“For among them are those who CREEP into households and CAPTURE weak willed woman, burdened down with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning but never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth.”
This verse stirs up something within me, it causes my heart to start pumping faster and my blood to get hot. I hate those two words; creep and capture. They relay the strategy behind deception; to seduce and to seize. Those two words bookend the weak will; what creates it and then the outcome of it. But more than that,the term weak willed woman slays my heart. Maybe because I know from experience how this one feels. I know how painful the effects can be, how hopeless and beat down we feel when our wills are weak and lethargic. We can all be here, this verse can describe any number of us. For captivity is not a respecter of persons, it doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done. It’s only motive; to capture our influence for the gospel and the abundance it brings. It’s not after our souls, that matter was settled on the cross. (If we are in Christ.) It’s out to plunder our heritage. (And that makes me mad.)
Maybe the word “weak” doesn’t seem to fit you so let’s get this out in the open; Strength and prominence has nothing to do with it, some of the most influential woman who ever lived where captives to their flesh. Cleopatra exemplifies a weak willed woman; risking it all for desire and ultimately that desire becoming her demise.
Here in these verses, we see a poster illustration of what happens when deception takes over our minds. When lies overwhelm the truth and our minds go haywire; a weak will.
DOING WHAT I HATE
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. “Romans 7:15
Obedience is a choice. As Christians I believe we all want to follow God and be obedient to His will. Then why don’t we? Why is it so hard to submit to the will of our Lord? We really do want to be faithful. Then what’s the hold up? For me, I wanted that, I really did. It wasn’t so much my heart as it was my mind! ( I’m not claiming my heart was perfect but I did want to be obedient, but that desire was beat to death by my flesh.) You can have a heart as big as Texas, but if you have a weak will, the desires of your heart will be pushed over the cliff for the sake of gratification. You see it is more than our minds that are captive, our obedience is too. The captivity of our minds starts off in the privacy of our own psyche but it never stays there, it will take our actions with it and captivity becomes a way of life.
Romans 8:7- “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to Gods law; indeed it cannot.”
Weak willed woman let the desires of the flesh make the call. Somehow we are persuaded that we are powerless to stop it. So many times we do the same stupid thing over and over and over. (We go out on another date with a guy we KNOW isn’t right for us, we dive deeper and deeper into debt, we look at that image on the computer again, we go places in our mind that we know we shouldn’t; be it worry, lust, covetesness, hate, doubt, criticalness, etc. We buy another bottle of alcohol even though it threatens our very life.The examples could go on and on.) We don’t really want to, we wish we weren’t like that, but when the opportunity arises we will do it again and again and again. Because the enemy has us in a stronghold-our minds have turned on us. But it doesn’t have to be that way Romans 8:9 “you, however, are not of the flesh but of the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.” And 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now, the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
He wants your mind free sweet one. Free from the addiction, free from the unrelenting hunger for love and the bully of insecurity,free from the anguish of pride and the repulsiveness of a vain imagination.
Free so we can know Him more intimately. He wants to demolish any barrier that hinders our relationship and puts a hurtle in our callings.
Make up your mind
In 1 Peter 1 the apostle says “do not fashion yourself according to your old desires”. In Greek fashion is syschēmatizō and means : to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to) Used also in Romans 12:2, in this word you can see our English word psyche. So we get our word for the conformation of the mind.
Take a moment and ask yourself: What is your thoughts made up of?
We have been ordered over and over to watch how we are fashioning our mind sets. To inspect the foundation of our thinking. Why? Because a shaky foundation could cause the entire building to come to the ground. If we do not take hold of our thoughts then those that oppose the truth ,that seemed so innocent will lead us off into captivity. They sneak in, creeping through our television sets, our radios and our smart phones, as they slowly place chains around our minds. In the age we live in we are constantly being bombarded with deception. It lurks around every corner.
A very wise preacher has said ” our minds are never free. There’s no such thing as a free thought.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones.
What he meant by that is, that our thoughts are patterned after something. Whatever we immerse ourselves in will imprint our way of thinking. They are always captives to something or Someone. It’s only when they are captivated by the beauty and majesty of Christ that true freedom can be experienced.
The word captive in 2 Timothy 3 is:
Aichmalōtizō and means: 1. to lead away captive; metaph. to capture ones mind, captivate
As those thoughts creep in undetected, they slowly take over our thought process and before long it holds such power over us that we cannot act apart from it. It alters our wills and dictates our decisions.
We will never live differently if we don’t change our thinking. We can hear countless sermons and study until are bibles fall out of the bind but unless we take every thought captive to Christ-our minds will lead us astray. “…always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
We have to counter the attack. How?
2 Corinthians 10:5 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.
Romans 8 says that there is two mind sets; flesh or Spirit. No grey areas. But that’s what we prefer, we like a little mixture; a little “churchy” stuff and then a little “worldly” stuff. The flesh likes nothing better than to tell us we can have our proverbial cake and eat it to. The truth of the word contradicts that lie. We have to make up our minds which one we want. Which master will it be?
The KJV translates “weak willed” as a “silly” woman. That’s exactly how the enemy wants to make us feel; silly and stupid. He lures us in and then shames us over our decisions. We drown in the whirlpool of our own choices. You are not senseless!The organ that fills the space between your ears is powerful. Scientists say it weighs approximately 3lbs, yet the capabilities of it is immeasurable. Such power can be dangerous if it is not harnessed. You have been given a will by God so that you can make a choice of whose your mind will be captive to; flesh or Christ. There’s no riding the fence on this one. Deception will lure us to a seemingly safe place called: the middle ground. We think we’re not too far gone, we think we have control of the situation and we can return at any moment we want. Lot found himself in the false security of the “middle ground” as well. He pitched his tent outside of Sodom and Gomorrah, a seemingly safe distance but it drew him in. There is no safe “middle ground.”
That’s why so many of us fall pray to the tactics of the fleshly mind-we think it’s okay to have a little of both worlds–NO! And hear me say it again NO! We cannot. God wants our minds sanctified (2 Thessalonians 5) so that we can fulfill our callings and our purpose (2 Tim 2:20-21). There is a reason the enemy wants our minds–because our minds are the margin between God and our hearts. To have any kind of experience or to learn anything or to obey in any way, it is processed first through our minds! Our hearts hold the throne but our minds hold the crown. Our minds digest the material that our hearts consume and it makes the call to bow or to refuse. If our minds are not trained with the word of God then we will fall victim to our own feeble emotions over and over. It’s when our emotions are going haywire that a mind that is fashioned by scripture will say “That’s not true…that’s a lie”. Emotions are good, they are indicators of what’s going on but if our minds are not whole so that it can gauge them, then our emotions will dictate us. And that’s dangerous. Because then we make decisions based on fickle feelings rather than truth. Our conformed minds hold back the reins of our emotions and keep them in check.
Examples: If you lost another boyfriend, your emotions would tell you something’s wrong with you. Your unloveable. Rejection will cause you to seek acceptance by anyone who will give it. Low self esteem about your looks is controlled by the dictator “Comparison” that steals joy and stomps out confidence. Failure can become your identity instead of just an occasion. Pride is the sneakiest of all emotions, it slides in under the banner of entitlement and hides under the brush of selfish ambition and throws out the bait that lures in the thoughts that reaffirm how right you are and how wrong everyone else is. Doubt is like a tsunami to the Psyche. All the what ifs and maybes drown out the solid truth such as “I am confident of this that the one who I have entrusted with is able to guard…” And “he will do an what he started a good work in me will see it through to completion..”as a result God given dreams never come to the God given destiny they were intended to, purpose is pulverized as faith is famished from lack of sustenance that the Bread of the word brings. A mind that is fashioned after truth will catch those runaway emotions and bring them to the cross. Emotions can be a very strong force, we all know that. That’s why we need an even stronger will.
The prison of a rut
Our minds are obsessive. They are constantly turning and prodding, that constant obsessive motion causes ruts to form within our psyche. Ruts that serve as the enemy’s dungeon. I’ve heard it said by people much smarter than I, that the devil cannot read our minds, he’s not as powerful as all that. But make no mistake, his number one tactic is to use our minds against us. This small complex organ within our craniums are as fickle as they are obsessive. It’s the combination of fickleness and obsessiveness that makes it a vulnerable target for the enemy’s darts.
2 Timothy 2:25 tells us Satan has a will for our lives, one that completely counters Gods good and purposeful will.We are either fulfilling Gods will for our lives or we are playing right into satans plot against us. Satan is a dark copycat, everything God does he try’s to turn it on its head by creating an evil replica. So make no mistake as good and as pure and purposeful as Gods plan is, Satan too has a plan, a plot that is demoralizing, one that seeks to keep us out of the abundance that comes from Gods plan. When we are bent on our own way, fulfilling our own plan, don’t be fooled; self is the enemy’s territory. Satan uses selfish ambition to trip and trap us as he robs us of our inheritance. That’s why we are always learning but never able to grasp the truth. We are in church every Sunday, attended every bible study, all the conferences we can, but we are still captives;.our minds are conformed instead of being transformed. To fulfill Gods will our minds have got to morph.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind so that by testing you may discern what THE WILL OF GOD IS.
It’s hard to see a path God cut out for you when your in an entirely different world.
The mind of Christ
We’re not talking about “the power of positive thinking”, that’s a crock. You cannot merely be positive and expect to knock down strongholds. It takes divine power; The Spirit plus the Word. Nothing can stand against Them.
We are talking about what Paul called “the mind of Christ”, what happens when we allow the Spirit and the Word of Truth to sanctify our minds. A mind that is governed by the Spirit of truth infuses our wills and so a “weak willed woman” becomes a free woman. That’s why Jesus prayed for The Father to sanctify our minds with the truth, so we will be free. You may argue that “Jesus has already made us free on the cross.” Absolutely true, His death and resurrection gave us the ABILITY to experience freedom. It is like a convict who has been pardoned but still remains behind bars, all the charges have been dropped against him and the jailer leaves the key in the prison door. Yet unless he uses the key given to him he will not experience the freedom given to him.He’s a free man that is still held captive, all because he hasn’t turned the key.
One of simplest statement that helps set my mind free is: starve the flesh, feed the Spirit. What you feed will thrive and what you starve will dry up. And as we have seen scripture is clear, you cannot feed the Spirit and the flesh at the same time, one starves while the other gorges. That’s how it goes.
A weak willed woman risks her heritage of abundance for momentary fleeting gratification.
Loaded down & led astray
“Loaded down with sins and led astray by freshly desires.” 2 Timothy 3. These two things WILL cause our wills to disintegrate .
Loaded down with sin, the Greek word loaded down means: to overwhelm with heaping upon. What happens is we can’t bear the weight of our own sins, they are much too heavy for us. So are wills are broken under the strain. The wonderful news of the gospel is we don’t have to carry that burden anymore….Jesus bears them all for us. Isn’t it ironic that we are overwhelmed by the very thing we are meant to overcome in Christ? I’ve been there, so loaded down with the shame of sin that I run from God. His will seemed like it was just another burden to bear. I was scared to death that when I couldn’t live up to His expectations there would be more shame and condemnation. I had enough of that. I didn’t understand that Gods will is soaked in His grace and that He is much easier to please than I thought, He remembers we are dust people.
I know this one, because it has been my story. My kids are memorizing Hebrews 4:12 this week. As I explained this verse to them, tears started flowing out of my eyes, because I KNOW for a fact that the word is alive and active and able to get down the recesses of our being and breathe life where there was none. When hope is strangled the word breathes vitality back into our weary souls. When we are devastated and hurting the word pours its soothing balm on our wounds. When we do not know where to go, the word lights up as a beacon and shows the path. But the reason why this verse brought tears was the miracle that The word saved me from myself. God used it to deliver me from my captivity. Don’t ever look at the Word as merely ink on a page, don’t cheat yourself! It’s the key to the stronghold, that you have been searching for. It’s your way out. Turn the key and use it to crown all your emotions. As you do the Spirit will arise in ways you have never experienced before. It’s not enough friends, just to know it, you have to submit to it. Bowing before the truth strongholds will be demolished and a miraculous thing will happen…a weak willed woman will turn into a virtuous woman.