“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2Co 10:5 NIV
You will never be any better, wiser, or happier than the thoughts that influence you. You say, “I can’t help it, these thoughts just come into my mind.” Yes, you can! “The weapons we fight with…have divine power to demolish strongholds…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (vv. 4-5 NIV). A “stronghold” is a thought-pattern that controls you. It could be fear, greed, inferiority, lust, etc. It’s a “stronghold” because it holds you strongly in its grip. How do you break that grip? With God’s Word. For example, when fear and inadequacy tell you you’re not good enough to succeed, become proactive and say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Php 4:13 NKJV). If your immediate goal is to “feel good,” you’ll never develop self-control. “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:11 AMP). Discipline doesn’t bring immediate joy, but it brings lasting joy later on. Note the words “trained by it.” You must train your mind to go the right way; otherwise it’ll take you the wrong way. God says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Dt 30:19). God gives you choices. But He won’t make your choices for you; you must do that. In order to walk in God’s blessing each day, you must choose the right thoughts each day. And the longer you keep doing it, the easier it will become. You’ve just got to get through the “training” period.