Years ago, Bill & Anabel Gillham came to our church and taught some principles that were life-changing for me. One of those principles was based on this verse. What they taught us was this:
Satan speaks to us in first person singular. For all of you English majors, you know that means "I." We know he speaks to us---that's how we're tempted. But he doesn't come to me and say, "Becky, you are so stupid!" Why? Because I'd be immediately tipped off that someone is speaking to me. He's much too crafty for that. He wants me to think what he is saying to me is my own thoughts--not his. So he says, "I am so stupid!" And I think it's my own thought.
To take a thought captive, I picture taking that thought out of my head and holding it in my hands in front of me. I look at it and question, "Is this my thought, God's thought, or Satan's thought?" I hold it captive. I don't let it keep swirling around in my mind and potentially taking me down a path I don't want to go. A good clue to go by is that God is a gentleman; Satan is not. Our enemy accuses, intimidates, criticizes, attacks, disparages, blames, etc. God convicts; Satan condemns. So if you're hearing Satan's voice, take it captive and take authority over it. When I'm looking at that thought in my hands, I actually say, "NO! You have no authority over me!"
A good example in my life is the area of fear. For years, Satan would attack me with thoughts that brought fear. Not knowing to take that thought captive, I entertained it. I would take that thought to an obvious horrible end. It's like I spread out a feast in front of my enemy in my mind and entertained him by entertaining the thoughts he placed there. And he loved it! But I would be depressed and overwhelmed. Fear took a foothold in my life and took up residence in my mind, will and emotions--my soul. We became room mates.
Until...I kicked fear out! I put up a roadblock in my mind and refused to open that gate to fear. It's amazing how many thoughts we have circle in our minds over and over and over...and never stop them or examine them. But after I put up that roadblock and forbade fear to live in my mind, I began to gain a victory. Did thoughts of fear leave for good? No. And I'd have to start all over--examining my thoughts, taking them captive, and tossing them out by taking authority over them. The best thing is I knew where the thoughts were coming from and no longer entertained them--at least for long. We either take thoughts captive...or we're held captive by those thoughts.
I hope this helps someone. It was so eye-opening to me and has helped me gain victory in my own life.