“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” | 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
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As children of God, sons and daughters of the Most High King, we are victorious in Christ. Victory is our birthright. Every battle that we face has already been won on our behalf through the finished work of the cross. Sickness and disease? Nailed to the cross. Pain and suffering? Nailed to the cross. Depression and anxiety? Nailed to the cross.
Through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection power, we can be confident that we are more than conquerors in every circumstance (Romans 8:37). The thing is, our enemy, Satan, is also aware of this. He knows that with God on our side, the victory is ours. He knows that through our identity in Christ, we have been given authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). Despite his inevitable defeat, he chooses to not go down without a fight! Though this should not be cause for fear, we also need to be careful to not fall into the mindset that nothing is required on our part. The Lord may fight our battles for us but He also requires us to be battle ready (Ephesians 6:10).
We’re in dangerous territory when we allow our confidence to lead to ignorance. To be prepared for the battles we encounter, there are a few things we need to know first…
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It starts with the mind.
Satan knows that he has no power over the children of God, unless we come into agreement with him. He’s in the business of deception, whispering thoughts and lies into our minds, hoping we will confuse them for our own. When we do, we give him permission to guide our thought life, creating doubt and unbelief, thus making us less effective for the Kingdom of God. The more we believe such lies, the greater a foothold we give to our enemy.
There was a time in my life when I was overcome by insecurity. In every area, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t have what it takes to succeed. Whether it be in my job, my friendships, serving at church, speaking in front of people, I allowed the lie that I was inadequate to infiltrate my mind. As I got caught up in this mindset, I was blinded to the fact that God was more than enough, that my competence actually came from Him. As a result, I missed out on several opportunities for God to use me to bless others. In those instances, I had given the enemy permission to win. Though I learned the hard way, I’m happy to say that isn’t the end of my story. If it was, I wouldn’t have this blog today!
It requires an awareness.
In Australia, we have many shark infested waters. Most are well known and constantly monitored, so people know to avoid those waters. However, imagine a foreigner coming to visit for the first time, with no prior knowledge of Australia, having done no research. They look out into the ocean with its deep blue hue, and enticed by wonder decide to enter without awareness of the threat that lies within.
It’s probably a bit of a stretch for an analogy (I need to work on those!) but bear with me. In a similar way to the shark invested waters, we can only protect our minds from the lies of the enemy if we can recognise them for what they are. How can we identify such lies? Well, we know from 2 Corinthians 10:5 that anything “that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” is from the enemy.
It finishes with the Word of God.
To grow in the knowledge of God and better equip ourselves for battle, we need to be in the Word of God. It’s through the lens of our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word (the truth) that we see the lies for what they really are and are not so easily deceived.
Consider the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4). Though physically weak from fasting, Jesus, for every temptation thrown at Him, was able to refute it with Scripture. To build on that, in Ephesians 6, Paul refers to the Word of God as the sword of the Spirit, a weapon with which we can fight against spiritual opposition. The Word of God, when used correctly, has limitless power!
It’s what we believe that we come into agreement with. We can choose to believe world views, the lies of the enemy or what is held in the Word of God. As you reflect on your daily thought life, what is it that you have come into agreement with, perhaps without even realising? Please share in the comments below!
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” | 1 John 4:4