What are the strongholds that we must face each day? Are they hatred, jealousy, dependence, or disease? Maybe there is a particular foe which rears its head – just for you!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the saints at Corinth and reminded them that as we face opposition in life – whether to our faith, or to us personally we are not to battle them as the world does. He wrote:
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (II Corinthians 10:4-5).”*
There are loads of applications to this. On the face of it, he notes in reverse order, that our own thoughts may be an issue. This may be doubt, worry, or despair. But these can be altered – “taken captive” – by making our minds obedient to Christ, and in subjection to His will. In so doing all we will focus on is His promises – and therein lies the root of the battle.
He also notes that there are “arguments and pretensions.” These are often direct or implied attacks on our faith. Gainsaying a belief in anything other that “science” and other empirical based systems is common place. Yet these at best are no more comfort than believing nothing. But as people of faith we can hold firm to promises which were made and manifested when Jesus physically walked upon this Earth. As the hymn puts it “all else is sinking sand.”
Then there are those strongholds. Whether they be principalities or powers they cannot not stand in the face of the Almighty. We are armed and equipped by Him (Ephesians 6:10-18).
My wife Dianne saw this (yes I bet some of you were wondering when I would bring her into this). He battle was with cancer and fatigue. She fought both in the worldly way – with medicine, doctors, and a strict diet. But she did not put her trust in hose alone. She realised that it was in God’s plan when to call her home. If she had invested all in the way the world did, despair might well have set in as she began to decline, and the doctors said there was no more they could do. But she did not despair, she was faithful and above all else positive to the very last. Why? Because she took captive every thought to made it obedient to Christ. She used not the weapons of the world, but the stronghold busters of the Lord.
*From Dianne’s notes 23 November 2018.