Friday, November 25, 2011

STRONGHOLDS, IMAGINATIONS AND HIGH THINGS

       Imagine a medieval castle with a sophisticated defense system.  First a moat with a drawbridge. High walls surround the castle "keep", broad enough to post sentries all along the walls.  Towers provide an even greater vantage point from which to repel any invader.  The keep is where the treasures are guarded and where the king or lord of the land would stay in the event of a siege.

       The physical characteristics of modern defense systems don't bear much resemblance to a medieval fortress.  However, the mind and its defenses can still be accurately described in this manner, but for the purposes of this discussion these are unholy defenses built by our adversary to defend lies, false beliefs and improper thought patterns he uses to separate us from God.  Hear what the Spirit is saying:

              2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
              2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through

                                 God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
              2Co 10:5  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;
              2Co 10:6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your

                                obedience is fulfilled.

       I believe the Spirit is saying that when we are born of flesh and blood we are born into sin and carnality, and we are incapable of anything but carnal warfare in this state.  This warfare leads only to strife and hatred and ultimately death, both physical and spiritual.  Yet when we are born into the Spirit, God makes supernatural weapons available to us.  As we learn how to use these weapons we can tear down strongholds, refute evil imaginations and high-minded thoughts and conceits.  Now we are equipped to do battle with our true enemy.  We will no longer accept anything contrary to the truth about ourselves or about God.  In effect, we have been rescued from behind enemy lines by the Lord Himself and He restores the spiritual communication system He intended before Adam fell.  We become able to recognize our true enemy and his demonic allies and we have the weapons necessary to defeat Satan every time.  Armed with the sword of the Spirit, we are empowered to take back the terrain of our minds and receive the victory Jesus provided for us through His death, burial and resurrection.

       While we know that Jesus made a public display of principalities and powers when He spoiled them, this is not a passive battle for us.  Our part now is to take the authority that God delegated to us through Jesus and pick up that word sword and fight back against the evil that tries to beset us.  If the sword of the Spirit stays in its sheath it is essentially ineffective in our lives.  Christ demonstrated this when He dispatched the devil in the wilderness by using the word of God.  2COR 10:5-6 make it plain also: casting down.......bringing into captivity......having in a readiness!  These are words of action that lead to triumph in Christ.  Let us always remember that the war begins in the mind of the believer.  In order to gain victory we have to use all of the weapons available to us and use them in the proper manner. 
  • The blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19-22; Heb. 9:14)
  • The name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10-11; Col. 3:17)
  • Fasting (Mat. 6:16-18)
  • Prayer in tongues (1Cor. 14:1-5)
  • Prayer with the understanding (1Cor. 14:13-15)
  • Praise and worship (Psa. 138:2)
  • The Word of God (Heb. 4:12)
  • Holy Spirit empowerment and giftings (1Cor. 12:1-11)