Every Thought Captive

Where Does Your Mind Wander?

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: "The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing My servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am He who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I Myself have received authority from My Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’"

Revelation 2:18-29

Where does your mind wander throughout the day? We each have so many different concerns and questions that can make us anxious. How are my kids doing at school? What will my coworker say in my meeting? What do I need to feel happy and safe?

The church in Thyatira was struggling to hold onto the teachings of Jesus and trust Him for their provision. They misunderstood what “the good life” really meant. For some to experience their definition of the good life, they would compromise their faith. What began as an attempt to provide for their families turned into a comprise that infested the church. Instead of trusting in God for their food and their clothing, people in Thyatira turned to trade guilds for comfort and provision.

To add to this sin, they began to listen to the voice of a woman in the community named Jezebel. She offered them a “better way to live.” Instead of being cast out or persecuted for their faith, Jezebel encouraged the church of Thyatira to live two lives. They could participate in the world by eating idol meat and engaging in sexual immorality. The people were encouraged to do these things and still worship God. What may have started off as an easy way to avoid hardship became a snare.

Jesus calls out the church for becoming slaves to comfort. Instead of taking a stand for their faith as the apostles did, they leaped at the opportunity to be comfortable. Jesus gives the church time to repent, and instead of returning to their Provider, they double down and refuse. Ultimately, Jesus warns them that He will let them pursue their comforts, and it will bring tribulation. They will die if they do not repent, which Jesus is calling them to do. They cannot experience life without finding it in Jesus.

In Matthew 16:24-27, Jesus says:

If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done.

We, like the church of Thyatira, have a choice to make. What do you love more than Jesus?  We chase so many things in the world because we think they will bring us joy, but in the end, only Jesus can satisfy our hearts. C.S. Lewis once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” We do not desire heaven as much as we ought to, and the Lord in His kindness allows us to see that. His word tells us that all the things of the world will eventually fade, and only Jesus is able to fulfill the longings of our hearts.

This is why Jesus tells the church at the end of this letter that they must hold fast to the confession that Jesus is better than this world. This means that they could miss out on worldly comforts, like status and power. They could also miss out on more significant physical provisions for their families. Jesus reminds them that by holding fast, they will get to be stewards of the Lord's Kingdom, which is infinitely better. More importantly, they will get Jesus Himself, the Bright Morning Star who will make all things new.

When we begin to let our minds wander to the Kingdom of God and to the splendor of the King, then worldly things become less bright. Only Jesus can change our hearts to think this way, and only Jesus can make us whole regardless of what the world tries to offer.

About the Author

Photograph of Will Peters

Will Peters

Ministry Leader of Middle School

Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Will Peters was born in Dallas and raised in Paris, Texas. He has felt a call to ministry since his freshman year of high school. Will is a graduate of Texas Christian University and is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. He currently serves as the Ministry Leader of Middle School at PCPC. Will is married to Leah, and they have a dog named Teddy.