2 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NIV)

1 By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you–I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.  3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  5 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.   

Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.   

DEVOTION – Debbie Middlebrook (Georgia)

For years, whenever my dog and I went walking through our woods, we had to maneuver around a trampoline.  Finally, with the kids grown, my husband and I decided we could get rid of it.  I relished the thought of not having to encounter it on our walks.  I expected the dog would be just as happy since his leash regularly got tangled in the trampoline legs.  Surprisingly, on our first walk after the trampoline was down, instead of traipsing through the new wide-open space, he clung tightly to the old path and I followed.  The old obstruction was gone, but we acted as if it were still there.

This experience reminded me of what can happen when we become believers.  When we accept Christ, we are made new and sin has no power over us.  So I wondered:  Why do I still struggle with fear?  I realized that the same force that kept the family dog and me on the worn path keeps me struggling:  familiarity.  The dog and I continued to choose the comfortable and safe path, one that didn’t require much discernment.  In a similar way, even after we receive Christ, we may plod along the path of old thought patterns – but we do have a new power over them.  We can consciously choose to dismiss old thought patterns that don’t produce fruit and walk the path of freedom.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 cor. 10:5)

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).