2 Corinthians 10:4-For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…NKJV
As a history teacher, I’ve taught about many battles worldwide. Waging war against one’s enemies is timeless, although the weapons of warfare are constantly changing. The Roman army was known for its swords, spears, chariots, and swift horses during the Roman Empire. However, around the thirteenth century, gunpowder weapons began to be used. With the discovery of gunpowder, weapons like cannons and guns appeared on the battlefield.
As wars are waged on land, on the sea, and in the air, weapons have been manufactured to defend and attack from each position, making it possible to bring a tremendous onslaught on the enemy. Weapons created to bring about the most destruction possible are being developed regularly, including biochemical weapons. We live in a world where war is constantly on the mind of someone.
War was on Paul’s mind when he penned these words:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.2 Corinthians 10:3 NKJV
Paul wanted the believers in Corinthians, and therefore all believers, to understand that although we are in the flesh and still mortal, we don’t war according to the flesh. The flesh always wants to have its own way! It always expects to win or go down fighting. And when we are attacked, we want to respond with fleshly weapons: anger, cursing, physical fighting, and throwing things because fleshly weapons are often used against us. But Paul said:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
Paul was trying to convey that when things are happening to us in the natural realm, real and hurtful things, the battle isn’t to be fought in the natural realm. In his writings, Paul refers to spiritual warfare as the devil’s attack against the people of God. Those attacks come in many ways, but in this chapter, Paul draws attention to the battle inside us, in our minds. Paul is alerting us to the truth that some things we think about are just attacks against us and our minds. And that although our weapons are not carnal, they are mighty!
Paul’s character had been attacked. His motive and manner of ministry to the church were being talked about. And Paul recognized that although he was being attacked by people, the author of the attack was the devil! Although there may have been a temptation on his part to respond in the flesh, he had more powerful weapons in God! Weapons that were able to pull down strongholds. So instead of fighting fire with fire, he chose God’s weapon to fight the enemy’s weapons. We can address all spiritual strongholds, but I’m just addressing the attack in the mind today.
A stronghold in the mind is a way of thinking entrenched in our minds, affecting everything we do. For example, a person who always thinks that everybody is out to get them has a stronghold in their mind. Or, someone who feels unloved and can’t trust anybody probably has a stronghold in their mind. Another example that popped into my thoughts is a person who looks in the mirror and always sees a fat person when they are not; or an ugly person when they are attractive. This is not an exhaustive list, but something to get us to think about how we allow things in our heads to control us. I’ll say it another way, anything that paralyzes an individual in their mind, keeping them from becoming the person God intended them to become, has a stronghold on their mind. And at some point, all of us have to fight the battle of the mind because it is the devil’s favorite battleground.
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 10:4-5 NKJV
Paul turns us to the truth that our weapons are mighty in God. When we follow the principles laid out in the word of God, we will have the victory that God promises. In God, we can tear down every stronghold in our minds. Here’s a great place to remind us of the words of Jesus:
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”Mark 9:23 NKJV
If you can believe that you can be free of the stronghold in your mind, even over your life, Jesus said it would be possible for you to be free. It starts with what you believe! If you believe you can never be free again, what you believe will become your reality! So, I’ve just given you step one of activating your weapon against the strongholds of your mind. You have to believe.
Next, you have to see yourself pulling down those strongholds. Visualize yourself attaching a rope to those strongholds and pulling them down with the aid of the Holy Ghost! Because He will come alongside you, as your Helper, and pull those strongholds down!
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 10:5 NKJV
Casting down arguments means refusing to accept them as valid. Voices that say you are unworthy or unqualified, you are not good enough, you will never amount to anything, or you are the last person someone could love are lies. As strongholds, they have taken root in your mind and are exalted against the knowledge of God. You have allowed them to have dominion over you and your thought life and have made them more significant than the knowledge of God! It is time to cast down, or demolish, those things from your mind!
Then Paul says that you are to take them captive! How do you take thoughts captive? You bring them under control! Reign them in! Stop them from running amuck in your mind! As you take those thoughts captive, it is like a processional walk of victory in your mind that alerts the enemy to his defeat!
Lastly, you bring them into the obedience of Christ! Replacement theory at its best! You replace those negative, hurtful thoughts with the wonderful words of Jesus. Instead of allowing comments that make you feel unworthy, you take captive those thoughts and replace them with words that say you are worthy:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.Luke 12:6-7 NKJV
God greatly valued us when Jesus died on the cross for us! He made us worthy through the shedding of His blood! Every word against this truth is a lie, a vain imagination, a thought that is trying to exalt itself against the knowledge of God! It needs to be cast down and taken into captivity!
If space permitted me, I would give you scripture for every lie the enemy told me and others to pollute our thinking and paralyze our faith in God! Satan uses these tactics because they have worked against rich and poor people. These tactics care nothing about age, race, religion, or job title. None of us are exempt from these attacks, but with the help of the Holy Ghost, each can cast them down and take them into captivity! Wonderful Jesus!