So, there’s this old translation of the Bible referred to as the Phillips New Testament in Modern English. J.B. Phillips was an Anglican clergyman who first started translating the New Testament in 1947, but finished it up in 1958. His heart was to write something that the youth in his church could understand and relate to. His version has lots of fans including, Chuck Swindoll, Corrie ten Boom, and singer/songwriter Michael Card, who used Phillips’ wording often in many of his songs (if you don’t know who Michael Card is, I feel sorry for you… look him up after reading this blog… he wrote many wonderful songs, including El Shaddai, made famous by Amy Grant). In days before the New International Version and The Message, Phillips NT was pretty ‘radical’. For example, in Romans 12:2 his translation reads: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” Pretty cool, in my opinion.
This morning I was reading this translation and came across 2 Corinthians 10:5… specifically, the end of the verse. Now, in my NKJV it reads, “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. In my NASB it reads, “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. I’ve heard this for years, I’ve shared and even preached on it in times past. However, what does it really mean? Then, this morning I read it in the Phillips and was truly blown away: “Fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.”
Wow. Selah (that’s Hebrew for: ‘Chew on that for a second’).
All of a sudden, I see this verse in a brand new light! We must be careful what we allow into our minds, because our thoughts ultimately run our lives. It may seem impossible, in this day and age and in this crazy culture, to manage our thoughts successfully – especially when thoughts are coming at us from all directions: at home, at work, through the media, in our relationships, and in our private worlds. But the truth is, we can be transformed by making a very simple decision: ‘I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus’. Why? Jesus controls everything, in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). That means He has the final say on everything – including our thoughts! He has more authority, for example, than your ex-spouse. Your ex-spouse may have told you you’re worthless, but Jesus says you’re valuable, and He has authority over your ex-spouse. He even has more authority over you than you do. You may try and convince yourself that you’ve messed up way too much to ever be forgiven, but Jesus has a different opinion. And when you repent and give Him authority over your life, those old judgmental/condemning thoughts are no longer allowed. He also has authority over your ideas. Suppose, for example, you get an idea about having an affair. Jesus has already made it clear that adultery is wrong, and if you’ve given Him authority over your mind then the idea of adultery can’t linger in your mind. To manage your mind successfully, all you have to do is submit your thoughts to the authority of Christ. Does this happen overnight? Probably not, but as we practice and stay committed we’ll get better at it. May you and I be those that “Fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.”
You are loved.