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."
Let's break this down and look at some definitions.
Demolish - to tear down, to break to pieces, smash, to do away with, destroy
Captive - taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war, kept within bounds
Every - being each individual or part of a group without exception
Thought - an individual act or product of thinking, concept of the mind
Obedient - submissive to the restraint or command of authority; willing to obey
When we get to know God by reading His word and we start trusting Him to show us the way to go in our lives, we can start to hear Him in our day to day lives and decision making. Sometimes when we ask Him for guidance on a decision, we "hear" Him by a peace that comes over us and we know which way to take. Other times we can read a passage in the Bible and it "speaks" as if it were for the very issue you were worried about. Still others can hear a small voice like Elijah when he heard a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13). How God speaks to us is up to God, but knowing what we're hearing is truly from God can only be validated by knowing His Word.
It is wise when facing decisions to pray first. Pray for God's will to be done, for His guidance, and also, I think, it's ok to pray for peace when the decision is made.
But there are things that can get in the way of "hearing" God's voice in our lives, and prevent us from understanding His will and His ways. That's where the above verse comes in handy.
Paul paints a vivid picture of almost a battlefield in getting to know God and His ways. We have to demolish - get rid of, smash, destroy - everything that goes against God's knowledge. How do we get to know the knowledge of God? By studying His Word!
We need to know WHO we are in God's eyes. We need to know WHAT our purpose is. We need to know HOW to be Who God says we are. How do we know WHO, WHAT, and HOW? By reading HIS WORD! For a place to start in finding these things out - read the book of Ephesians in the New Testament. If you are new to the Bible it's almost to the end of the book.
When you read these words, believe that they are for YOU! They are ancient words but for modern times. Nothing has changed about their meaning. They are for you and me to chew on, breathe in, absorb, and believe.
But what do we do with the things that we find in our thoughts that don't line up with the words of Christ and the knowledge of God? Paul tells us in this passage above: "Take captive every thought and made it obedient to Christ." In other words, capture that thought - if you have an imagination, think of it this way - you are a rodeo cowboy or cowgirl and you take your lassoed rope and catch the calf with it and bring it in. Or, think of it as a police officer putting handcuffs on a criminal. Whatever picture works for you, place that thought under arrest and ask it - "Does Jesus believe this about me? Where in His word would he ever say this about me?"
If you find that your thought is either something Jesus wouldn't say about you then proceed to make that thought a Jesus thought. Instead of calling yourself worthless or dumb or not good or bad or any other lie that you hear in your head and/or heart, take a verse from Ephesians and put your name in it.
For example: Ephesians 3:16-18 would say something like this - *(in these you could put me or your name, whatever speaks most to you)*.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you(me)with power through his Spirit in your(my) inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your(my) hearts through faith. And I pray that you(I), being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you(I) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
When you are doing this you are taking captive your thoughts and lining them up with what Christ says about you. You are precious in His sight! It's time to believe that. If you've got sin that keeps getting in the way of owning this, then get the sin out! Repent, confess, receive the forgiveness that Jesus bought for you.
But above all else, bask in the love that the Creator of the Universe has for you. He who made thousands of species and has put trillions of cells in the human body Loves you!
You messed up, sinning, doubting, fearful you.
He loves you and has cleared the way to make you new.