Paul in writing about taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ was referring to the weapons they had which were of the Spirit, in preaching the gospel, and teaching to impart the gospel’s application in Christ. We tend to look for “precious promises.” That’s okay, as long as we see them in the bigger picture as the fulfillment of what God is bringing about toward fruition, in us in and through Jesus. In other words we need to see them as more than isolated help for us. As part of the big picture in Jesus in terms of the gospel and all that means for us and for the world.
If you’ve read this blog here and there, you’re probably aware that anxiety is an ongoing, off and on weakness, indeed sin of mine. And one doesn’t have to think long or hard, or be alert for long in this world until there is allegedly good reason for concern, oftentimes legitimate.
Taking captive thoughts to make them obedient to Christ was something Paul and others were doing in the proclamation and teaching of the gospel of Christ. In some measure that work had to begin in them, in their own lives. In community, yes. And by the Spirit and the word. As well as individually, when we in Jesus meet the challenges of the world, the flesh and the devil. It is a contest in a sense, framed that way. In Jesus we are indeed victorious, but we have to live out that victory in this world, come hail or high water- whatever comes.
Back to anxiety: Of course I need to apply appropriate scripture such as Philippians 4, or Isaiah 26. I also need to avoid thinking there is a magic fix. That somehow I can move into the so-called victorious life, in which the struggle is over. Yes, I am to live as one victorious. But what I may, and certainly will experience at given times will come in my own weakness, even failure. The Spirit helping me to get back up on my feet, and persevere in following Jesus, so as to overcome. In a process indeed, of growth toward maturity with others, in Christ.