Learning how to take thoughts captive can be a bit puzzling. I struggled for years, wondering if changing the way I think was even possible. I would even look up Bible verses about controlling your thoughts, but couldn’t quite put all the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that worked.
Before we dive into Bible verses about controlling your thoughts, I wanted to dispel a couple of myths I believed about taking thoughts captive. Believing those myths slowed my ability to change the way I think and I don’t want that to happen to you.
Don’t make these mistakes when trying to control your thoughts!
My first mistake was believing it was impossible to change the way I think. I came across an anonymous quote that said, “A thought is just a thought and it can be changed.” I remember rolling my eyes in disgust. I knew my thought life was a problem, but felt powerless. So I continued in my negative thinking for a bit longer. Do you feel powerless over your thought life, too?
The second mistake I made was believing it was too hard. When I would work so hard (in my own strength), I would see a glimmer of hope, but it was always short lived. As a result I would give up. I mean, seriously, how long do I have to battle my mind?
Which brings me to the third mistake. I had this crazy idea that once I figured out how to control my thoughts it would never be a problem again. Boy, is that wrong! The battlefield of the mind is an area that we will continue to have to stand firm. Once you see the Bible verses about controlling your thoughts – you will have deeper understanding of the thought life we’re aiming for (and we will fall short). Why we’re aiming there and how we actually get there.
Quick summary of the myths – you can control your thoughts (hard to believe, I know, but stay with me). It’s not too hard (though it does take effort). And finally, you won’t arrive on the other side of this battle while on here on earth.
Don’t buy on these above mentioned myths like I did. These mindsets rendered me a victim to an out of control thought life.
Alright, enough of that – let’s get on with the Bible verses about controlling your thoughts.
Bible Verses About Controlling Your Thoughts
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy I doc should think about such things. Phillippians 4:8
This verse is like the target we’re aiming for in our thought life. I have to confess, my own thought life misses the mark on it the very first thing… whatever is true. It’s so easy to think on things that simply aren’t true.
When thoughts swirl in our head we often make the mistake of treating them like facts. Those thoughts hang around completely hidden and unchallenged.
Our thoughts are heavily influenced by life experiences from childhood until now. Meaning they’re shaped by our perception. As a result, thoughts can be inaccurate. Those inaccurate thoughts are the very thoughts we want to take captive and control.
You might be wondering why it’s so important to take those thoughts captive…
Why should we control our thoughts?
Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Our thoughts powerfully impact our emotions and actions. The cycle goes like this…
We have a thought (that we treat like a fact), which brings up feelings in us and we respond to those feelings by doing something.
If the original thought is lovely, delightful or true, it will bring up happy emotions and actions. When the thought is anxious, depressive or negative etc, -we don’t feel good and our actions follow suit.
Now the million dollar question – how do we control our thoughts? What is this magic life changing formula? The only book that can truly change your life is the Word of God. Let’s look at Bible verses about controlling your thoughts.
How do we actually control our thoughts?
My biggest downfall is attempting to control my thoughts in my own strength. Consequently I wear out, fall short and give up.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Bringing your weaknesses to God, who gives grace abundantly, is far more effective. We aren’t perfect, nor is our thought life perfect – but the grace of Christ is sufficient. Stop beating yourself up and give it to Him.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
We are not intended to bear the burden alone. It’s grace that comes alongside us to help bear the load. In addition to grace, we’re equipped to wage war against thoughts that are out of control.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:17-18
These Bible verses about controlling your thoughts are an outline of the weapons for fighting – sword of the Spirit (Bible) and pray in the Spirit. Both of those weapons are powerful because of the Holy Spirit. He is our helper – studying and praying is powerful because the Holy Spirit dwells in you and I (believers).
The Bible is powerful in controlling your thoughts!
The Word of God is Truth. Remember when we were talking about how our thoughts aren’t as truthful to us as we’d like to think? The Bible is our guide for truth.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
What we think isn’t always accurate – that’s when we line it up against God’s Word. The better you know the Bible the easier this process becomes.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I’ve read that the best time to plant fruit trees is 20 years ago. But the second best time is now. I wasn’t raised in a home that taught from the Bible. Truthfully, I didn’t make it a priority in my life until my late twenties. God brought a bible study into my life that changed everything! This bible study is free in all over the world. Bible Study Fellowship taught me how to study the Bible – see if there’s one near you!
Now you have the formula. These Bible verses about controlling your thoughts are how you take thoughts captive.
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
Wrapping It All Up
I remember googling things like ‘Bible verses about controlling your thoughts’ hoping to get a quick fix. Consequently, I would give up on the Bible. There are no quick fixes when it comes to having a wonderful thought life. It takes effort and practice. But, the Word of God will transform your thought life if you believe it’s true.
When you begin the journey to change your thinking – do it in God’s strength, letting His grace wash over you when you fall short. Use the weapons you’ve been given – the Word and prayer. Expect thoughts to pop in your mind that need to be taken captive as long as you’re on the side of heaven. Be encouraged because now you have a plan.
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What additional Bible verses help you in the battle of your mind? Leave a comment!