There’s nothing more reassuring to me than knowing God is sovereign. He’s God, I’m not. Seems so obvious, doesn’t it?
It’s a good thing to remind ourselves that God is God and we are His children. Sometimes I forget that simple fact. Sometimes I think it’s all up to me…all up to me to carry the load, all up to me to figure life out, all up to me to _______. It’s exhausting.
You know, some of us grew up carrying an enormous sense of responsibility. I know I did. From the time I was four to sixteen years old, my parents had over 13 legal separations. They finally followed through with their threats when I was 20 and got a divorce. My childhood, as well as my brothers, was an environment of escalation and de-escalation. There was the rising tide of intense conflict, then release. Well, sort of release, at least there was temporary escape.
It’s a long story, but during those years, I learned to assume responsibility for things I had no responsibility for. I especially assumed responsibility for my parent’s happiness. I tried to comfort them and make them contented in their marriage. I naturally put myself in the role of figuring out their marital conflict. For obvious reasons, that’s a big problem for an eight year old. Shoot, that’s a big problem for anyone to carry around!
There are many of you who grew up in a similar situation. There are many who have adopted the motto, “It’s all up to me.” Even if we know on an intellectual level that isn’t true, we are hard-wired to go there. It’s a stronghold, a well-established pattern of thinking that hinders us from seeing God as He really is, and seeing ourselves as something we aren’t.
How do we make the break from these strongholds? Well, one thing is for sure, it’s not up to us.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is a good place to begin. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying (casting or pulling down) speculations (ways of thinking, forms of logic) and every lofty thing (vain imaginations) raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”
There’s always a Biblical context to consider and in this case, Paul is encouraging the Corinthian believers to not be swayed by those who want to discredit him because his approach is too meek when present or too bold in his letters (2 Corinthians 10:1-2). In other words, there were those who made a big deal about his appearance and approach. They were hung up on his flesh and consequently, disregarded the Word of God. Paul redirects them by reminding them that the real battle has NOTHING to do with our flesh and everything to do with the spiritual realm. Namely, the unseen battle that is raging around us.
Part of the unseen battle takes place in the human mind. The patterns of thought: speculations, logic, reasoning, and every lofty, vain imagination that is set against a true knowledge of God. Any thought that raises itself up against God is a fortress.
“Fortresses” is an interesting word in the Greek. It’s ochuroma. It has the idea of a castle, a stronghold, or anything on which one relies as if to fortify or defend oneself. Again, it is a fortress (logic, wrong ideas, concepts, imaginations) that fortifies itself against a true knowledge of God.
When I was a little squirt, logic formed in my mind that said, “It’s all up to me!” Over the years, it developed into a pattern of thought, a well-established fortress that has often prevented me from standing on the firm foundation of who God is. The thought raises itself up against God by suggesting “I” am responsible. It’s pure HOGWASH, but it’s a pattern of thought nonetheless (though an often unconscious one).
Okay, here’s one of the most important aspects of this passage, “…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” 2 Corinthians 10:4. What do the words “divinely powerful” mean? Theos! It means the Godhead, the only true God. It is the Mighty Power of God that destroys the fortress.
The second most important truth in this passage is the word WE. It’s written to a body of believers, not to an individual. “We, by the power and might of God, are destroying speculations…” “We, by the power and might of God, are taking every thought captive.” This is not a one-man/woman job. It doesn’t happen through introspection and navel lint picking. It doesn’t happen through years of self-analysis, it happens by the strength and might of Almighty God in the context of the Body of Christ.
Here’s the thought I want to leave with you… There is indeed the sense in which we, individually, must refute (deny) the lies of the enemy and any stronghold, and do so by the Power of God. But please look closely at what Paul is saying in this passage, “We are taking captive…” It’s not up to me. It’s not up to you to do it alone. We are doing it together, and we are doing it under the power and authority of God. We are doing it in prayer and we are doing it steadfastly, but we are doing it IN Christ and Christ is doing it IN us.
It is Christ in you Who works and wills and brings about your obedience. The final objective is our obedience, because that is where we experience our liberty in Him. To have our life and our thoughts line up with the true knowledge of God is pure delight, not a burden. It’s ALL about Him, it’s all up to Him…He has it all covered! That’s the truth.
Today’s recording, Divine Multitasking, are my musings from last night. I hope you find encouragement in the recording.
Your hand fits perfectly in His hand. Your hand belongs in His. His hand is MUCH bigger than yours. He will never let go of your hand!
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