“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
I was on my way out the door when I stopped to pray out loud, “God, please help me to find a dress today”. My husband responded, “God just said, ‘Gulp!’” We both broke out in laughter. Shopping for clothes is not one of my talents. Like many women I tend to believe my body is the most challenging fit on the planet. I am also not the most decisive woman you’ve ever met.
My husband’s joke, about the alleged enormity of my request to God, is the product of a 30-year history with me.
My perfectionistic, self-condemning, picky over the minor stuff, personality, has been known to suck the life out of me and those in a one-mile radius. It has also been known to shut off the power of Christ in me.
The fruit of the Spirit starts dropping off the vine. Peace? Joy? Thankfulness? It’s easier to take a bite of anxiety, dejection and discontent.
I’m quite adept at justifying my fruit crushing thought life. “This dress is for my nephew’s wedding!” “My first choice is on back-order!” “It will be the first chance in a long time (maybe the last chance for a long time) to get a family photo!” “There’s not much time to find this dress!”
This unhinged thought life is over something material. Can you imagine where I go when the spiritual, physical or mental welfare of a loved one is involved?
Thanks to God’s persistent wooing of me into a conversational relationship with him, I’ve grown to spend far less time in the practice of crushing fruit. Taking my thoughts captive to Jesus has reshaped my life from being fear motivated into being expectant of goodness (on most days).
Two transformative ways to cooperate with Jesus, as He matures your thought life, are to learn more about God’s personality and to remember He understands your personality.
Fight the lies that are attacking your thought life by knowing God! Your God is good. “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8) Jesus is for you. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b)
God’s awareness of your weaknesses doesn’t have Him reacting with a “Gulp!” And it doesn’t have Him throwing up his hands in disgust. He is wild about you! “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
After having that good laugh over my dress shopping prayer, I joyfully got my peace and sanity back by choosing to let God’s goodness and truth captivate my thoughts. God decidedly wanted in on the laughter. The first dress I tried on fit my body, my taste and my budget; a beautiful necklace practically leapt into my hands as I made my way to the register (it was 25% off too).
God may not have said, “Gulp”, but I sure did!