Scripture: 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 10:4-5 ESV
Observation: Having urged the Corinthians to give generously to the needs of the poor in Jerusalem with gratitude to God for their abundance and with a cheerful heart, Paul then defends his and his team’s mission. In doing so, he offers a couple of key elements to prospering in ministry. First, Paul reminds the Corinthians not to focus on opponents to the faith (flesh) but the evil spiritual forces that wage war against the Gospel through them (above verses). Secondly, because it is spiritual warfare, Paul emphasizes the importance of refuting novel ideas of our faith that are contrary to Scripture’s revelation of God.
Takeaway: So, how do we destroy strongholds? First, we take every thought captive to obey Christ? Every thought? As it pertains to obedience to Christ, yes. But if we take this verse out of context and apply it to all aspects of life, we will play into the enemy’s hand with self-absorbed moral scrupulosity and be of no good to ourselves or others. Given the warfare motif of this passage, we can reasonably assume that Paul is concerned about our thought life when we are engaged in spiritual battles “against the knowledge of God.” We need to focus on the real enemy and not fixate on ourselves or fellow believers’ offensive words or actions. Then we will be fit to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead toward exposing those opinions contrary to the Word that lead us astray from God’s good and life-giving commands.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for the special revelation of Scripture that reveals you and your Son and how you are accomplishing your purposes for our good. Would you please help us to follow your Holy Spirit’s lead and destroy those strongholds that pervert and oppose the knowledge of you and the path to eternal life with you? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling