Pulling Down of Strongholds
This morning I was reading from 2 Cor 10. I had some really amazing ‘ah-ha’ moments as I started digging into the meaning of words, I had assumed I understood.
Let’s begin by looking at Vs 3-6.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Our ‘battle’ is spiritual in nature. We are partakers of the great controversy between God and satan. The evil we see in the world is satan’s fingerprint in his efforts to destroy all those who are following God’s truth. [Remember, satan has very convincing counterfeits. One for each of God’s truths.]
Stronghold means castle. I thought of how our body is the temple of God. I’ve written on that aspect several times. This is why it is important for those who call themselves a child of God to depend on Christ’s spirit to give control over our appetite. What we eat does affect our spiritual health.
Casting down doesn’t mean simply knocking down. It means to demolish. To totally destroy.
Imagination (logismos) means conscience conceit, reasoning, and imagination. If you look at the original word, it is easy to see the connection to logic. We are to totally destroy our dependence upon our own thinking and reasoning. That is powerful.
Think about it for a minute.
To be renewed in the mind (Rom 12:1-2), to have the mind of Christ, we must totally destroy our dependence on our own thinking and considerations.
For someone who was very controlling in the past due to my growing-up years, this total destruction of my own thoughts would have been daunting in the past. Yet, due to Lyme disease, I had become so sick that I could not think. I could not even speak very well. I had a 2-second memory. I sure could not rely on myself for anything.
We are to destroy everything that keeps us from learning more about God and walking in obedience to Him.
To revenge (ekdikeo) means to vindicate or retaliate. We are to be ready to vindicate or retaliate against anything that leads to disobedience.
What I really found interesting was the word disobedience. Parakoe (disobedience) means inattention that leads to disobedience. Inattention….following through by habit.
How often do we do this? We live the majority of our lives by habit. We are rarely intentional in what we do each day. We have our routines, and we follow them blindly, without thought.
I tell my grandson to be intentional each day while at school. Be conscious of what he is learning and studying. Do not allow the day to go by without a thought, follow through by habit.
I also think of the verse Eph 5:16 on redeeming the time. We are to be conscious of every moment and how we are using it for God’s kingdom. How are we using our time to fulfill our God-given purpose to spread His word?
I’ve often written on the importance of walking our talk. If we do not, then our brain will prune the neural pathways that represent our beliefs. Habits form when we do things over and over. Then we reach a point where we do these actions without thought.
So, we are to be ever ready to retaliate against all habitual thought and action that leads to disobedience. Wow, how powerful is that?
Many people do not feel obedience is necessary. They believe that as long as they believe, they can continue to live their lives and be fine. [Easy grace lie.]
These verses disprove that.
Does obedience save? No. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. It is the proof we are saved. It is the proof of our love for God. It is the proof we know Him. [John 14:15, 1 John 2:3-4, 1 John 3: 4-10] We are to be doers of the word, not hearers only. Obedience leads to protection against the last plagues and the right to enter into the kingdom of heaven. [Rev 14:12, Rev 22:14]
We can only obey by giving our will to God daily, so He can transform us back into the image of God we were created to be.
Something to think about.