them?

We know the answer to that, because look at the state of our world today, with its endless and unsolvable conflicts in families, nations, between neighbours, and even among religious people too, and all because we cannot stop the thoughts in our heads that stir these conflicts in the first place. Clearly, then, we need a power in our brains that we don’t have, and that’s what Paul came to realize, but it turned into something wonderful, because any time his own brain failed him, he could turn to Christ for the power to bring his thoughts into captivity, and Christ’s power was right there for him.

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