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How to Take Every Thought Captive: The Battle for Your Mind

Last Updated: March 19, 2018

Rick Thomas
Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.  In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and in 1991 he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a  Fellow with Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Have you ever had someone accuse you of something that was not true? Have you ever accused yourself of something that was not true?

Either way, whether from you or another, any false argument launched against you can turn into a stronghold in your mind that will spiritually debilitate you.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

How to take every thought captive

We all are susceptible to false arguments that control our minds.

There are recurring thought patterns, if left unchecked, will become the dominating argument of a person’s mind, to the point where they become what the argument says they are.

An Example: Madison

Madison was such a person. She was bound by fear. Some call it insecurity, which is a fair term. She was an insecure young woman who was preoccupied by the arguments that swirled around in her head.

The controlling opinion of man was a stronghold that seemingly could not be broken. Even though she knew God’s opinion of her, as understood through the Gospel, should be the dominating opinion of her mind, it was not.

She had learned early in life that performing for others was the way to be accepted. Her daddy taught her this by his passive parenting model and in the brief moments when he did say something, it was generally discouraging.

This helped to shape her as a people-pleaser. She was motivated to not disappoint others and incur their displeasure. She became all things to all people with the hope of being accepted.

In time, she became what others expected her to be. Though her early years with Christ were met with excitement, eventually the old argument came back. The stronghold was never broken.

She never learned how to take every thought captive. She learned how to be saved, which she was, but she never learned how to grow into a new creation. Her former manner of life, which was corrupt through her deceptive desires to be liked, still had control of her mind.

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. (Ephesians 4:22-23)

She was still living the way she always lived and had not learned how to renew her mind according to true right living and true holiness. She was what I call an unbelieving believer–a Christian who still lives according to an un-Christian quality of life.

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

It’s a spiritual warfare.

Madison was in a warfare of the mind. It was her mind that was under attack. According to Paul, this was more than just a human, living in a human body, being attacked by the negativity of other humans.

Though that was true, it was more than that. We live in a spiritual world where there are real demonic forces who are out to destroy the knowledge of Christ that resides in us.

The evil spiritual world cannot utterly destroy us because Satan is not God’s evil equal. But there are demonic forces who would enjoy nothing more than to derail a child of God from making God’s name great in this world.

Paul called this a spiritual warfare in this passage. He tended to view his Christian life as a life of spiritual warfare. Knowing where the main battle comes from is huge when you go to war.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. (2 Corinthians 10:3)

Do you know you are in spiritual warfare? Do you know there is a relentless spiritual battle happening in this world and you’re part of it? You’re not a sideline reporter, but an active participant.

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:12)

What Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 10 is not new. Spiritual warfare has been going on since Adam and Eve took their first bite of disobedience. The Devil tried to knock them off and he succeeded to a degree. He and his are trying to circumvent the work of God in your life too.

Do you know you have weapons to fight these spiritual battles—weapons that are divinely empowered? Do you know these weapons are designed with the power to destroy the strongholds in your mind?

Madison did not know this. One of the tricks of the evil ones is to disorient and deceive you. This is what Satan did to Eve. This is what was happening to Madison. She had bought the lie.

She believed there was something wrong with her. Owning her faith and living as a new creation in Christ were nice theological words that had no effect on her life. She was so wrapped up in her own fear, she did not know how to live in the freedom and good of God’s Gospel.

What is a stronghold?

The forces that are against you in the spirit world are no different than the forces that are against you in the physical world, in that they both desire the same thing—to take your mind captive.

The real question is how are you going to respond and fight against the forces that are against you, regardless of what the forces are. You have the power resident within you to fight against the strongholds that seek to take your mind captive.

These weapons of warfare are the divinely empowered truths of the Gospel. The real deal for you is whether you will use these weapons to destroy the strongholds—arguments and arrogant opinions raised up against God as revealed in Christ.

A stronghold is an argument you believe that contradicts the person and power of Christ. A stronghold is a thought fortress of arguments that take you captive and hold you as a prisoner. These fortresses are designed to negate the person of Christ and His power (the Gospel) in your life.

Madison had bought the lie of insecurity or fear of man (Proverbs 29:25). Her fear ensnared her to a life of bondage, as manifested through people-pleasing, peer-pressure, and worry and anxiety about what others thought about her.

She was overly focused about nearly everything regarding herself. She second-guessed her thoughts, questions, and comments. She doubted her choices and actions. She anxiously controlled how she looked in public and what she wore.

Satanic forces could not destroy her soul, but they could influence her mind until her usefulness in making God’s name great was marginalized. Taking every evil argument captive and making it bow to the name of Jesus was an illusionary theological pipe dream.

Your Brain on Porn

What sinful thought fortresses are in your head?

God is truth and His purpose for coming to this world was to transform us so we could walk in His truth. The Devil’s job is to disrupt the truth God provides and motivate us to believe a lie. He hopes to set up deceitful strongholds in our minds.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 4)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (John 16:13)

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)

What lies keep the Gospel from dominating your thought life? What strongholds have been setup in your mind, that hinder the sanctifying work of God in your life? What sinful thought fortresses reside in your head?

  1. Lies you tell yourself: I have to be perfect. I must be happy. I need people to agree with me. I can’t shake my past. I deserve better than this.
  2. Lies the world tells you: You must be true to yourself. You are number one. I’m only human; everybody does this.
  3. Lies you say in your marriage: It’s your fault. If I had not married you… You make me so mad. Why can’t you be like so and so? I wish I was like so and so.
  4. Lies that distort the Gospel: I must earn God’s love. God won’t protect me. God does not love me. I can do what I want and God will forgive me. If I were more spiritual I would not struggle like this. God will only bless me if I obey.
  5. Lies from the questions we ask: Does God really hear me? Does God really love me? Has God abandoned me? Why does God not stop the pain?

When these types of thought-fortress-lies continue to roll around in your head, they will take your mind captive and will move you out of line with the Gospel. This will ultimately reduce Jesus to become less than what He should be and the Spirit’s power in your life will be reduced to less than what it can be.

Fighting the fight with God’s truth

It is essential you arm yourself with God’s truth to overcome. You cannot arm yourself with fleshly weapons. If you do, you may feel as though you have won the battle, but you have not. Or, you will win a particular battle, but lose the ultimate war for your mind.

Fleshly weapons come from your own strength. Here are a few that are commonly used to fight some of the lies listed above: adultery, porn, alcohol, anger, medication, compulsive shopping, unforgiveness, bitterness, and gossip.

There are plenty more. Anything that is sinful is a fleshly weapon enlisted to fight a spiritual battle. None of them will work. They will further enslave you while creating more dysfunction in your relationships.

Spiritual warfare looks different. Spiritual warfare is contextualized in the Gospel. The Gospel is the person and the work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. He is the one you need for this battle.

I’m going to take each lie noted above and run it through a Gospel filter. I’m going to lay the Gospel hammer on it, to crush its head (Genesis 3:15).

1. Lies you tell yourself–I have to be perfect.

You do not have to be perfect. In fact, if you try to be perfect, you are rejecting the righteousness of Christ, choosing to hold up your own righteousness as the answer. Not accepting Christ’s righteousness is another Gospel—your own gospel of self-atonement. Not admitting the truth of your imperfection makes you a liar (1 John 1:8).

2. Lies the world tells you–You must be true to yourself.

You must be true to Christ. He is the one you live for, not for yourself. Living for yourself is the lie of the world, a self-centered, anti-Christ way of thinking. You are to die to yourself and fully trust another who knows better than you do.

3. Lies you say in your marriage–It’s your fault/I deserve better.

You will never be happy if things always go your way. You will implode through your continual imbibing of self-centeredness. You’re called to be content as you learn how to be sufficient through Christ rather than your fleshly desires (Philippians 4:11-13).

4. Lies that distort the Gospel–I must earn God’s love/God won’t protect me.

Jesus Christ died for you on the cross. He, who was in the form of God, took on the form of a servant to rescue you. There is no greater love than a man who will lay down his life for another. (Read Philippians 2:5-11; Romans 5:6-9; John 15:13)

5. Lies from the questions we ask–Does God really hear me?

The answer is similar to what you just read in #4, plus a true understanding of a theology of suffering. We are called to suffer, but if you equate suffering to God distancing Himself from you, then you don’t understand God the way you should (1 Peter 2:18-25).

Madison’s battles were not primarily against the people in her world. Sure, her daddy did her a raw deal. She’s had some other bad things happen to her–caused by others.

Her battles go much deeper than what has been done to her by other humans. She is in a spiritual battle with the evil influences in this evil world. When Satan tempted Christ there would not have been a temptation if Satan could not have come through with what he was offering.

The way we are tempted is when our desires are influenced by Satan and the temptation is real because he can give us our evil desires. This is John’s definition of worldliness in 1 John 2:15-16. It’s our desires that are influenced by evil forces to love things in this world.

When your desires cooperate with evil influences, you can rest assured a stronghold will be setup in your mind. When those lies take your brain captive, then your body will follow suit.

When most of your life is immersed in the things of this world and its influences, then you will be influenced, controlled, and captured by the things of this world–and that warfare will be in your mind.

A Gospel-informed mind can easily take renegade thoughts captive to obey Christ. Take the battle in you seriously because your enemy takes it seriously. We should be influenced by the Spirit to desire the things of God. (These are my sermon notes, put in narrative format. You can listen to my pastor’s sermon here, preached 06.03.12. It’s a good one.)

Photo credit: jetheriot

This article also appears on RickThomas.net: “How to take every thought captive.”

  • Comments on: How to Take Every Thought Captive: The Battle for Your Mind
    1. Bob Pajer on

      Beautiful thought and stated. Helped me a great deal today. I would add I need to see everything the author says, in the other person to come to know myself. Jesus, my constant companion and he who is in charge of miracles, refuses to see what I have too frequently told myself about myself and sees instead what I am, God’s holy child. I am as God created me, notwithstanding my plight to make up a me that does not exist. Thank you for letting me comment.

      Reply
    2. Chris on

      I just want to say I’m really happy to have stumbled upon this post. I hope to talk to you somehow Rick Thomas. I dont’ have any readily available access to counciling where I am, but just this post alone was a huge help. Thank God for people like you around. I’ve some very important questions I hope you can answer. Please email me at the address submitted with this post. Please and thanks so much.

      Reply
    3. Genevieve on

      phew that was good. The evil forces were biting while I was reading this,they didn’t want me to know this. Thanks so much for sharing this.

      Reply
    4. treddie Johnson on

      I am a survivor of incest, and so many strongholds r trying to destroy my mind. Anger rage unforgiving. Please pray for me.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Will do, Treddie. So sorry to hear about the sins that were committed against you.

      • Cdtillman on

        Praying!

      • Tu on

        This article his spot on. We must be in a regular community of healthy believers to fight these strong holds. The battle is too much alone. Praying for your release and redemption, Treddie and Madison.

      • Lance Marchetti on

        Treddie… I will pray for you today along with all the others that God has prompted to pray..The Holy Spirit will show me what to pray for…so do not fear anymore. You are alive right now, because of the testimony that your Life carries…you will share it with many. God Bless. South Africa

      • Jason Bandel on

        Treddie – I also pray for you. Every spirit of darkness is bound up in Jesus name. All strongholds broken. You are free in Jesus name. Name above all names. His perfect love casts out all fear.

      • Ginger on

        Look at Joyce Meyer Ministries- she was a victim- now a conquerer! You will be too!

      • Garry on

        Try taking hold of the thought, then thanking God for delivering you and start praising Him and worshiping for the person he has made you today. And those attacks will flee.

    5. Yvonne Arroz on

      Thank you for these insights. I can relate with Madison, what she was going through. Please pray for me too.

      Reply
    6. jacky st remy on

      It helps me a great deal. Thanks! May God bless you!

      Reply
      • Tony Maycock on

        This is a very good article/teaching. I’m a witness that trying to live as a people “Pleaser” only leads to finding security in others things rather than God. But glory be to God for His Grace and Mercy that He is right THERE when I get up or turn around. Manifested Blessing be unto you this day.

      • Jason Bolster on

        Paul was a people pleaser too. 1 Corinthians 9:22, 10:33

    7. lauren on

      This was a God send! Just what I needed when I needed it. Have had so many bad things done to me in just 31 years of life. But i wanted so desperately to know how to forgive and move on walking in the peace and liberty that Christ died for us to have. This helps a great deal. Thanks.

      Reply
    8. Jeff S. on

      Thanks for your post. Just what I needed. This is one of my goals for 2014 to memorize this scripture and make it a part of my every day life !

      Reply
    9. merle bailey on

      WOW! This sounds so much like myself.

      Reply
    10. Janet Krikorian on

      Thank You for this lesson. I have misunderstood my role as my husbands help mate and this blog has helped me take responsibility for the lie I have believed. God willing, I will meditate on what God has taught me through your insightful post.

      Reply
    11. Marcia G on

      This is helpful, and so true, this has to be taken very seriously, because our self talk is a tool used by satan. I, we have to fill our minds with God’s Truth.

      Thank you

      Reply
    12. Diane Lackey on

      I am part of a ministry that is aimed at people in bondage’s. I am the teacher for the teenage girls that come from these families. This is going to such a blessing, thank you!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Glad you like it, Diane!

    13. shelley clarke on

      great stuff, i think that people pleasing tendency is in all of us at varying degrees.It is so amazing to know that if we persevere in God,s truth about who we really are that we can be free from the terrible snare of peolple pleasing I know this because god has been and continues to free me from it as i memorise and use the scriptures to speak to myself, especially when i blunder.Treddie you are powerful, sanctified,preciuos, bold, worthy, valuable, treasured , important, victorious.You have already won keep your eyes on jesus the author and finisher of your faith.He is closest to the broken hearted

      Reply
    14. Regina on

      I really needed these words! Thank you!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Glad it encouraged you, Regina.

    15. Linda on

      Wow! I can relate to Madison. I am 63 years old and I couln’t understand why it has been so hard for me to move forward to be successful in life as God wants me to be. About 7 years ago I realized
      the battle was in my mind but I just prayed; still didn’t know what to do so I became sad felted like I was loosing ground, like God was not hearing me, like he stopped loving me! People are influenced by my life yet I feel like a liar. Like I let God down. I tried to commit suicide as a young adult; the dr. told my parents I felt I let them down because of a mistake I made, because I felt I had to be perfect. I thought those thoughts were gone but as I continue to live for Christ I see my mind is still in a spiritual warfare and your article has helped me to rethink the problem. Thank you, may God continue to use you in His service!

      Reply
    16. Ruth on

      Thank you Rick.. I typed “take every thought captive” in google and stumbled upon this post. I too can relate to Madison. The reason why I can’t commit to the music ministry in my church is because of “people bondage”. I know the call HE has for me but I fear failing and not being good enough. Please pray for me and God bless you.

      Reply
    17. Zoe on

      For the past year someone close to me, a believer in Christ, started having psychosis, and hearing voices that were tormenting him. I text him scriptures and encourage him to guard his thoughts and bring every thought captive to the obedoence of Christ. Philippians 4:7 and 2 corinthians 10:5. and others. He is now ordered by the court to take powerful anti psychotics which he is fighting. I just told him God’s favor was turning things around in his favor, like Joseph. Please pray for him. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

      Reply
      • Lauriebeee on

        I realize that over six months have elapsed since your comment, but want to let you know I just stumbled on this site and prayed earnestly for your friend. I do hope he is doing better. I too was court ordered to take these strong anti-psychotics; it was not a pleasant time. And I fought it and lost three out of four times. They (the drugs) helped in ways. My situation was somewhat different but what I learned was in part that I was being rebellious to God by fighting so vehemently the court orders that made it law in my province that I take medication; the same officials and government structures that God instituted to govern the land. I am drug free today but it has been a very long haul and difficult path.

        I will continue to pray that he gets complete victory.

    18. Precious on

      Good word! Love to hear more

      Reply
    19. Tammy McKenzie on

      I was on my way to work as I was driving I said a prayer then I turned on the radio for a bit then thought i would turn it off to be silent for God. But the first thing that came to my mind was this awful thought that I was going to die today. Is this the work of the Devil distracting me from God? Because it has certainly been on my mind all day.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        If you are reading this comment today, then it certainly wasn’t God.

        Was it the devil (or some other demonic force)? Perhaps. What do you think?

    20. leslie sinclair. on

      I was diagnosed with schizophrenia a while ago. I sometimes hear voices. I sometimes think God is distant too but but I sometimes quote scripture and talk about the bible to some peoples annoyance.

      Reply
      • leslie sinclair. on

        I believe people can be saved from their problems.

    21. Bright on

      I have a believe that this was not written by you but the spirit of God does. this look like light in the darkness. Great tool to win the battle.

      Reply
    22. Michael on

      This is wonderful information. I work as a counselor and help people with thoughts like these all day. However, as someone who has struggled with depression, anxiety and people-pleasing, I have to be vigilant about these thoughts recurring in my own mind. I have to renew my mind daily as well. Praise God for His word and His grace!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Yes. This advice is so important for those who battle anxiety and depression.

    23. Genevieve D'Unienville on

      Thank you for your post. It’s a great encouragement for me today. I will keep standing on God’s holy and living word until I see the light of the new day dawning. Thank you and blessings to you.

      Reply
    24. Edelweiss on

      Thank you Rick for the reminder that we are wrestling against pricipalities and powers that wage war in our minds. Jesus has put theses powers under His feet! praise God. Our job is to take our thoughts captive and stand on God’s promises. I could really relate to Madison and her need to please others, it’s a struggle sometimes. Your article came at the perfect time as I recognised that the thoughts I had in my mind (after I had an argument with my husband) were quite negative and lies of the enemy such as “he doesn’t respect you….” I had to stop and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in God’s truth. I came across your article at this time. You are a blessing Rick! Keep up the great work!

      Reply
    25. buki on

      God bless you! Thank you! These are the exact same lies I tell myself about my marriage. Begone, unbelief!

      Reply
    26. Lauriebeee on

      This is an excellent article and I much appreciate it. I have a question though and perhaps I missed it in the reading. I know we are to take our thoughts captive to Christ, but exactly, how do you do this. I read Scripture and am memorizing and reciting God’s Word back to myself. When i come up against thinking, thoughts or behavior and realize things are off, how do you actually take them captive. I sometimes mentally picture collecting them (my way to capture) in a garbage bag and dumping them at the foot of the cross.When I notice my brain spinning off, I pray, and come against them with the Truth of God’s Word. Beyond that, not sure where to go on the taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ. I somehow feel I am missing something sometimes as I continue to struggle so often. I am gaining ground again. Agh! In part, I think I know what I need to do to gain victory in a certain area of my life. It requires me to stop running and turn to face it head on. Stand firm when all I want to do is run and avoid. Sigh! Enough said.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey there. I think the methods you’re describing are really good! It takes a long time to change your mind, and you have to keep doing the right things over and over over.

        Some people find that journaling 20 minutes each day is also helpful, as you allow yourself to put the thoughts down and then you can tell yourself throughout the day, I already dealt with this.

        I think it sometimes can help to PHYSICALLY do what you’re mentally doing right now. You could try to write the thoughts down, then take the papers away and burn them.

        You might also find that exercise can be helpful, or hobbies that engage your mind in other ways–puzzles, games, photography, drawing, reading, etc.

        Having said that, sometimes we do have chemical processes that interfere with thought-stopping. Anxiety disorders–like obsessive-compulsive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder–can include intrusive thoughts that you just can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you try. If you think that you’re experiencing something like this, especially if your thoughts are troubling you a lot and you find yourself having difficulty functioning as a result of the intrusive thoughts, then it’s time to talk to a doctor about medical interventions.

        Blessings, Kay

      • Skeffie on

        Lauriebeee – exactly what I struggle with. How DO you do this? I also struggle with ‘giving it to jesus’. What does that mean? HOW do you give a problem to jesus? What does that look like practically?

      • Kay Bruner on

        What a great question!!! Yes! We so often quote those Bible words “take every thought captive”–and then…. How do you DO it in practical terms?

        The problem is, most of us have been pretty well trained to ignore what we think! For example. We “know” the Bible says that God loves us, so we just parrot that in our heads–BUT, we may not actually experience that truth in our hearts. And, if that doubt ever comes up, we shove it away with all kinds of rationalizations and spiritualizations and busy-ness and denial, so that we don’t have to actually deal with what we actually believe. We don’t take our thoughts captive–we just shove them away.

        I think the way you can tell if you’re living with a lot of lies is a lack of peace in your own life. You’ll have lots of anxiety and striving and need for approval. You’ll struggle with bad habits and you’ll obsess about those bad habits and feel a lot of shame about them. You’ll have turmoil in your close relationships, or just a lack of closeness. You’ll be worried about whether people like you enough. You’ll need to do a bunch of STUFF all the time to keep the lid from flying off Pandora’s Box and wrecking your life.

        So. I think you have to stop being in control of all that, and let your life be wrecked if need be.

        Practically speaking, I’d go to a group like Celebrate Recovery, where people are all about giving up control and letting Jesus take the wheel. Then you’d open your mouth and tell the truth about the struggles you’re having, and let people love and care about you even when you aren’t perfect. Because that’s what Jesus does, and He’s left us here with the Body of Christ so we can experience love together.

        And then you see what happens next. Lots of times, redemption.

        And I’d read some books by Brennan Manning and Henri Nouwen, and maybe even Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies.

        Let me know what you think! Kay

    27. joshua b on

      this real good trusting God to help me thanks

      Reply
    28. Suzie Demo on

      Absolutely amazing. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou. I am that madison in your story. Thankyou for opening my eyes and helping to now take God’s truths as weapons. God bless. Very much needed when waring against legalistic/law following rules.

      Reply
    29. Dee on

      I’m in tears right now, this is something I started meditating about my life and this post has blessed me so much! I’ve been bombarded by insecurities In my marriage! But I’m so grateful I found this. Thank you so much..

      Reply
    30. Mike on

      Awesome article!! There is a book out by Joyce Meyers called “Battlefield of the Mind”. It goes into detail on how to take thoughts captive and pull down strongholds by the Power of Jesus Christ and his spirit living within you. I can tell you I like so many others have been dealing with strongholds and Lies that had me thinking I’m going crazy or that God had abandoned me, and that I was just messed up misfit etc. I had severe anxiety that hit me and felt hopeless. I can tell you that if you are in that situation you can be set free immediately but in my case it has been a progressive process of taking thoughts captive and measuring them against the TRUTH of Gods word. He has set me free of PORN and immoral thoughts, restored my marriage, and is continuing to bring me out of all sorts of mental strongholds that have tried to bind me and keep me from living in freedom and Victory. Be encouraged that God Loves you even when you don’t feel it or think he used to but not anymore. I am still a work in progress but I rejoice when I think of what he has done for me and that he will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU!!
      Love always
      Mike.

      Reply
    31. Stacey on

      Thanks so much for this write up. It is a blessing to me. I had the characteristics of Madison but since I’ve repented and left myself for Christ to take control, I have been a changed person with different reasoning. This time around, whenever an evil thought or desire comes to my mind or wants to evade my mind. I remind myself that that my body is the temple of God and then I say “the Lord rebuke you evil thought” then I start forcing myself to think of good and positive things and after that I say a prayer I was taught in Elementary school back home in my country in Africa. The prayer goes….. God be in my head and in my understanding, God be in my eyes and in my looking, God be in my mouth and in my speaking, God be in my heart and in my thinking, God be at my end and at my departing. Thanks again for this amazing post. I bookmarked it. God bless you Rick!

      Reply
      • Carlynn on

        Thanks I will pray this prayer I love it.

    32. Thomas on

      As we are working through this as a couple, a question came up…..is it possible that once one has seen victory in porn addiction (with God’s help) that the brain “wiring” has led that person to another addiction such as alcohol, food, etc. Can you address this?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        I’m not sure what you mean by the brain wiring leading that person in another direction. Brain wiring is shaped by behavior and beliefs, so if a person starts to replace the buzz he/she gets from porn with another buzz, there most certainly can be a new addiction that crops up.

    33. John on

      Good stuff. Would love to read more about the “how” as opposed to the “why.” In Buddhism, they have meditation as a way to gain control of runaway, unwanted thoughts. An increase in awareness and mindfulness help this process. Is such a process conducive to a Christian?

      Reply
    34. Eloho on

      I am very grateful for this article…. Because I am a survivor of incest which led me to falling into other sins like masturbation lust and porn that has held me bound for so long …and since then I have been men pleaser even if I lie to myself about this…. I appear strong but deep down I am weak, struggling and I’m lost… I’ve been trying to get my identity in Christ… I know the Scripture but I’ve not truly experienced it and I’m longing for it… I am now hard hearted, no love and I’m struggling to go by each day… Please pray for me… I really need to experience divine manifestation in my life

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi there. I am so, so sorry for the pain you’ve been through. I hope you’ve got a good counselor to help you heal from the abuse. I would suggest finding a counselor who has experience helping incest survivors. I think you’re right that the experience of what you know to be true is exactly the next step for healing,and so many many times this is exactly what an experienced counselor can help you work toward. Peace to you, Kay

    35. Chuck Harkes on

      I have to say this was a bit disappointing. The title was “how to take every thought captive, the battle for your mind’. Instead it should have been titled “the spiritual battle for your mind”. Where is the meat? What scriptures do you recommend for the battle?

      Reply
    36. Gary Hagan on

      The Spirit was given to us as a a protector of our souls, but so many Christians try to do it on their own volition, to many setbacks. People pleasing is an insurmountable task that one can never achieve. I struggled too with waging war on spiritual demons. The key is to stay in the Word and keep your vision on Jesus. My pastor told me that too many times I would concentrate on how I perceive myself or how others see me. We need to look at ourselves through God’s eyes and let the Holy Spirit, who is all powerful to protect us guide our lives. It is also important to know that is what the body of Christ is for, to help gird us up and remind us we are not alone in this fight. We can all be accountable to one another and just knowing you’re not a “lone ranger” out there let’s us know that God can work through other believers to help us through the hard times. Thank you for so many good spiritual warfare tactics in this Covenant Eyes Program. It has been and will always be another stronghold in upholding my walk with the Lord. PTL!

      Reply
    37. John on

      I am very grateful for this article…I appear strong spiritually but I know that there’s a sin in me of pornography and masturbation I know the scriptures,In church even they know that I am spiritually well.Yes covenant eyes has been helping but after a few days I return back to the sin so help please I beg despite I just want to work for Christ I’ve discovered that I am a good preacher and I desires to speak in tongues but the sin is holding on to me..please please I beg reply ,,and you can reply please on this Email *johnnmwangi.john@gmail.com*

      Reply
      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi John,

        Thank you for being open and sharing your struggles. We are all in this fight against sin together! Porn wants you to feel powerless. You can beat this, but it won’t be easy, and it will probably get worse before it gets better. So, you’ll need friends who can pick you up and offer encouragement and accountability. I wish you the best. Please have hope. Others have come through this. The path to freedom is strewn with casualties, but there are those who stand at the end, and all along the path, rooting for you.

        Blessings,
        Moriah

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