“For 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, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
// 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
What’s important to remember about war is that it is associated with protecting something that is being built. Whether it is a new nation, or one that has been long established, warfare surrounds growth.
When writing this letter to the Corinthians, Paul frames warfare around our experiential knowledge of God – our personal revelation of who He is. Paul instructs the Corinthians to guard this knowledge, destroying anything that comes in opposition. Any thought, opinion or feeling is subject and he says to be ready to survey them all. Like in any war, it’s key for us to remember why we're fighting. Paul is warning the Corinthians to stand guard because of what God is building in them.
The Father wants us to know Him – not from a distance, but up close. He desires to give us revelation upon revelation, building in us a foundation of faith. Every time we take a thought captive we are defending the revelations He’s given us, the foundation on which He’s built our faith, no matter how small. He wants to continually open our eyes to new understanding, shifting our hearts to be more in line with His.
We are called to build, sculpting lives of obedience into maturity, weighing every thought against the truth of God and finding its place, whether valid or invalid. Obedience looks like hearing, reading, saying or even thinking something, identifying it as not in line with God’s word, and taking it captive, separating it from the thoughts, ideas, feelings we claim as our own. It’s not getting rid of the thought that’s the answer, but instead substituting lofty opinions with truth, replacing arguments with God’s praise.
We have a choice each morning: to stand on the experiential knowledge we have of Christ, believing the promises of God through faith, or to stand in our own strength, believing in our ability to manipulate the reality in which we find ourselves. But as Paul explains, though we walk in the world we see around us, that is not our battle zone. We are not to fight as the world fights, but to stand firm and secure on the solid rock of Jesus.
// Janel Navran