TO CHEW ON: "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, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
Joyce Meyer, in her book Battlefield of the Mind says: "The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions .... Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, p. 3.
What a key scripture 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 has become in my life as I seek to think rightly.
'Strongholds' seemed like an old-fashioned word, though, and I wondered how different Bible translations rendered it. Surprise! in four that I consulted (Amplifed, NLT, NIV, and ESV) the word strongholds was used. So I looked up stronghold.
[The dictionary says it is "a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack, also a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld."]
My Bible has a wonderful article which gives an anatomy of the mental strongholds Paul talks about here:
"Strongholds are first established in the mind; that is why we are to take every thought captive.You will recall that Ephesians 6:13-18 is the Armour of God passage where the weapons named are truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.
Behind a stronghold is also a lie—a place of personal bondage where God's Word has been subjugated to any unscriptural idea or personally confusing belief that is held to be true.
Behind every lie is a fear and behind every fear is an idol.
Idols are established wherever there exists a failure to trust in the provisions of God that are ours through Jesus Christ.
Some of the weapons that pull down these strongholds are:
- God's Word (Hebrews 4:12-13).
- The blood of the Cross (Revelation 12:11).
- The name of Jesus (Mark 16:7).
Strongholds are pulled down and confronted bondage is broken as these spiritual weapons of our warfare are employed (see Ephesians 6:13-18)" - Christopher Hayward, "Pulling Down Strongholds," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1621,2 (formatting added).
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to recognize the strongholds in my life and to identify the lies, fears, and idols behind them. Help me to use Your weapons to tear these strongholds down. Amen.
MORE: We need to know the Word
"Second Corinthians 10:4,5 clearly indicates that we must know the Word of God well enough to be able to compare what is in our mind with what is in the mind of God; any thought that attempts to exalt itself above the Word of God we are to cast down and bring into captivity to Jesus Christ" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, p. 4.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.