Do you remember Otis from the Andy Griffith Show? He was the town drunk that would stumble into the sheriff’s office, walk straight into his favorite cell, and then close and lock the door behind himself. That show had many great characters and, admittedly, Otis was one of my favorites.
The teens just got back from a week at camp and the theme was ‘Every Thought Captive’ taken from 2 Corinthians 10:5 – “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive very thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if our thoughts were like Otis and just waltzed right into the jail and locked themselves up? Unfortunately, though, our thoughts require our conscious pursuit, courageous engagement, and resolute detainment. Without purposefully controlling our thoughts, the enemy will see to it that they run amok.
Thoughts about discontentment, comparisons with others, what-if’s, worrying, grudges, temptations; all such things are not of God and therefore need to be forcibly captured and removed from our minds.
Furthermore, an appropriate illustration comes from gardening. If you pull a weed and leave the newly bare space alone, another weed will quickly take its place. However if you pull a weed and then and then plant something in its stead, the new plant will control unwanted growth in that space. Once you have captured ungodly thoughts, you must immediately replace them with what Paul outlines in Philippians 4:8 – “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy – think about such things” (abbreviated).
Today, may you be aware of the thoughts running through your mind. May God give you the strength to police them so that anything that is not focused on honoring our Lord is captured and made obedient to Christ.