Thursday, May 18th, 2017
“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 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 Cor 10:3-5
A violent battle is raging around us twenty-four hours a day.
It is the battle for our greatest asset, the mind.
It is vicious, intense and unrelenting. It is unfair because Satan never plays fair.
According to the passage above, the apostle Paul says that our job in this battle is to “destroy strongholds.” What is strongholds? It is a mental block. Paul is talking about pretention or argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. This is a mental battle. A stronghold can be a world view, idealism, materialism, hedonism, secularism, relativism or atheism. All the different – isms are mental strongholds that are set up against the knowledge of God. A stronghold can also be a perennial attitude of worry and seeking men’s approval. Anything we make as idols in our life can also be a stronghold – fear, guilt, resentment, bitterness, insecurity etc.
Taking Every Thought Captive
“Taking captive every thought” means to control, conquer or to bring unto submission. How do you do that and teach others to do that? Mind is often disobedient, rebellious and misguided. Christians who are not established in the righteousness of faith that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection find it difficult to fight the battle of the mind.
There are countless references and principles in the Bible that teaches on how to strengthen, renew and submit our minds to Christ. All I want to do is to give three simple principles that I have tried and tested that seems to be effective and relevant.
- Don’t Believe Everything You Think
We naturally feel that if we think something, it must be true because it comes from within us. Many different suggestions can come into the mind. The world ruled by Satan puts suggestions that are false all the time. In fact, our problem is much greater than Satan as we are inflicted with mental illness since birth because of our inherited sinful nature. A mental illness is called sin. The Bible uses different descriptions for the condition of our minds under sin. Our minds are confused (Deut 28:20), anxious (Job 11:3), evil and restless (Ecc 2:21) rash and deluded (Lev 5:4), troubled (2 Kings 6:11), depraved (1 Tim 6:5) dull (2 Cor 3:14), blinded (2 Cor 4:4) and corrupt (2 Tim 3:8). Our minds are broken by sin, which means we cannot trust even what we think, ourselves. In fact, the Bible says that we cannot be trusted to tell ourselves the Truth. That is why we need to question our own thoughts and teach others not to believe everything we think in our carnal mind.
- Guard Your Mind From Garbage
The second principle to learn in this battle is guarding our mind from garbage. If we put mental garbage into our mind, we will get garbage out in our life. Prov15:14 The Bible tells us to fill our minds with right things. If we want to be healthy and successful in our Christian life and nurture others, we need to fix our minds on godly things. Ps 101:3. Some Christians are so open minded that their minds are easily corrupted by evil. They think they can allow anything and just be fine. They are kidding themselves.
- Never Let Up On Learning
The third principle to learn and teach others in this battle is to never stop learning. We must become a lifelong learner. Love knowledge. Love wisdom. Learn to love the act of learning. The word disciple means “learner.” We cannot be a disciple of Christ without being a learner. All leaders at NCCkl must be a disciple. The moment we stop learning, we stop leading. Growing ministries at NCCkl requires growing leaders. The moment we stop growing, our ministries too stop growing. If we are going to really learn, we need one quality in particular – humility 1 Pet 5:5. The humble are teachable Prov 18:15. In the Scripture, knowledge is the only thing we are suppose to store up that has the power to take us to Heaven. Truth is never invented, it is only learnt from the Scriptures. NCCkl’s success is gauged by how many of us are in the frontline doing battle in the mind and staying relevant.
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