I know that may sound a tad sketchy, but it's actually based on a Bible verse:
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, NIV)
I'd be rich if I had a nickel for every time my first boss in vocational ministry quoted that verse to me and then expounded in his strong Southern drawl, "Leeesa, ya' need to take yer thoughts CAPTIVE. Whenever a bad belief that doesn't honor Jeezus enters yer head, ya' just do exactly what the police do with violent felons -- ya' secure it and frisk it!" The first time he used that analogy, I was flustered by the aggression it implied. Somehow slinging a thought against a wall sounded unspiritual, much less ladylike -- unless you're into rollerderby. But the image stuck with me. And before long, I realized some of the lies the enemy had set loose in my mind like rats in a cheese shop needed to be hurled against the bricks and checked for legitimacy. Because I'd let toxic untruths shoplift my joy for way too long.
That was thirty years ago, and I still employ his profound, albeit homespun, wisdom. Whenever I realize a potentially happy-hijacking thought has entered my mind like: What if I can't afford health insurance in the future and then can't afford exorbitant uninsured price for [my daughter] Missy's HIV meds? I grab it as fast as I can by its scrawny shoulders and push it up against the bedrock wall of God's promises, causing flimsy, fear-pricking falsehoods to shatter against impervious truths like:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19 NIV)
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:11 ESV)
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (Prov. 10:3)
Don’t worry and say, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. (Matt. 6:31-32 NCV)
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matt. 7:11 NLT)
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! (Luke 12:24 NASB)
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
Suddenly the dragon's big fat fib about the possibility of my kid not getting the medicine she needs sounds pretty innocuous, doesn't it? I'm telling you, frisking your thoughts works!
Lisa Harper appears this Friday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper. Copyright ©2017 by Lisa Harper. Published by B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee. Used by permission.