Neuroscientists have concluded that 80+ percent of our thinking occurs subconsciously. In other words, a lot of our thinking happens off the radar, below the surface of our attention and consideration. Think about that in light of Paul’s assertion that the normal Christian brings every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2Corinthians 10:5).

Of course, we are not sufficient for such things; our sufficiency is from God (2Corinthians 3:5). Lest we forget and become discouraged: we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). God has not commanded anything that He does not empower. He is working in us to will and do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). We need only participate in the Holy Spirit’s transformative work (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18)

Unfortunately, our subconscious is the playground and base of operations for our carnal mind. From there, it attempts to distract and deceive for its self-focused intentions. It does so by affirming the voices of Satan and the world, and by adding its own words of deception and destruction. Yes, the carnal mind speaks to us… continuously.

Now get this: We are responsible for rejecting what the carnal mind is attempting to speak over us. Here is an example to illustrate the sinister and destructive consequences awaiting those who shirk this solemn responsibility.

I know a young man who is convinced he is handicapped emotionally – that his anxious reaction to stress is normal for him. The number of times he has verbalized this opinion about himself is dwarfed by the number of times his carnal mind has voiced it to him subconsciously. Having adopted the assertion of his carnal mind, he is, in fact, handicapped. However, the issue is more spiritual than emotional (or mental).

This young man’s carnal mind is at enmity with God and, by extension, with His children. It has tricked this young man into accepting a defeated state that further supports self-focused and self-dependent coping mechanisms. Furthermore, the potential destruction reaches far beyond a given moment of stressful anxiety.

Once someone accepts the notion that they are handicapped, their disability becomes an excuse for past behavior and future responsibility. Consequently, they behave as if they should not be required to address and restitute previous behavior, nor should anyone expect them to put to death the deeds of their flesh (they simply cannot help themselves).

Of course, the one who suffers from the deception of their carnal mind suffers the most. For this young man, my concern is for the loss of future blessings and victories over his number one enemy. Allowing his carnal mind to speak over himself can become an addictive behavior. What he believes – what God has said about him – may fade from memory and conscious consideration. He may forget that He has been made an instrument of righteousness – dead indeed to sin.

There is a version of this young man in most all of us. As much as I am against self-centered Christian behavior and discipline, I believe there is a place for the pursuit of God’s voice spoken over us for our benefit, and the need for fellowship with those that will remind us of our position and power in the kingdom of God. We truly need the Captain of our salvation, and a platoon, to defeat our number one enemy: our carnal mind.

God bless you with grace to take every thought captive to the obedience of His Son, and to be His voice for the young men and women in your spheres of influence.

Humbly yours and forever His,