“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
When you are in a conversation with your spouse, your child, or a friend do you sometimes find your mind wandering to a different subject? How about when you are listening to someone else, whether it is a speaker in a work, school or church setting?
A keyword search on the word “listen” in the Bible shows seventy verses with this important word in it. Many of them seem to be either God exhorting His people to listen to him or the Psalmist, for example, asking God to listen to him.
One area where I can find my mind wandering, at times, is listening to a sermon at church. It is not that the pastor/teacher or the subject is uninteresting. I believe it is a natural and normal part of our humanity. The human brain is so intricate and complex that we have an incredible capacity to store and process a lot of information all at once. However, with this ability comes wandering thoughts.
The opportunities we have to either listen to God through reading the Bible or hearing it spoken are some of the most important. These are the times we need to focus the most. “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you – if you would only listen to me, Israel!” Psalm 81:8. God wants so much to help us in this life if we will only stop, focus, and listen.
2 Corinthians 10:5 gives us very practical advice when it comes to dealing with wandering thoughts. “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The picture this phrase paints for me is one of being proactive. Jesus Christ is worth the effort we make to aggressively take every thought that comes into our mind and make it a slave for him.
The next time you sit down to read the Bible or hear a sermon and your thoughts begin to wander, take that thought captive and make it obedient to Jesus. Bring it under his power and control so that it serves him and not the other way around. This may need to happen several times during either activity in order to adequately listen to the Lord and what He wants to say to you. He loves you so much that he is patiently waiting for you to submit every area of your life to his lordship.