I was attending a seminar in St. Louis and had begun the first day with a sweet awareness of Jesus' presence. By that evening I was praying, "Lord, why did I lose that sense of Your presence as the day progressed?" I dreaded going back the second day without an inner confidence that I was abiding in Him.
The next morning as I drove to the meeting, I recalled Paul's words, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
The Lord reminded me of some of the less-than-loving thoughts I had had the day before about some of the people who were with me. He would not allow me to have those. He let me know that I was to crucify such thinking on a thought-by-thought basis if I wanted to rest in Him. There would be no dwelling in Him if I allowed critical, proud, or unkind thoughts.
Paul wrote, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Dr. Godbey taught that the Greek word for "captive" is a very strong word signifying complete captivity.
Paul recognized how prone our thoughts are to wander off and then be captured by the enemy, so he commands us to go after our thoughts as though we're soldiers in time of war. We're to overtake, capture, and bring them back to the "obedience of Christ" before Satan takes them captive.
Dear Jesus, please help me to conquer any thoughts that displease You.
"May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 NLT).