Since we serve a God of grace and mercy, He is not going to leave us defenseless against Satan’s onslaught of thoughts and temptations. Jesus understands our battle against the enemy because He battled him as well. You know your personal battles, so what are you going to do with the thoughts that come from the enemy and compete with the Word of God? You’re going to take them captive and cast them down as an evil imagination. That’s what the Word directs you to do!
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
What does it mean to bring every thought into captivity? It means considering the origin of every thought you have, including every feeling, every emotion, every picture—everything that surges through your consciousness. Those feelings, apprehensions, and thoughts can cause biological manifestations. They may be a trap from the enemy, who then manipulates your biology. You become a disciple of error. But you’re not called by God to be a disciple of error; you’re called to be a disciple of truth.
How do you defeat error? You read, study, and meditate on God’s Word. Then, you recognize the source of your thoughts by how they measure against the Scriptures. And you reject any thoughts that do not line up with His Word. You study the Word of God, you meditate on the Word of God, and you live by the Word of God. As a result, you can use the Word of God to expose the spots and blemishes in your spirit and soul. (See 2 Corinthians 7:1; 10:5.) No one can do this for you. You learn to embrace the Word of God for yourself.
Unfortunately, for most Christians, the villain knows God’s Word better than they do. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he quoted from the Psalms and Deuteronomy. Satan is banking on the fact that you won’t be familiar enough with the truth of God’s Word, so he can successfully tempt you to become his. He can control your thinking and then blame you as if that thought was original to you! So, you have the bad thought and the guilt of it—all from his hands. We can be so easily duped by the enemy!
When thoughts come to you that you are not loved by God or that God has rejected you, take hold of those thoughts and ask yourself, “Where did these thoughts come from? Did they originate from the Word of God?” No, they didn’t, because God’s Word says that, as Christians, God dwells in us and loves us, and that nothing shall be able to separate us from His love. (See 1 John 4:15–16; Romans 8:38–39.)
You need spiritual discernment concerning the source of your thoughts. Spiritual discernment requires examining the origin of a thought with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thoughts also originate in your own mind. If your own thoughts don’t line up with the Word of God, cast them down in the same way!
If dread comes to tempt you, if fear comes to tempt you—fear of tomorrow, fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of death, or any of the other four thousand-plus types of fear that may come to speak to you—you can go directly to the Word of God and declare, “That’s not from God. According to His Word, God has not given us the spirit of fear! I’m not listening to that any longer!” You take hold of it and you cast it down as an imagination.
God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The lies from the enemy that you once meditated on will become a diminished part of your persona because you’re not focusing on them anymore. It will become easier and easier to cast down a lying thought from the enemy. You will understand it for what it is, you will cast it down, and you will move on. That is how you become an overcomer. No one else can do this for you. Only you can do this.
Casting down imaginations is a powerful weapon that God has given us to fight the enemy. Why would you ignore His help? That would be like a soldier going into battle and leaving his rifle behind. Cast down those imaginations and anything else that doesn’t measure up to the knowledge of God. What is the knowledge of God? It is power; it is love; and it is a sound mind!
Dr. Henry W. Wright
Ask Father God, in Jesus’s name, to help you recognize and flag thoughts that are not from Him. Ask the Lord to increase your knowledge of Him and your discernment of the enemy so that you not only can walk out of the old ways but also walk into newness and wholeness of life. Ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit to overcome and defeat the thoughts and works of the enemy in your life.