In 2 Corinthians 10:5 the Apostle Paul writes an intriguing verse. Here's what it says, "We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." I want to zero in on the last phase of this verse, "we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
Clearly the "we" in this passage is referring to believers in Christ but what does it mean by "taking every thought captive?" Then the next question becomes how do we do that? First let's define terms. What is a thought anyway? A thought is something about which your mind thinks. It might be a memory from the past. It might be something in the present about which you're thinking. Either way, it is a thought. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a thought as "an individual act or product of thinking."
So this phrase is concerned with capturing thoughts in our minds that are rogue thoughts and forcing them to obey Jesus Christ. What sorts of rogue thoughts need to be taken captive? I would submit they are sinful thoughts that do not glorify God such as: immoral thoughts, violent thoughts, self- harm thoughts, vengeful thoughts, greedy thoughts, jealous thoughts, profane thoughts to name just a few. Jesus wants to be lord over all of us including our thoughts!
Now the bigger question is, once I've caught myself thinking one of these sinful thoughts, how do I take it captive? The first step is to recognize that I am thinking a sinful thought. We usually don't realize when we think sinful thoughts. They flit through our minds in an instant. So step one is recognize the thought as ungodly and sinful. That's called capturing the thought.
Step two is calling it for what it is, a sinful thought. No rationalizing or denying. Call it for what it is. Ask God to forgive you for thinking that.
Finally, step three is to substitute a default thought to counter the sinful thought. In the purity ministry we teach men to visualize Jesus hanging on the cross, us as sinners, kneeling at the foot of His cross with our heads pressed up against the rough timber, the blood of Jesus dripping down hitting the back of the head and cleansing our sinful thoughts. This powerful image is rooted in scripture. 1 John 1:7 promises "if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
Sinful thoughts need not plague us. God has given us a way to deal with them. It's time for you and me to put it into practice and make Jesus Lord of all our lives.