"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
So far we have spoken of the fact that these strongholds are habits, thought patterns and complexes that have been built in our minds over many years. They are built one thought at a time and become very powerful as they dominate the landscape of our thinking and feelings. The world and its systems continue to build forts in our lives through a constant stream of thoughts, ideas and arguments that infiltrate our minds through the gates of our senses, primarily our eyes and ears. We will never win the battle against these strongholds until we stop the flow of misinformation to our minds. Today I want to look at how these strongholds can be dismantled.
Paul speaks of "casting down arguments".
So the stones that make up the walls of these strongholds are arguments and they need to be pulled down. Now if we were to pull down the stones that make up a literal fortification we would do so using ropes and chains and some kind of machine that could pull at the stones and so bring them down. Our battle, however, is a spiritual one and therefore we cannot use physical things to bring these arguments down.
There is only thing that can bring an argument down and that is a stronger argument. So many people try to deal with these strongholds in an emotional way, but feelings are no match for arguments. We need stronger, better, and right arguments or reasoning to break the strongholds down. We simply call those the truth! The arguments that Satan and the world build with are lies, half-truths and deceptions. Our weapon against these is the truth and there is only one truth – God's truth; as contained in His Word.
Yes, the Bible contains the antidote to the lies of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Remember when the Devil tempted Jesus with arguments based on half-truths from the Bible? Jesus' response was not to "bind" the Devil or to say "I think" or "I feel". No, He simply quoted the Scriptures correctly and in their correct context. That is the only way we will win this part of the battle of the mind – by knowing the Scriptures and being able to wield the Sword of the Spirit.
Without spending time in the Bible and being taught in a good church, by a godly Bible teacher, you will never win the battle of the mind.
You can only use a sword when you have been trained how to wield it. And you will never win the battle of wits against the Devil unless you know the Word and know it well. I know there are some who are reading this who feel they will never know the Word enough. That is not true. If you are diligent in searching the Scriptures and you fill your mind with the Word instead of what the Devil has to say, the Holy Spirit will teach you and bring to your remembrance exactly what you need in order to win. But the Spirit can only bring to your remembrance what you have learned. (John 14:26)
A verse often quoted, even by unbelievers, is John 8:32: "...you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This is often used as some kind of mantra without understanding exactly what it means. Truth about some every-day issue does not have a magical ability to set people free as politicians and social engineers would like to have us think.
Firstly Jesus said: "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (vv 31 & 32). In other words, if we abide (remain) in His word, that proves that we are His followers then we shall know the Truth which will set us free. This promise does not belong or work for those who are not followers and learners of Jesus.
The Truth is not going to be found in the manifesto of a political party or a history book or in our own emotions or thoughts. It is only in the Word. Neither is Truth found in a superficial reading of the Word, but as we abide in the Word, we will discover the Truth which will make us free. This means spending time in the Word, meditating on it and being obedient to it. Listening to a 30 minute sermon once a week is not going to set you free, neither will a 3-minute reading of a daily devotional. Abiding means to remain constantly in, and submerged in, the Word! As we abide, remain, dwell, live and move in the Word, we will begin to really know the Truth and that will set us free. Notice also that He did not say if you heard the truth, but as we know the truth – we are set free. Jesus was speaking about freedom from the slavery of sin, which is exactly what these strongholds do – they keep us captive.
Then in John 8:36, Jesus continues to say "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
First He said the Truth will set us free, but now He says the Son will set us free. Is that a contradiction? No. Remember that Jesus said "I am the Truth" (John 14:6). So abiding in the Word will teach us to know Jesus and Jesus will set us free as we obediently follow Him. Jesus said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
So, in order to begin breaking down the strongholds, we need to immerse ourselves in the Word and be obedient to it. As the Word begins to contradict the arguments of the world, the flesh, and the Devil and we believe and act on the Word, the strongholds will come tumbling down, argument by argument and reason by reason.
But remember, if we allow the world to rebuild and reinforce the strongholds faster than the Word can break them down – we will never win and that is unfortunately the truth for most Christians! Limit the access of the world into your mind and soak in the Word of God and you will begin to find victory in areas you never thought possible. I have often spent time with folk in deep depression and watched how quoting the scriptures and the promises of God, sometimes for hours on end, have brought people out of the depths of despair. It does work! It is the truth! – To be continued.
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