This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
In the previous post, we summarized last week's overview of Spiritual Warfare:
The enemy's ultimate goal is disconnection. The enemy wants us disconnected from God. The enemy wants us disconnected from each other. Disconnected from God is the OPPOSITE of the First Command: Love the Lord they God...
Disconnected from each other is the OPPOSITE of the Second Command: Love your neighbor...
Notice that the First and Second Commands involve love which is the first listed fruit of the Spirit.
YOU CANNOT SUCCEED IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE WITHOUT BIBLICAL GRACE!
YOU CANNOT SUCCEED IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE IF YOU ARE JUDGING OTHERS!
The true difference in HOW the warring factions interact with individuals is:
1. The enemy CONDEMNS
2. The Holy Spirit CONVICTS
Notice, there is a subtle difference between these two approaches. The key to understanding the difference is to understand the WORDS and SENTENCES that are used by the enemy and by the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, Spiritual Warfare is made up of WORDS and SENTENCES! Having contradictory and wrong WORDS and SENTENCES results in destruction. Having non-contradictory and right WORDS and SENTENCES results in Profitability.
Taking in all that you have read this week, please read the critical passage on Spiritual Warfare again.
Today, we will look more closely at this critical passage on Spiritual Warfare...
STRONGHOLDS AND IMAGINATIONS
2 Corinthians 10
"1 Now I Paul myself entreat you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am of good courage toward you:
2 yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present show courage with the confidence wherewith I count to be bold against some, who count of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;
6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full.
7 Ye look at the things that are before your face. If any man trusteth in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ's, so also are we."
We saw that Paul made the case that Spiritual Warfare does NOT involve the flesh or anything Physical like the warfare we are all familiar with. However, the verses that gave the specific description were 3-6. Let's look at them more closely...
"3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),"
Verse 3 made the point that this war is NOT according to the flesh...then Paul made a parenthetical comment! Verse 4 established the fact that while this warfare is NOT according to the Physical, it is still very powerful! In fact, the WEAPONS of our warfare are MIGHTY BEFORE GOD to the casting down of strongholds. This is stating that these weapons are so mighty, they are able to cast down strongholds. Said another way, strongholds are really difficult to cast down and we are able to do it with the weapons of our warfare. What are "strongholds"?
Strongholds was Strong's #3794 ochuroma - "from a remote der. of 2192 (mean. to fortify, through the idea of holding safely); a castle (fig. argument):-stronghold" (By the way, Strong's #2192 was echo - "to hold")
There are three points to be made:
1. fortify - a stronghold is able to fortify...it is the SOURCE of ammunition and supplies! Since the strongholds that are intended to be cast down are the enemy's stronghold, this would mean the SOURCE of the enemies ammunition and resources are WITHIN this stronghold.
2. holding safely - Notice, a source of ammunition and supplies that comes from WITHIN the enemy's territory is NOT concerned with being held safely. The sources that the enemy needs to be held safely are WITHIN the enemy's opposition's territory...our enemy's strongholds are WITHIN us. A stronghold is a very specific and powerful source of ammunition and supplies BECAUSE it exists WITHIN the opposition's territory. As long as the stronghold is held safely, ammunition and supplies can be immediately and readily obtained.
3. argument - The entire stronghold is figuratively seen as "an argument". Paul was NOT talking about a Physical stronghold...THAT was the point of Paul stating the weapons of our warfare aren't Physical (literal)...they are Spiritual...the figurative version of the Physical.
The "stronghold" is an argument posed by the enemy that is safely held WITHIN us (our brain) and is used AGAINST us...it is the source of ammunition and resources for the enemy. Remember, the enemy does NOT create...they need our help. We saw the enemy gets help by deceiving people...by people supplying their own energy towards a Right WHAT with a Wrong HOW/WHY.
The weapons of our warfare are able to cast down the enemy's source of ammunition and resources...AND the source of ammunition and resources are an argument made up of WHAT?
"5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;"
The stronghold is made up of "imaginations" and thoughts. What are "imaginations"?
Imaginations was Strong's #3053 logismos - "from 3049; computation, i.e. (fig.) reasoning (conscience, conceit):-imagination, thought."
Well, this definition was consistent with "an argument". Let's go deeper...what was #3049?
#3049 logizomal - "from 3056; to take an inventory, i.e. estimate (lit. or fig.):-conclude"
This involved taking inventory...being aware of everything...AND concluding...stating one's will! This was a fully conscious statement of the will. Let's go deeper...what was #3056?
#3056 logos - "from 3004; something said (including the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive;"
This was the same word used in John 1 when Jesus was described as The Word...The Logos! WOW!
Jesus is the thing that is spoken along with the thought...He is the subject of discourse, reasoning, and motive!
For our application, "logos" fits the fully conscious statement of will because it is the thing spoken as a result of reasoning and discourse. It is the motive spoken...statement of the will. Let's take this all the way down to the root which was #3004:
#3004 lego - "a prim. verb; prop. to 'lay" forth, i.e. relate (in words [usually of systematic or set discourse;"
THROUGHOUT all the definitions of "imaginations" the meaning was "the WORDS that are consciously stated as a result of discourse, reasoning, and motive".
Looking at verse 5 again, Paul said we ought to cast down every statement of OUR WILL that is preferred and in opposition to the knowledge of God. Paul also said we ought to bring EVERY thought (good and bad) into captivity of the obedience of Christ.
The method (HOW) of Spiritual Warfare is our ability to handle OUR thoughts and arguments (and the thoughts and arguments of people)...which are made up of WORDS and SENTENCES. What is the reason (WHY) we ought to be able to do this HOW (method) of Spiritual Warfare?
"6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full."
Notice how this was worded. We ought to be ready to avenge all disobedience (which is Warfare) WHEN our obedience is made full.
Avenging all disobedience is the reason (WHY) for Spiritual Warfare. The method (HOW) of Spiritual Warfare is the ability to handle OUR thoughts and arguments (and the thoughts and arguments of people)...however, we don't war against people...we war against the thoughts and arguments (of people) that are in disobedience to God.
However, we aren't supposed to war until our obedience is made full...until we have won the Spiritual War in our own lives.
How do we get our obedience to be made full?
Tomorrow, we will begin looking at how we get our obedience full...