“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, ESV).
In these verses Paul defends his apostolic ministry to the Corinthians. Paul indicates that there is a world war being waged for the souls of men and women. But, it’s a spiritual war not a physical one.
Paul says that Christians are the soldiers fighting this spiritual war and the weapons used to fight in this war must be spiritual ones.
These spiritual weapons use the divine power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to attack strongholds where the enemy is entrenched and to take the enemy captive and make it subject to Christ its conqueror.
Now a stronghold is an entrenchment that is fortified and protected behind strong defenses. Wrong attitudes and behavior that are justified and defended by wrong thinking are spiritual strongholds that need to be destroyed by the power of the Spirit of God.
Notice that Paul didn’t say this was a defensive war. He said he goes on the offensive. Paul declared that by the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, he attacks these spiritual strongholds of wrong thinking and behavior in the lives of those who resisted his authority.
Christians are engaged in the same spiritual war today. My pastor says that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground. So, living it requires one to engage in spiritual warfare!
But conducting spiritual warfare is somehow lost on many Christians today. Spiritual warfare as the Apostle Paul described it is often neglected by the Church and is even under threat of becoming a lost art!
And even when the Church does engage in spiritual warfare, it’s often just defending its ground rather than launching a spiritual offensive against the enemy’s strongholds!
Attitudes and behaviors that defy or deny the power of God and are accepted, protected, and defended by a general consensus of society seem to have everywhere infiltrated the Church. This entrenched thinking incapacitates Christians and renders them powerless to battle these strongholds and to live victoriously in Christ in this world.
Christians today should have the same confidence and competence with the spiritual weapons of warfare that the Apostle Paul claimed to deploy.
Maybe we need a believer’s boot camp that trains Christians in the use of the weapons of spiritual warfare, so they can learn how to attack and destroy the strongholds of this world by the power of God that is in them!
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:16-18, ESV).