“I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. . . though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. . .” (2 Corinthians 10:1, 3-5 ESV)
Not exactly the usual “holiday scripture,” but how many are like me, fighting the battle of my mind — the expectations, the old wounds, the busy-ness, even the gray weather? I MUST remember that, because of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, that I have “divine power to demolish strongholds. . .” Divine power (that means, Almighty God-type power) to demolish (picture those big buildings that are blown to pieces to make room for a new, better building) strongholds (those stubborn, really tough to tear down, walls of hurt or rejection or self-pity or pride or bitterness, etc.).
So, how do I “flesh out” the rest of this passage, i.e. demolish arguments, take every thought captive? These verbs are strong, active, take-care-of-business verbs. Just the tone tells me that this is something vitally important, something that I must do, not an option for me.
How do I demolish these arguments and every lofty opinion?
By remembering that I am not fighting in my own strength.
By remembering that the Holy Spirit dwells within me, and He will give me strength to fight.
By remembering that I must fight; taking every thought captive to obey Christ isn’t easy! Why am I surprised that the fight is hard?
By purposing in my heart that I will hone my weapons by immersing myself in God’s Word. If I neglect my relationship with Christ, how can I expect to have the strength to fight? If I don’t know God’s Word, how can I expect to know what God thinks?
By deciding, being convicted, that I will regard God’s opinion and God’s Word as true, and if my feelings or opinions, or others’ feelings or opinions differ, I will choose to believe God and act on that belief.
I really like how this passage reads in The Message:
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 The Message)
You love me; You chose me; You value me; I am Your child; You have placed me in the family of God; You have a specific mission to accomplish through me. Oh, help me to never forget Who You are and what You can do!
Don’t you just love Him so much!?
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