Summary: Tips to taking thoughts captive.
How to Capture a Runaway
tips to taking thoughts captive
gregg barbour. JAM. 6/8/03
Have you ever seen something that’s considered a runaway. Let’s say, a runaway train, a scared horse often becomes a runaway horse, a bus with no driver becomes a runaway bus (Speed), a child that gets in an argument with his parents will often runaway. I remember when I was growing up, I got in a fuss with my parents. I told my dad I hated him, and I packed my blue Smurf suitcase with two pairs of clothes, and I ran away. I ran all the way down the driveway, and halfway down the street to get to the main road when I began to think all of these logical thoughts, “Where am I going?” “How do I get there?” “I don’t have any money.” “I’m only 10 years old.” “Boy, it’s dark out here.” “I’m scared.” And as these thoughts crossed my mind, I found my feet carrying me in the opposite direction that I was running. I was going back to where I started. You see, the only thing that kept me from running away was my thought process.
I want to talk to you today, not about capturing runaway trains, or runaway horses, or even your little brother or sister when they want to run away. I want to tell you how to capture your runaway thoughts. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:7 that “whatever a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” This verse is actually talking about a stingy man. A man that says, “Here, have some food,” but is actually thinking, “I can’t spare this food, he shouldn’t eat it.” And so as this man thinks these things, he becomes a stingy person, not really wanting to give up his food. Many of us are the same way. Our thoughts run wild. Tell me about some of your thoughts…If I were to say, “A penny for your thoughts,” What would you tell me? (allow some response) Ok, now, you brave souls…tell me about some of your bad thoughts. The average person has over 200 negative thoughts per day. This becomes a problem. Because whatever we think in our hearts, we become.
A man by the name of Frank Outlaw said this, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
You see, if we don’t stop these runaway thoughts, they are going to get out of control and send us barreling down a road that will lead to destruction! How in the world do we stop thinking awful thoughts…about other people, about our futures, about our circumstances, about the things we go through. I’ll tell you how we stop them. Let’s look at the big book of answers…The Bible. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” There you have it, folks, to stop these awful thoughts from running away in our minds and taking us over, we must take them captive. We must take every thought captive and make it obedient to what God wants. And once we’ve done that, we can tell others how to do it.
Ok, so you know what to do…to stop awful thoughts, you must take every thought captive. Take it as your prisoner and force it to do what God wants. So how do we take our thoughts captive. We can’t actually grab them and throw them in a cell can we? No, here’s what we’ve gotta do:
Have you ever heard the phrase “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” Of course…we’ve got to watch what we put into our minds, in order to be sure that what comes out will be easy to take captive. If we’re constantly watching things that are dirty and filthy, and use awful language, then those things will have a tendency to come out in our lives. If we listen to music that talks about killing other people and being angry because we didn’t get our way, then chances are, we’ll begin to be like that. The first step to taking your thoughts captive is to watch what you let into your mind. You gotta keep a lock on that door and open it for things that will help you.
Let me tell you a story about a man. This man grew up in the north end residential area of Tacoma, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington and attended the University of Washington Law School. His friends considered him suave, debonair, handsome, and smooth with the ladies. He was an upstanding citizen: he did charity work, and campaigned for the U.S. Republican Party. He also was once an assistant director of the Seattle Crime Prevention advisory committee. He even wrote a pamphlet instructing women on rape prevention. Today this man resides 6 feet under. He was convicted and sentenced to death row. He was executed in 1989 for the murder of numerous women. This man’s name was Ted Bundy. He was one of the foremost serial killers in America’s history. Now, how did this former Boy Scout, who appeared to be a good, upstanding citizen, turn out the way he did. Here’s the answer. He did not take step # 1 in capturing his thoughts. He let garbage go into his mind, and it controlled his life. His thoughts took over. The garbage that was put into his head took root in his life, and was displayed in his actions. Don’t let yourself turn out that way. Don’t put garbage into your life.