It's one of those random memories frozen in my head. I was with a group of girls from church at one of the annual church camps, I don't remember which one, I just remember that randomly throughout the time together we'd all chant, "Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 B!" (Always putting extra emphasis on the "B" for some reason.) And years later - I don't remember why that was the verse we memorized that weekend or what sermon we heard based on it - but I remember the verse. I have a feeling that whoever taught the lesson or preached the sermon though is ok with that.
So let's look at this passage:
2 Corinthians 10
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We 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. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
In context it seems to be saying that taking our thoughts captive is part of the spiritual warfare we fight - part of the ongoing struggle of the battle between living in this world and not operating our lives in a carnal way. Taking our thoughts captive is part of how we win that war - how we fight - how we demolish "every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God."
When I think of "capturing" something or keeping something "captive" I think of a wild animal. Now, I'm sure there are a variety of reasons to capture a wild animal and not all of them valid or beneficial - but I'm going to focus on a couple of reasons: 1) The animal is a danger to humans and needs to be contained and relocated or eliminated (like my euphemism?) or 2) The animal would be useful is trained and therefore will be captured, broken, trained, and put to use.
Some thoughts are just plain deadly - figurative if not literally for many people - thoughts about how the world says our worth is found. Thoughts that seek to devalue us based on our appearance or our abilities or our relationships (or lake thereof). They kill our spirit and our motivation - stopping us in our tracks and making us unable to do that which God has called us to.
Other thoughts just need to be broken - need to learn to be obedient to God. Satan is the master of deception - every lie he speaks has a hint of truth and it is that truth that we first cling to. But when we don't take EVERY THOUGHT to Christ then it is easy to go in the wrong direction.
I know the more often I am reading scripture the easier it is to align my thoughts with Christ's. And when I memorize it, as I often don't do, it's even easier - the verses just pop into my head when I need them to realign my thoughts. The proverb, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" proves true - His word is what gives us the power to obey His word - to demolish strongholds.
p.s. I know there are a couple of girls that grew up with me in the youth group who read this blog- - anyone else remember chanting that verse?