Devotion for January 1, 2014: Thought Wars

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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:4-6)

The weapons of our warfare…

…pull down strongholds.- A stronghold is a place that is not easily conquered but is easily defended. When evil gets a stronghold in our lives it can be deadly for a long time.
…casts down arguments and every high thing- It’s so clear that Paul is not talking about real earthly or “carnal” warfare but the battlefield of the mind and worldview.
…brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.- It’s like a benevolent dictator. “Hey stop that! That’s not a right way to think about (fill in the blank). Think this way..”
…lead to obedience.-The point of changing our thinking is changing our actions. It really does come in that order.

What are the “weapons of our warfare”?

The Word of God-
As we think about all of the things that the verses say that “the weapons of our warfare” do this is the most obvious answer. God’s Truth found in the scripture has the power to obliterate the arguments that I make about my behavior and ways of thinking that “exalts itself agains the knowledge of God”.

The Holy Spirit-
God Himself helps us to understand and apply scripture to our lives.

Prayer-
Prayer guided by the previous two helps to align my will with God’s will for me.
See Ephesians 6-This isn’t the first place that Paul uses battle language to talk about our spiritual walk. Look at the list of equipment that Paul describes there.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:14-18)

Application
We really do become what we think.

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heavenly Father, I so want you to guard my heart and mind today. Sometimes the greatest enemy of my mind and heart is me. Defend me from myself. Help me not to self destruct. Help me to think the right things so I can do what is right in Your power. I love you. Amen.

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