We’re excited about the official release of All Things New by Kelly Minter! This study features so many verses you probably know, but as Kelly unpacks 2 Corinthians, you’ll come to know these passages better and learn how they apply to you right now. We can’t wait to see how God uses this study to show you how He has made all things new. Below, we’ve featured an excerpt from the study. Click here to read a sample or to purchase online. Copies are also available in Lifeway stores everywhere.
We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.
2 Corinthians 10:4b-6
When it comes to tearing down these seemingly immovable walls, it’s extraordinarily hopeful to know we can pull them down with a power by which the word dynamite derived its name. No matter what wall is towering over you, you are not powerless in Jesus.
But there is another step after tearing down wrong thinking with God’s power. According to the second half of verse 5, what are we to take captive and make obedient to Christ?
In the original language, the phrase take captive means to take as prisoner of war. In Paul’s case, this meant that once he demolished the strongholds of false teaching, he was going to lead the Corinthians’ thinking in the ways of Christ.
Verse 5 might be familiar to you and you may be thinking, I’ve tried that—it doesn’t work. First, ask the Holy Spirit to show you this concept in a fresh way. Second, pay attention to the order in this passage.
- We can’t very well make our thoughts obedient to Jesus if we haven’t first torn down the fortress of false beliefs (arguments/pretensions) that protects those thoughts. (Blatant, unrepentant sin will also keep that wall impenetrable). We can only become aware of our false beliefs when we compare them to the truths of Scripture. Once we can see the stronghold we attack it with Scripture memory, meditating on passages that speak against the lies on which the stronghold is built. Prayer is also essential. We pray privately and with others, asking God to supernaturally tear down each piece.
- Once the central wall has been demolished we then take the negative thoughts that wall was protecting and make them obedient to Christ. I do this by confessing my wrong thinking to the Lord and asking Him to bring my thoughts in alignment with His truth. I also confide in trusted friends who will speak His truth to me.
- We make sure our obedience is complete rather than partial. After I’ve confessed any wrong thinking and any harmful actions that resulted from that thinking, I determine to walk in obedience. While the tendency might be to “mostly” obey, I ask the Lord to help me obey fully. I don’t want to miss anything He has for me. Also, being part of a community of believers is essential to walking in obedience. We need the encouragement, accountability, and prayers of our church community. Don’t buy into the lie that you can tear down long-standing strongholds alone.
Bottom line: sometimes we try to take our thoughts captive to Jesus without first dealing with a central sin in our lives. That wall has to come down before we’ll have the power to control our thinking.
Personal Response: What recurring negative thoughts do you battle, even after having experienced real victory in a certain area? For instance, you may have experienced the tearing down of a stronghold of anger but you still struggle with thoughts of getting even or firing attacks you know you’d regret. Maybe the Lord toppled a stronghold of lying and dishonesty in your life, but occasionally your knee-jerk reaction is to shade the truth to accomplish your agenda.