Summary: We have divine power to demolish strongholds in our lives, through the Word of God and Spirit-empowered prayer.
[I have taken most of the thoughts in this sermon from the Introduction chapter in Beth Moore’s book Praying God’s Word.]
2 Cor 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 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.
God has given us His power to demolish strongholds.
• What are strongholds? Paul did a good job explaining it to us.
• A stronghold is any arguments or pretension that “sets itself up against the knowledge of God.”
• Other versions: “every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God”
And we “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
• A stronghold is anything that exalts itself in our minds – “pretending” to be bigger or more powerful than out God.
• The arguments (other versions uses speculations, imaginations) – the thoughts that exalt itself in our minds and cause us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered.
Whether the stronghold is a superstitious belief, an addiction, wrong thoughts, and despair over a loss, etc. – it is something that consumes our emotional and mental strength.
• That abundant life that we supposed to be enjoying in Christ is strangled.
• We become ineffective, tired Christians.
We are at WAR, Paul says. And we need to know what weapons to use against the enemy.
• The devil is unseen, therefore the weapons of the world won’t do.
• Paul says we use a different set of weapons.
In this warfare, Paul says the primary battlefield is the MIND.
• To win this war against Satan, we need to take control of our thought life – “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
• The devil’s chief target is the mind, because the most effective way to influence behaviour is to influence thinking.
• He did that to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden - doubting God’s truth; to Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness, twisting God’s truth.
Our minds are the control centers of our entire beings.
• The enemy knows that there is nothing bigger or more powerful than God.
• That’s why everything that “exalts itself” in our though life is called a “pretension” – the other versions says speculation, imagination.
• Satan plays make-believe. He can only pretend – deceive us with half-truths and lies.
Satan has lost all power and authority over our lives in Christ.
• Col 2:15 “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
• But Satan wants to make us believe we are weak. He plays make-believe and does a remarkable job of trying to make us believe it.
• He is very good at his job – he has been doing that for 6000 years since Adam and Eve. He has lots of experience.
• He knows human nature very well, having been dealing with them for over 6000 years! He knows how to trick you into believing Him!
So we must keep telling ourselves – nothing is bigger or more powerful than God! Nothing can go against the Word of God. Absolute NOTHING!
• Therefore we “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
• We believe what the Word of God says.
• In order words, in a practical way, no sin, no addiction, no problems in your life, can continue to be a “stronghold of the devil” when we bend our knee to the authority of Christ!
• There can be no two masters! If Christ is Lord, then our life can be changed!
So what are our weapons?
According to this passage, we have 4 vital pieces of information regarding these weapons:
1. They are not the weapons of the world
2. They have divine power
3. They are associated with the ‘knowledge of God.’
4. Their purpose in warfare is to take our thoughts captive – aligning back to Christ.
In Eph 6:10-18 - Paul listed the whole armour of God.
• Only one piece of the armour is an offensive weapon – the sword.
• The belt, breastplate, shield, shoes and helmet are all defensive, protective pieces of amour intended to keep us from being injured by the weapons of the evil one.
• The sword of the Spirit – clearly identified as the Word of God, is the only offensive weapon listed in the whole armour of God.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He fought back with the Word of God.