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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. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10 (NIV)

In the years of my ‘spiritual recovery’ these verses (along with others) exemplified the battle I endured and the awakening I had to what God’s grace really meant for me. Not only did I gain a new appreciation and understanding of grace, I realized the value grace gives me.

It’s so easy to let my mind wander; so easy to see a woman and admire her beauty and then, if I’m not careful have those thoughts linger.

It’s so easy to let the doubt of my ability creep in unaware and to lose sight of the fact that success doesn’t come from my ability to perform but from my openness to letting God use me through his Holy Spirit.

In my younger years we used to love playing ‘capture the flag’. We’d spend hours designating the prize, (the flag) and use whatever means possible to protect it from being ‘captured’ by the enemy.

In real life what is at stake is far more valuable. In real life the prize isn’t a flag or some other earthly item that has little real value. In real life the prize we protect is our peace of mind; our relationship with God; our relationship with others; those things we hold dear. But it can all be taken away with a fleeting thought; a lapse in judgment; a giving in to the desires of a ‘desperately wicked heart whom no one can trust.’

My failure at times to take captive my thoughts has taught me two things which I hold dear to my life. One is my desperate need for a Savior and my reliance on Jesus to empower me when attacks come through his Holy Spirit.

Secondly, I find myself far more patient and understanding when I hear the stories of those who, in a fleeting moment have let their thoughts be taken captive by the enemy. When I remember my own weakness and failure it is far easier to bear yours.

If you are in the midst of bearing the consequences of thoughts turned into actions let me assure you there is forgiveness at the foot of the cross through Jesus Christ.

If you are under that internal attack in which every thought seems to attempt to distract you from the goal; if the enemy is throwing everything at you to pull you away, let me remind you there is power in that blood of Jesus. He understands your weakness. He understands how easy it is to let rebellion, worry, doubt and sin enter in. He is near you, ready to forgive, strengthen and encourage.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I don’t know what battles of the mind will come my way. What I do know is that I’m weak in and of myself. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to take every thought captive so I can enjoy the passionate love relationship you desire to have with me. Amen.

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