At the Tip of the Sword

by Pastor Mark Jordan

Note: Pastor Mark wrote and scheduled several daily waters before the untimely passing of his daughter. He will be away for an undetermined period of time. As you pray to God in your devotion time, please remember the Jordan family.

“We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5b, NOG)

I read a quote the other day that stopped me in my tracks: “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love” (Brené Brown). How does that strike you?

I want you to think about your inner dialogue. What do you say to yourself? How do you celebrate your victories, overcomes your defeats, and manage your mistakes? Personally, I am harder on myself than almost everybody else. There are a few who seem to relish in my mistakes and failures, and I’ve been known to mimic their voices and words in my own inner dialogue. This is so destructive. Can you relate?

The Apostle Paul wrote today’s verse in a larger section about the problems we run into while trying to make sense of life by worldly and human means. Paul writes about demolishing arguments, casting out pride, and breaking down the strongholds of hubris using the Word of God. He then went on to say, which is today’s verse, that we need to take every thought captive so it is obedient to Christ.

The Biblical language refers to holding a thought captive as you would an enemy combatant at the tip of a sword. Once the thought knows it can’t go anywhere safely, it becomes obedient to the power of the one holding it captive. Let me make an important point here, though — the temptation is to think you have the power over the thought, but you don’t…the One with the power over those nefarious thoughts is the Word of God, Jesus Christ, living within you. The Apostle Paul “referenced this, though in a slightly different context, in Ephesians 6:17, “the word of God (is) the sword that the Spirit supplies.” God wants you to use His Holy Word as the tip of the word to hold captive the destructive thoughts you have; especially those enemy words that populate your inner dialogue.

Can you speak to yourself today as someone you love? Your inner dialogue can be helpful and constructive. All too often it is destructive, but you aren’t powerless; no, you have the Spirit in you, bringing you the power of God’s living word! Know that the Living Word of God loves you eternally, and only wants to speak words of love into you. Hear them. Internalize them. Let them challenge and change you. For this is God’s preferred work of all.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me and sharing your holy Word with me. Please forgive me the times I allow my inner dialogue to speak destructive words to me. By the power of your Spirit living within me, help me to take those nasty thoughts captive so I may be obedient to you, inside and out. I ask this in the holy, healing, and helping name of Jesus. Amen.

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