Our warfare is in our minds. Our victory is there too. Thoughts make up arguments which become strongholds. They can be strongholds for Christ, a place of refuge where we return to the truths meditated and experienced in Christ. Or they can be strongholds of torment and shame, where all that Christ has accomplished seems to be of no effect, as we find ourselves prisoners to our own thoughts.
Freedom comes, in our practice of Christ’s words, as our thoughts. When we choose His word to be our thoughts. Let me give an example: Suppose you are enjoying time with the Lord or busy in your day and your thoughts begin down a path of anxiety or condemnation. Thoughts and emotions will always mix, so before long you are feeling anxious or condemned. At first, you try to ignore them, and then reason as you wonder, “How do I answer the charge?” This can go on for hours with no relief as your thoughts convolute into feelings of hopelessness and shame.
It’s time to have another thought.
Your thoughts and emotions have exalted themselves above the knowledge of Jesus. They have usurped His authority and victory. We think we must resolve the issue before going on. No! Christ has already resolved every charge against us, and overcome every threat pursing us. We can start a new thought. Push “stop” in your mind, consciously disengage from your thoughts and feelings, and then rise above the negativity—and think on Christ.
When we think on Christ, we are choosing to agree with His victory, His promises and His freedom. His word is truth. When the word declares “freedom”, it is ours to think freedom. When it says “joy”, it is ours to enjoy. When it says “love”, it is ours to experience. Taking our thoughts captive, and making them to agree with the truths in God’s word, is how we build strongholds in God—for us to enjoy life and not fear.
Our mouths can help too.
Saying out loud, what we want to think, will make our minds stop to listen. We may not be able to change our thinking until we change our speaking. Say what you want to think. Talk out loud the truth you want to think, and soon you will be thinking these thoughts. You having taken your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.