What Everyone Needs to Know About Kidnapping

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Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City, Utah, bedroom on June 5, 2002. She was found alive nine months later in a Salt Lake City suburb. Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee were later sentenced and convicted. They both received life sentences for their crime. 
God's Word is not silent on the topic of kidnapping. In fact, it talks a lot about kidnapping of a very different sort--one that is actually beneficial.

To kidnap, or take captive, according to, means to take or hold as a prisoner, especially in war; or to keep in confinement or restraint.

 In 2 Corinthians 10:5, God instructs us to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

Action movies always show the bad guys sneaking around in the dark with chloroform-laced handkerchiefs waiting to spring upon innocent victims. It’s a little harder to imagine kidnapping a thought, but the principles are very similar.

Would-be kidnappers often wait in the dark for their victims.
In my life, thoughts that need kidnapping also frequent the darkness. Late at night, as I’m awaiting sleep, fears, doubts, and questions often assail me. Many times these ideas cast looming shadows on my faith and are powerful and frightening. God's Word says the best way to protect myself against them is to kidnap them. Take them captive to the obedience of Christ.

Kidnappers sometimes kidnap victims in response to a wrong that person has committed. They feel their victims deserve to be kidnapped. Many of my thoughts certainly deserve to be kidnapped. They steal my peace, undermine my faith, and cause me to question the work of God in my life. Sometimes these thoughts invite me to wonder if God hears my prayers and question if he cares enough to act on my behalf. These are thoughts God deems worthy of kidnapping.

Sometimes kidnappers chase their victims.
They lead them on merry chases down dark alleys, through seedy parts of town, and into places they’d ordinarily never go.

My thoughts do the same. When fear strikes, it takes me from a headache, to an MRI, to an oncology ward, to a funeral.

 When doubt assaults, an unknown cell phone number becomes a mistress, which leads to a divorce, leaves me discarded and alone for the rest of my life. 

This is how our thoughts work, and this is why God commands us to take every thought captive.

So once we capture our thoughts, what do we do with them? Surprisingly, provides a very biblical answer:

1.  Take our thoughts captive, because we are in a war. The war is waging in our minds, and the prize is our hearts. Every sin, whether it’s hidden, like fear, or blatant, like adultery, begins in the mind. Eve first questioned whether God had told her the truth about the fruit. Likewise, King David entertained the thought of adultery long before he committed the act. If we battle as though we are in a war, we fight intentionally.

2.  Take our thoughts captive for the purpose of confining and restraining them. Doubt, fear, lust, anger, jealousy, bitterness, and lying have no place in the life of a Christian. God commands us to subject our thoughts to him.


Taking every thought captive doesn’t require a ski mask and a pistol, but it does require a sword.

Ephesians 6:17 instructs us to arm ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. As we read, learn, and memorize scripture, we acquire a powerful weapon with which to fight wrong thinking.

 Hebrews 4:12 tell us that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Whenever a thought enters our minds, we can apply the litmus test of scripture to determine whether to welcome it as a house guest or take it captive ‘til the thought police arrive.

When our thoughts tell us God doesn’t care, scripture reminds us that he loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

When our thoughts invite us to read a steamy novel, watch an inappropriate movie, or gossip, God’s Word encourages us to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

When our thoughts tempt us to nurture bitterness and anger, the Word challenges us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31).

If we want to be victorious in the battle raging around us, we can’t passively allow ungodly and unbiblical thoughts to waltz into our hearts and take up residence. By arming ourselves with our swords, kidnapping the thoughts that assail us, and bringing them into subjection to the truth of God’s Word, we will win the war in Jesus’ name and for his glory.

 How have you taken your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ? I invite you to leave a comment below and join the conversation.

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  1. Excellent words. Catchy title and opening lines. Good writing! I enjoyed this post and was reminded to take my thoughts captive. Thank you.

    1. It's a daily choice for me -- and I don't always make the right one. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Great post! THanks for sharing, such a great analogy.

  3. The first thing I thought to say about this article is that is great writing! Very effective. God's word is true and our guard against, opponent to and deliverance from such assailants. Bless you and your work!

    1. Steph, I've realized that on the days when I fill myself up with truth, Satan's lies are more obvious. You're right that it is our strong defense. Thanks for commenting today. God bless!

  4. Hi Lori, Glad to read a post that talks about our minds. When I was taught about taking every thought captive it was huge! It was not an easy thing to do. but as we exercise His truths they become easier to do.
    But, as your message says these things are always looking for a victim.
    May your speaking engagement be blessed and may you feel His leading.
    So nice to meet you via blog LOL
    Blessings, Roxy

  5. Oh, Lori, thanks for stopping by the Overflow and leading me here... I have SO enjoyed lingering around your blog. This devo on kidnapping is so wise- gives me new momentum to keep battling to take my thoughts captive for Christ. Thanks for writing, for inspiring, for speaking.. may your ministry be blessed and may God continue to use you as a mighty voice for Him. Love from Iowa!

  6. "As we read, learn, and memorize scripture, we acquire a powerful weapon with which to fight wrong thinking."

    I have today been challenged (again) to memorize Scripture just to have His Word written on my heart. Thanks for another push - you have been used by the Lord. =)

  7. This was a captivating post!! You vividly drew a picture which will help me remember how to captivate those thoughts when they so often take hold of me!! Thanks for linking up this week with me over at Wholehearted Home.

  8. What an excellent post!

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