Pulling Down of Strongholds
By John Weaver
September 1, 2021
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
“PULLING DOWN OF STRONGHOLDS”
When you see these words, what comes to your mind? It is talking about the weapons of our warfare being mighty through God. It also says that these weapons are not carnal, meaning they are not literal like spears, guns, or bombs.
We don't fight in the flesh. Our weapons are not literal - and yet we are in warfare. Confusing? What is the war about? It is called the battle of the mind. The mind is where many battles are fought. In the mind is where the strongholds need to be pulled down.
Let me explain, because what I am talking about is completely New Covenant teaching. It is what Jesus taught. One time Jesus said:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
The real sin is committed in the mind. If the thought of adultery is not brought into captivity, it will lead to lust and that is where the battle is lost.
Something happens, and as a result, two people have an intense disagreement. This turns into conflict. Maybe they are not speaking anymore. The intense dislike continues, the battle in the mind has been lost, and they are both guilty of murder.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15).
What about other sins? Covetousness is another battle of the mind. Only after the battle is lost in the mind do we see the fruits of covetousness.
Jesus taught a much higher standard than the Old Covenant did. And the Old, being impossible to keep, how can we keep a much higher standard? It seems impossible.
But wait! God knew all about this. He knows our every weakness. He sent Himself (the Holy Spirit) to walk with us and to guide us into all truth. If we give the Holy Spirit the preeminence (first place) in our lives, He will guide us and direct us, and then we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
If the battles is won in the mind, the battle is won. If the battle is lost in the mind, the battle is lost.
The man who views porn, has lost the battle before then. He did not bring his thoughts into captivity earlier and allowed his thoughts become actions.
Before Judas betrayed Jesus, Scripture says that the devil put it into his heart to betray Jesus. Judas allowed the devil access to his heart.
“And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2).
This is a high standard indeed. And is only possible by allowing God access to into our heart. In the Old Covenant, it was all about keeping the law in their own power. In the New Covenant it is all about walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sadly, many church's today are still practicing the Old Covenant. When they see bad fruits, they focus on behavior modification. They try to change or stop the bad fruit without going to the root. We can never change ourselves to become acceptable to God. We must become what the Scripture says.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Notice how the verse begins, “IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST.”
Being in Christ is the only way.
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