How You Can Cast Down Your Imagination and Take Every Thought Captive

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Shawn Akers

What do you think about when your head hits the pillow at night?

What is your last thought as you sleepily close your eyes and contemplate the next few hours of blessed sleep? What words are fleeting across the caverns of your anxious brain, as you try desperately and diligently to turn off the tumultuous thoughts that bully you and threaten to usher in fear?

I don’t know about you, but I can generally take every thought captive during the daylight hours. I am able to re-program myself to think happy thoughts, to ruminate on powerful possibilities and to contemplate all of the hope that lies before me during the day, which is the place where light rules and reigns. However, when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, my thoughts tend to argue with my theology and play tug of war with my value system.

I know many women—and men for that matter—who deal with the germs of rancid thinking only at night. There is something about the dark that bids us to wander down pathways that are not healthy nor are they safe. There is something about the midnight hour that justifies our friendship with worry and anxiety. It twists our thought lives and warps our hope.

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways” (Ps. 139:1-3, NKJV).

At the very moment in life, when we falsely believe that our thoughts are not seen or known by anyone, God is searching our hearts. He has the Holy Spirit sifting through the thought particles that bounce around in our gray matter, even in the dead of night.

God cares what we think about. He cares very, very much. His intimate concern for our thought lives doesn’t cease when the lights turn out and when the shades go down. He is aware what we are thinking about in the morning, during the afternoon hours and when it is past our bedtimes. He knows, He sees and He cares.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14, NASB).

During the midnight hour, I must hold onto the hope of my relationship with my Creator. I must speak with Him and not with my heart. I must listen to Him and not to my own fears, insecurities or discouragement in the shadowy moments of bedtime. He is with me in the dark and He is with me in the day. What a glorious and sustainable truth! I am not alone and I am not forsaken. The dark has no power over my thought life.

Perhaps the dark was given to me to be in tender, private and uninterrupted communication with the One who knows me best and loves me most.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You” (Ps. 139:11-12, NKJV).

Perhaps it is in the nighttime that my conversation with the Father was designed to be the richest and most sincere.

“Rejoice always {…even upon your bed at night!} Pray without ceasing {…especially when it is dark!} In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus…no matter what time of day it might be!” (I Thess. 5:16-18).

Perhaps it is when everything else has been stripped away, when the busyness of my day has ceased and when no one else is around that He bids me into His presence where there is always fullness of joy. As I drift off into the slumber that He has designed for me, I meet Him there. And He lights up my night.

He gives me safety and fights off my fears. He reminds me that the Father is home and that my life is in His good, good hands. {eoa}

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol’s “A Jolt of Joy” program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol at

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