2006-03-22 - Every Thought Captive
1 Chronicles 28:9, "...for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts."
The title I have used above is stolen from a great book under the title, "Every Thought Captive." (It is also stolen from the Bible: 2 Corinthians 10:5) However, the book has little or nothing to do what I hope we will engage in here. I want to ask you to think a little about your thought life. It is not a fun topic, because we all fall short in this area, but to examine this important issue is worth a little wiggling in our seats from discomfort. The above verse tells us that the Lord even knows the intents of our thoughts and this is confirmed elsewhere in Scripture, for example Psalm 139:2, "Thou dost understand my thought from afar." In Genesis 6:5, we read that the Lord saw the thoughts of man and that all the intents of his heart were evil only. It is clear from God's Holy Word that He knows our thoughts. Let us try to generate some thoughts on thoughts.
The more we think sinful thoughts the less evil those thoughts appear to be to us. If we dwell in the gutter, even something that is unclean to most will appear to us to be less of a sin. Hence we forget that there are no "less" when it comes to sin. Sin is an abomination to God. Sin is sinful. Sinful thoughts are the seeds of actual sins that are committed, and are sin themselves. We could take a glance at the ten commandments and ponder our thought life. For a moment let us think of the third commandment, thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. This transcends to our thought life. When we think lightly of God, when we do not give Him glory as He deserves, when we downplay his sovereignty, omniscience, power, and immutability in our thought life, we are crossing the line into sin. One of the reasons why we do not take the name of the Lord in vain is to give Him the glory that His name deserves. When we, in our thought life, downplay His glory, we ignore the very words of Christ in the Lord's prayer, "Hallowed by Thy name." (Matthew 6:9)
Our thought life can also fall into the trap of self-righteousness. We might think that we are not as sinful as we really are. There are not many things that will keep us from resting in Christ more than thinking self-righteous thoughts. We come to Christ because we are needy, helpless, and not because we have all our ducks in a row. Sin has had devastating effects upon us and to think self-righteously excludes the reality of our need of Christ's righteousness imputed to us. Along these lines are prideful, boastful, and vain glorious thoughts. In James 4:6 we are told that God is opposed to the proud.
The above is rather negative, so let's take a moment and consider some helpful, positive thoughts that are pleasing to God. The Lord is pleased when we cultivate humility in our thoughts. Forgiving thoughts and when we contemplate God's majesty and wonder are pleasing to the Lord. God is pleased with thoughts that are thankful both to others and to Him for good done to us or for us. These thoughts are such as are pleasing to our Lord.
I would encourage us all to seek to consecrate our thought life. We are to live to a higher standard, and higher calling in Christ. Our faith is more than sitting in a pew once or twice a week in a building full of mostly like-minded people. Our faith impacts all areas of our lives and this includes our thought life. Knowing that the Lord understands our thoughts and even the intents of our thoughts, let us be sure to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Soli Deo Gloria,