I have always enjoyed in the Scriptures things that are commanded by God for us to do that are in a sense impossible. “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26) And so of course they are not possible for us to do, but the Lord can work thru us to accomplish the works that He would have us to do, it is in a sense a cooperative, He is wanting the works to be accomplished, and we are to be willing to allow Him to do these works thru us. We are to be empty vessels willing to be filled.
Why did Christ tell them to roll the stone away from the tomb of Lazarus, why did He ask people if they had enough faith to believe, why are we to pray, but be content with His will. It is the Lord that does the work, but in His infinite wisdom, He asks us to partake in the work with Him, He does not need us to, He allows us to. There is a verse today that I would like to discuss with you. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) Can you do this, have you ever met anyone who can? The name of Jesus is a powerful forceful name, in His name all can be accomplished, we can cast out demons (Luke 10:17), throw trees into the bottom of the sea (Matt. 21:21), walk away from the wickedness of the world (Prov. 1:15), and learn to hate evil (Psalm 97:10), by faith all things are possible, (Mark 9:23) but can you keep every single solitary thought captive for Christ? Neither can I, and I don’t think that anyone has ever been able to, except Christ.
The human mind has a single-focused concentration level of about twenty seconds, and then if even for a moment, another thought enters our mind, and although it may not become the dominant thought, it still comes upon us and for a few moments interrupts what we like to call our main train of thought at that time. The linear path is interrupted by a side-track, and the focal point of our path is for a moment not the main issue. This can happen thousands of times a day, no matter how much we attempt to stay focused on the task at hand, whether it is something that our hands are doing, where our mind currently is, or in our prayer life, there is always another thought that interrupts. I know of individuals who can think upon several subjects at the same time while listening to two or three songs playing in their head while they are also accomplishing something with the body that our Lord has blessed them with. Others can barely handle one task at a time, and when a thought inadvertently enters their mind, or something distracts them from what they are trying to accomplish, they lack the ability to continue in what they were attempting to do. Keep every thought captive for Christ, all the time, never wavering, for the entirety of your life. Impossible.
So why ask us to do this, why ask human beings, although filled with the Holy Spirit of God, to do something that we will never be able to do in this life? The only answer, so far at least, that I have been able to come up with is so that we will learn to cast out. The old saying is garbage in, garbage out, the more time you spend in the world and all that it has to offer, the more you will contemplate the things of the world. If you think about your job, money, what you will eat today or tomorrow, when the bills need to be paid, that is what you will spend most of your time considering in your thoughts. To keep something captive infers that you are the jailor, and only you have the key, you are the dominant force in control over that something, and it does absolutely nothing without your approval. But thoughts cannot be kept behind bars, ten foot thick walls of solid steel cannot keep them contained, they are more porous than water, they are of finer particles than the air itself, you might as well try to reap the wind, without diligent training they will do as they please, even with the most extreme efforts of constant training they will escape, we are fearfully and wonderfully made my friends. (Psalms 139:14) Garbage in, garbage out, Word of God in, Word of God out, Biblical Truths in, Biblical principles applied.
My beautiful wife has almost forty verses of the Bible memorized, word for word, exact location, since she has started on this journey, I have watched her demeanor grow by leaps and bounds. It is very difficult to be thinking of anything else when you are reciting a few dozen Scripture verses in your mind, but I have observed her doing other tasks while she accomplishes this incredible feat at the same time. How do you keep every thought captive for Christ when your mind is going thru verses of the Word of God and you are vacuuming at the same time? We are most definitely fearfully and most wonderfully made. We are not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing of our minds, (Romans 12:2) we must live in this world, but not be a part of it. There are certain things that you know you shouldn’t be putting in there, and there are things that you will never be able to forget, or cast away, until that day that you are finally glorified.
We are determined to be what we allow to enter into us, what you sow is what you will reap, (Gal. 6:7) it is our mind, our free wills that make this determination, if the majority of your time is spent on a subject, that subject will be what you contemplate the majority of the time, and that choice is yours. It is called free will, and I mean no offence, but all the prompting of the Holy Spirit cannot stop you from exercising your free will. If you want to think about food, pornography, your job, the Word of God, whatever you want to think about you have the ability to do so, that is the gift of free will, but if you desire to keep every thought captive for Christ, and you have the only key to accomplish this task, then all the words of Christ are what you are to be holding captive. You must stand outside of the door of this cell of captive thoughts and keep all those that are not for Christ’s Glory out. Like I said, an impossible task. What growth is there in the life of a Christian though without some form of sacrifice, He who has sacrificed everything is asking us to sacrifice so little in this area if you really think about it. “I went to the cross for you, I paid a debt for you that I did not owe, and I did it of my own free will because I love you,” and all that He is asking us to do in this verse is to keep our thoughts on Him. Christ did for us what was impossible for us to do, without Him there would be no hope for anyone, ever.
I do not need to tell you that keeping every thought captive for Him is difficult, you are aware of that already, like I mentioned, it is virtually impossible, even with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Look at it like this then if you will, it is a life-long task worth undertaking, it requires more effort and sacrifice than anything else that you will attempt, for it must be considered every single second of every single day. Every waking thought that does not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ must be cast away, every time, and I am sorry to have to tell you this, but you will fail, we all have and will continue to do so until that final day. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try, every time the stone tries to roll away, we must push it back, if we step away, something will creep in and we will need to cast it out. This is not an incredible burden my friends, it is a joy and a blessing, and you will be amazed at the miracle that will happen in your life when you begin this journey. You will begin to hold every thought captive for Christ, and every thought over time will be about Christ. Works out pretty good, doesn’t it?