Entertaining Thoughts
Zoe Elmore

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

As I entered the room, my old familiar feelings of inadequacy and insecurity welled up within me. I prayed that the "measuring tape of self-worth" sticking out of the top of my head wasn't visible to anyone but me. "You're not pretty enough, thin enough or smart enough" echoed in my head, and I found myself entertaining thoughts of critical comparison.

Did you get that? I allowed my mind to "entertain" those harmful thoughts.

You'd think that at fifty-something I would have stopped "entertaining" these thoughts and moved on to recognizing and dismissing lies from the enemy. But I still find myself believing them at times.

What about you, do you entertain lies from your enemy, Satan? Do you entertain thoughts of comparison and insecurity?

If you do, I want to encourage you to memorize and apply 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (NIV). In order to apply this verse, you and I need to recognize what is truth and what is lie. Once recognized, we should reject the lies and replace them with God's truth.

God tells us over and over again that He thinks we are beautiful; but not just on the outside. Look closely at the truths contained in Ephesians 1:3-6, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (NIV)

Friend, critical thoughts filled with comparison and insecurity are not from your heavenly Father who has chosen you and loved you. When Satan whispers his lies, let's quickly respond, "That is a lie and I reject that thought. I will only entertain thoughts of God's truth."

When we entertain a lie, we allow the enemy to plant it in our minds. Once planted, it is hard not to entertain the lies and even harder to discard them. Satan's lies take hold in our minds just like weeds in an unattended garden. We need to take seriously the task of guarding our minds against Satan's lies. When we guard our minds, it's as if we are holding up a shield of truth that repels lies.

I've heard it said, "Every spiritual battle is won or lost at the threshold of the mind." While I do believe we can triumph over the lie once we've allowed it to cross over the threshold, we can save ourselves a great deal of trouble and heartache, if we begin to recognize Satan's lies, reject them and then replace them with God's truth. As a believer in Christ we have the Holy Spirit to help us in this journey. Our job is to outsmart the father of lies by "out truthing" him.

Dear Lord, I confess that I entertain thoughts that I know are not true. I compare myself to others; entertain lies of rejection and worry. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I want to reject the lies of the enemy as soon as they enter my mind. Help me replace them and entertain Your truth instead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Zoe’s blog

He is that Into to You (CD) by Lynn Cowell

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

Birds in My Mustard Tree: How to Grow Your Faith by Susanne Scheppmann

Application Steps:
Write down the lies you believe about yourself. Write a corresponding truth verse from the Bible for each one.

What does God see when He looks past all the makeup, clothing and jewelry right into your soul?

Write down verses of truth in your journal and meditate on a different one each day.

Power Verses:
Colossians 3:1-4, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (NIV)

Isaiah 26:3, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You." (NASB)

Ecclesiastes 8:1b, "Wisdom brightens a face and changes its hard appearance" (NIV)

© 2010 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.

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Blogger candice said...

At the beginning of each new school year as I am setting up my classroom and deciding on how to begin the year with a new group of personalities, I feel the enemy pushing feelings of inadequacy into my head. I am comparing my room, my teaching methods, my abilities to be effective, my connection with parents and students, etc. This leads to anxiety that paralyzes me to the point of not being able to do my job. 2 Corinthians 10:5 is going to be my mantra this year. It will be tattooed on my brain so thoughts that creep in to destroy won't be entertained! It is my sincere prayer every morning and evening and all through the day that I do nothing but share the love of Jesus and bring Glory to God. I can't do that with insecure feelings running around in my head. Thank you for guiding me to the scripture that will bring hope each moment of the day. xoxo

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just this morning as the alarm went off, I really did not feel like getting up and walking which is what I try to do each morning. I really wanted to hit the alarm and go back to sleep. But I started putting myself down because of my weight and I got up and went for my 2 mile walk. I am very critical about myself and my weight and feel worthless when I do not go for that walk each day. I started walking in April and was really up to the task. This summer and vacation have pulled me away from it. I know I have to get started again but it is hard. I know that weather I walk or not I should not get down on myself, but I have a friend that I work with and she lost lots of weight starting last October. Thanks for the devotion.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 59 y/o and continue to struggle with these thoughts of always being inadequate and never measuring up to others-please pray for me to be able to stop all of this mental self-toturing!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I've been thinking through several verses on this topic over the past 5 days and this one came to mind yesterday. Then I got to work and this was the positive reinforcement that I needed. I plan on sharing a link to this in a blog post I'm working on for later today. Thanks. God bless!

Blogger Kim said...

Thanks for todays message. I have dealt with feelings of inadequacy my whole life. Now I have a weapon to use against satan. I can reject his thoughts and replace them with Gods truths.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the today's message. It gave me peace when I read it. It helps so much! But after a while my bad and inadequate thoughts take place over over and over again. I don't know how to control it. It's destroying me...it's so painful.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion. I woke up this morning battling the knot in my stomach realizing the spiritual warfare my household has been under. Your opening scripture was the stronghold of my prayers this morning so imagine my surprise to see it this morning. But not really a surprise, God's nudge letting me know I'm on the right track with my thinking today. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daily prayer time is spent in Proverds. I read a different proverb for each date of the week and then I reflect on what I learned and how I will change. Today was Proverb 30 and my reflection for today was that I would feel better about myself. Proverbs 30:15 says the leech has two daughters give,and give, this is how I had been feeling about myself for almost 12 yrs since I have been unable to work. I recently decided to add your daily devotions to my prayer time and it wasn't until I read your devotion that I even recognized this thought as a lie. I prayed that God would help me change and show me how, and through your devotion today I am able to begin that change.
God Bless

Blogger Caffeinated Mommy said...

You have no idea how God used you to speak this to me. Just yesterday, I had a bit of a melt down, all stemming from my feelings of inadequecy as a woman and my body, as a wife and most recently as a mother. I am also looking at the reality of going back to school and I have always struggled with confidence in my self when it comes to my intelligence. My husband reminded me to take it to the Lord, but honestly I have been struggling in my relationship with Him. But this truly spoke to my heart. Thank you for the reminder that He sees me as beautiful and perfect and the enemy's plan is to make me take my eyes off of my Father and put them on to myself. I will remind myself to look through His eyes and see what He sees. God bless you!

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