Motivation for Doing What You Ought to Do: Part Two

Romans 7: 22 – 25

It is expedient to learn mental discipline. A technique for doing this is noted in II Corinthians 10: 5.

“…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”   

Here improper thoughts are illustrated as being two strong fortresses. These fortified positions crumble before the weapons of the Spirit.

They are spoken of as “arguments” and “high thing(s).”

Arguments refer to intellectual pretension or human conceit. It is any deceptive fantasy.

The expression “high thing” refers to improper pride. 

In summary the two refer to any barriers of pride that are erected against the knowledge of God.

Then follows the appeal to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  The New English Bible translates this, “we compel every human thought to surrender in obedience to Christ.”

That great theologian Barney Fife said: “I don’t have time to deal with those trivial trivialities.” Neither do we.

Therefore, when you have a deceptive fantasy or improper pride, rethink the subject and superimpose a thought you are confident Christ would have if thinking on the subject. That is what is meant by bringing our thoughts into captivity.

Start by praying with the Psalmist: “Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19: 12 – 14)

Preempt improper programming and preset proper pure ones. 

Some people have an immature concept of prayer as being like a child asking a divine Santa Claus for things. We are to ask Him to supply our every need, but prayer is more. We need to grow out of the stage of making prayer a matter of “Lord give me,” into a deeper level of “Lord, make me.”

Few people think instinctively about such mental moral concepts. You can be one, starting now. It is a mental matter that matters. It is a matter of the heart for, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…”(Matthew 15:19)

That can change and out of the heart come constructive and productive thoughts which result in such conduct. The rewarding result is a more content and joyous life. Begin that journey now.