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 Christ to the pulling down of strongholds;) 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
The thought of being a warrior appeals to every Christian. We may not all long for the front lines, but everyone wants to make their mark for the cause of Christ. If only we weren’t our greatest enemies we may accomplish more in our waging of war. Unfortunately, it seems were always too distracted fighting ourselves that we haven’t the time to fight for others.
Satan will do everything he can to keep you fighting against yourself.
The good news is that God has laid out the battle plan to defeat the strongholds in your life. In the passage it says that the weapons of our warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. We have been equipped with the proper weapons to complete the task; our arsenal is fit for the pulling down of strongholds in our lives and in the lives of others. But, what exactly is a stronghold?
A stronghold in your life is anything that has a strong hold of your life.
Apart from God, strongholds are never good things. In this passage it describes them as being imaginations and high things that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Imaginations doesn’t mean our creativity or ability to imagine, rather the types of imaginations humans have a propensity towards. Imagination is never used in a good light in all of scripture, it seems to be the evil side of thought. However, the mass majority of the times it is used, the word imaginations is speaking about imaginations of the heart. We already know that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, thus imaginations of the heart are seldom if ever of a good nature.
So how do we wage war against our own selves, and how do we defeat our imaginations and high thoughts? We take them captive to the obedience of Christ. We must guard our minds and hearts with all diligence and capture every thought.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
–2 Timothy 2:4
If we aren’t thinking on, imagining about the affairs of this life, if we don’t lose our witness to political squabbles or worse, succumbing to vice and sin, then we will please him who hath chosen us soldier by warring well. We were not saved to sit and be silent. Every day is a constant battle in our own lives and for the lives of others.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The key to spiritual success has always been winning the battle at home first. There is no witness to others from a life that looks like theirs. We cannot show the love of Christ through sin, it is the power of Christ to overcome sin that draws sinners to the cross of redemption. It is a non-issue that we must win the war within our own hearts and lives first and take captive our thoughts and imaginations. Paul hit upon the right idea when he wrote these words:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
If we are dead to ourselves, crucified with Christ and He lives through us, how then shall we sin? How then shall we stray? Christ is the captain of our lives and He leadeth us not into temptation, but deliverereth us from evil. The only way to win the war within is to die to self and surrender to Him.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist