I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer.
For the past 16 years, Priscilla has been in full-time ministry to women. She and her husband, Jerry, have founded Going Beyond Ministries and count it as their privilege to serve believers across the entire spectrum of the body of Christ. Priscilla is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies on a myriad of topics and biblical characters, including Discerning the Voice of God, One in a Million, Jonah, and Gideon. She also stars as Elizabeth Jordan in the feature film War Room.
Priscilla is passionate about ministry but prioritizes her calling as wife and mother above all. Between writing and studying, she spends her days cleaning up after (and trying to satisfy the appetites of) three fabulous boys—Jackson, Jerry Jr., and Jude.
The Armor of God Bible study, designed for use in women’s Bible study groups, will help women become knowledgeable about the armor of God and equip them to develop a personalized strategy to secure victory over the enemy’s schemes. Below is an excerpt from the study.
Taking Every Thought Captive
Since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
These two power-packed passages are the battle plan for our defense against the enemy’s attempts to infiltrate our mind. They tell us how to transform our thinking and put on the helmet of salvation. I think I can boil it down to three key mission objectives.
Step #1. Identify the toxic thought patterns you’ve been nursing and recognize them for what they truly are—strongholds that, along with the enemy, you’ve assisted in constructing within your mind.
In this first step, we hear clear hints of the battle context involved in the fight for our minds. A stronghold in biblical times was a military fortress. Nearly every ancient city had one. It stood at the highest point in their geographical area, erected for all to see. It was designed to block and keep out incoming invaders.
Step #2. Confess errant thought processes to God and agree with Him about your responsibility in helping to construct these strongholds in your life.
Our strongholds are not all the enemy’s fault. Every time we’ve nursed and rehearsed illegitimate thinking, we’ve added another concrete brick to the construction of a stronghold. Whether those thoughts were in relation to doubt, fear, insecurity, salacious imaginations, or something else entirely, rehearsing the enemy’s lies made us in essence a partner with the enemy in building up a fortress that has held us captive.
Step #3. Dismantle the stronghold by taking your thoughts captive, then renewing your perspective and understanding through the concentrated, deliberate applying of God’s truth.
This is not a passive assignment. It requires forethought and proactivity. The same kind of passion and strategy you might put into a new workout plan or reaching a financial goal must define your hands-on approach if you want to destroy a stronghold. Because remember, this is a military fortress we’re talking about here, not a flimsy shack. Destroying it requires force and power—the kind that can only come from consistently applying divinely empowered weapons, namely the Word of God.
When Paul instructed us to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5), he employed a tone that expresses continuous, ongoing action. So we must understand that being successful at this endeavor will be a lifestyle, not a one-time event. Taking thoughts captive means controlling them instead of allowing them to control you. It means actively replacing the enemy’s thinking with God’s thinking at every opportunity. When the enemy’s lies enter, immediately consider them in light of the freely given benefits package of your salvation inheritance. Resist the urge to agree with or rehearse the negative thought. Instead, replace it—repeatedly, diligently, and verbally—until eventually that brick in our stronghold comes tumbling down.
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things (Phil. 4:8, HCSB).
Register to win one of five Armor of God Leader Kits here or in the form below before 12:01 AM Thursday, September 17th.