The thought warfare

spirit-mind2Corinthians 10:5: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

If God cannot change your mind, he cannot change your life. When God was describing the fact that evil has taken over the world before sending the flood that destroyed it, he commented that the imagination (image in the mind- the centre of the thought process) of the heart of man was evil continually (Genesis 6:5-7). And when Paul was making the call that we should not be conformed to this world, he said the change starts with our mind (Romans 12:2).

In the focus verse, Paul tells us one of the things that he wants to achieve in his ministry (2Corinthians 10:2-6). Before then he told his audience that the weapon of his warfare (towards achieving his pursuit) are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling of stronghold. He said what he battles against, using spiritual equipment, are entrenched thought processes and ways of seeing things that are wrong and counter to Christ. These are bastions of falsehood that have ensured that people remain blinded and prevented from seeing the light (2Corinthians 4:4).

As an apostle, he goes to regions where there is no knowledge of Christ and set out to turn the thought processes of the people in the way that they begin to live the life that pleases God, causing them to have the correct perception about God. He does not just gist with the people; he outlines the truth to them.

While Paul was listing the components of the spiritual armour to the Ephesians, he mentioned the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Don’t just think that the application of the word of God as the sword is only in the context of prayer as you quote scriptural verses to unseen spiritual oppositions; even though Paul, before he listed the components of the armour, said that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.

This obviously also has to do with thought warfare because Paul also mentioned that he battles entrenched thought processes that have been raised against God, and arguments that stand opposed to the truth of Christ, from the focus  verse.

He doesn’t see himself as merely marshalling counter arguments to sway the people to his own side of the theological divide. He uses words that are given by the Holy Spirit, spiritually empowered word to make disciples unto Christ.

But even when preaching to believers, you are also to use divinely empowered words to pull down strongholds against the knowledge of God.

Let’s say you are talking on marriage, and your aim is to have bible-based marriages in the church, you should be aware of the stronghold of contrary opinions to the truth of the word that you want to share, even with those Christians. The fact that we have become Christians does not equate having God’s own thoughts in the various life applications.

We have our own thoughts about things, derived from all manner of experiences, exposures, resolutions we have come to, based on bitter experiences that we had that exclude the imperative of being ruled by the love and the truth of God.

Paul in his letter to Titus said he put Titus there in Crete (Titus 1:5, 12-14) so as to set in order the things that are lacking. He specifically asked him to deal with certain character traits in the people of that land. This goes to show that though the people were Christians, there are still life habits that have to do with the cultural upbringing, and long standing commonality within the community.

You as a worker among a specific group of people, maybe you are not from around there, there needs to be a deliberate effort to discover the general errors in the thinking processes of the people of the place that may become noticeable in their Christian life. You need to decidedly address such with the weapon of your warfare as you pray for that group and followed up by standing to address such shortfalls in spiritual understanding in the people.

That is the idea that Paul was trying to communicate when he said that we should not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind. And we experience increasing transformation the more the stronghold of lies in our minds are replaced with the stronghold of truth.

So when you are writing the divine message, on a blog, in a book, in audio and video upload on the net of speaking to a life audience, what you are doing is engage in thought warfare. You are attempting to get converts to a particular thought process sanctioned by the word of God as you are in opposition to all the junks that people have in their thought processes.

That does not means that when you are writing or speaking you should take on a combative tone, the warfare we are talking about is not that obvious. I read somewhere of a trained terrorist who was won to the Christian faith when after an accident, he experience love from believers, in an unconditional way, something that was strange to him. In that way those believers were engaging in thought warfare, and succeeded in capturing one lost soul to Christ.

But he was “forced” to have a change of thought concerning Jesus Christ by the unalloyed love he experienced among His people. That communicated thoughts to him that destroyed all his arguments against Christianity.

The bible says that wives can win over their unbelieving husbands, without a word by their chaste behaviour and submissive spirit; that is warfare (1Peter 3:1-2). They capture the husbands for Christ without being so obvious about it. They set them free from thoughts that seems to have a hold on them, breaking the veil with which the God of this world, the devil has covered their eyes.

Thought warfare is not really against the people, the people are actually captives to those wrong thoughts.  The application of our sword of the spirit is to cut the web of lies that the people are entangled in.

 

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