Lofty Opinions

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 esv

Man, let me tell ya…

I am currently in the process of “retraining” my mind. I know, I know… I just lost a few folks there. And, some of you (especially the people who know me personally), are probably saying to yourselves, “Oh my. For the love of God, somebody get this boy away from his dang mind!”

I feel ya on that.

However, as “Believers”, this is exactly what our God (Abba, Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Daddy) tells us to do. Nevertheless, the question for some of us (namely me), is what exactly does He mean by this? Or, more specifically, how exactly do I do this?

My friend, let me plant some Seed into you. The Word of God (the Bible) is alive {Hebrews 4:12}. And, it has power. It has the power to heal, to redirect beliefs, to resurrect lives and to produce faith. Quite literally, our faith (knowing God) comes directly, and only, from Him. He gives it to us, through grace, by hearing His Word. Then, ultimately, it changes our hearts.

Yet, it does have to be heard {Romans 10:17}.

Go ahead and Google those scriptures if you don’t have a Bible nearby. I purposely refrain from typing them out, manually, to encourage you to search for yourself. I am merely a laborer in His field; God, Himself, is Lord of the harvest {Matthew 9:38}. You can’t receive His blessings by only reading my (and others) experience. He wants to talk to YOU. I will wait for you to return before I move on.

OK, cool. Welcome back.

Now, by returning to the original scripture that we started with {2 Corinthians 10:5}, let’s focus on the words that stand out, to me, the most: “destroy arguments”, “lofty opinions”, “take every thought captive”, “obey Christ”.

First, we will peer at “destroy arguments”. My flesh truly loves this idea. The concept of destroying something, like an argument, just grabs my attention like a fist fight on the side of the road as I drive on by. I can’t help but to stare at it. You see, like I’ve been telling you, I was a drug addict for most of my adult life. I know what it feels like to be judged and discounted by people. Therefore, at first glance, the ability to destroy an argument, coupled with the second idea of “lofty opinions” is extremely appealing to me. You know, imagine being cornered by someone with a lofty opinion, that differs from ours, then completely destroying it in an argument. The “old me” could fantasize about that very scenario, repeatedly – ad infinitum, for weeks at a time. I have lost plenty of sleep dancing with such visions. I’ve spent decades engaging in its endless possibilities.

However, let’s look at this through the eyes of Christ. What was the purpose of Jesus’ ministry {John 10:10} and what did He come to destroy{1 John 3:8}? Did He come (to Earth) to win the arguments of those who disagreed with Him personally? Well, not according to His Word. He knew that His Father’s will included letting them – who disagreed – kill Him {Luke 13:33}, {Matthew 16:21}, {Matthew 17:22}, {Mark 8:31}. His victory laid solely upon His foretold death and resurrection. He died, specifically, so you and I could claim His victory for ourselves {1 Corinthians 15:57}, {John 16:33}.

Here, once we eat of the Bread given to us through His Word, we can see that God intends for us to hold each argument of our mind (hold our thoughts as slaves – captured thoughts), even our own “lofty opinions” (the beliefs we hold that determine how we see ourselves) and compare it directly to what He says. For instance, I received an “Honorable Discharge” from the United States Army after serving for eight years (5 years active duty – 3 years inactive duty). That little piece of paper holds no monetary value. I can’t eat it for nourishment. It doesn’t provide me with heat to keep me warm. Yet, I do, still to this day, have some lofty opinions about it (for another time, my friend).

Finally, the last stand-out wording in our original scripture {2 Corinthians 10:5} is to “obey Christ”. It is a commandment. He doesn’t say, “It’s a good idea” or “when you find the time”. He commands us to obey. So, what is it that Christ commands us to do; what exactly are we to obey? Ahem, I mean -really(?), how can we know that without talking to Him? How can we talk to Him without going to where He is? As a beginner, it seems most appealing to head to Church in search of God. And, please hear me on this: I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO NOT GO TO CHURCH! But, what I am saying is: God wants to have an intimate relationship with you (yes YOU). How can we have intimacy with Him if we see/speak to/hear Him only once a week? Jesus, compares intimacy with Him as being deeply rooted as a husband (Him) and wife (His Church – believers) {Ephesians 5:25-27}, {2 Corinthians 11:2}, {Revelation 21:9}.

Now, I can’t speak over your marriage to your spouse. However, let me tell ya, Meldie, my wife, would find some choice verbiage for me if I only showed up on Sundays. And, I’d have some for her, too, if I only saw her one day per week. Lord (sorry Lord), I can’t even imagine how those conversations would go. Eeks.

Anyway, God gives us everything that we need in His Word – even the “how” in the retraining of our minds. Let us recap this scripture through the warmth of a new Light. God doesn’t want us to be tortured by the untrue thoughts produced from ourselves {Ephesians 6:12}. Remember, in the garden, when Adam and Eve hid from Him because they were naked? What did God say first? He asked, “Who told you that you were naked?”{Genesis 3:11}, right? So, under that same Light: who told you that (lie)?

Grab onto the retraining of your mind, my friend, and imagine God, Himself, sitting with you. You can be exactly where you are, right now, as He gently instructs you how to speak to each thought that enslaves you.

Because, in fact, He is.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things

Philippians 4:8 esv

Speak that last verse {Philippians 4:8}, outloud, several times a day. Don’t think about what use that can or can not do for you. Remember, The Word is alive {Hebrews 4:12} and we aren’t fully capable of understanding God {Isaiah 55:8-9}.

Instead, think about how true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise God is. He created an entire world just for you. He did so because He wants to spend time with you here. He saw the horrible time you were having upon it so He sent His only Son here to encourage you. He, Himself, withstood the brutal beating and humiliating death so you could spend eternity with Him. Through His resurrection, He offers you His victory. Claim it – don’t wait.

In love & fellowship,

RLG

Published by rrlgabriel

R.L. Gabriel is a US Army Airborne Combat Medic (veteran), former drug addict, father, husband, construction worker and follower of Jesus. He writes with an uncommon honesty while chronicling his past and describing how he walks by faith. His self reflecting memoirs will be published weekly. He lives in the American Midwest with his beautiful wife Meldie. Together, they host and tend to a diverse group of backyard critters while raising an indoor goldfish named Petey.

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