In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul opens this chapter with an-almost sarcastic statement when he says, “I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ - though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away”. Paul says this to address what the Corinthians were being told about him from these new, self-styled false apostles or prophets. These false apostles started attacking Paul’s ministry, credentials, and character, so that the believers in Corinth would listen to them and believe in what they were teaching, turning their backs on their faith.
As Paul continues in this teaching, he addresses the battlefield that the Corinthian believers were losing on, which is the same battlefield the modern-day believer must stand strong on: the battlefield of the mind. Paul says there is a constant battle raging in our minds. Our enemy, the devil, wages war our minds through feelings, convictions and even opinions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. In this passage, Paul identifies these three challenges our minds are up against and if we’re ever going to win on this battlefield, we must understand each of them.
A stronghold is a mindset or attitude that is extremely difficult to break free from. Imagine it’s like being a prisoner in a max-security prison. But a stronghold can also be a place where a sin or belief is strongly defended or upheld. We can be taken hostage in our own mind by believing lies about ourselves, life, or the world around us. God wants us to reject the deceptive thoughts and beliefs that hold us captive. He wants us to demolish these walls in our minds and strengthen our knowledge of the truth.
The next challenge that Paul addresses is arguments. This along with anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God is the next battle we must face on the battlefield of our minds. The word argument used here, in the Greek, means speculation, reasoning, or thought. We must demolish the wrong or faulty arguments that work against us and replace them with biblical truth. Understanding the truth of God’s Word leads to obedience to Christ. Our thoughts are impacted by what we believe.
This reminds me of the story of when sin entered the world. In Genesis 3:6 it says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Eve believed the lie, which became truth to her. She then convinced Adam that eating the fruit was the right thing to do. Like Adam and Eve, some of us become deceived by the enemy. We accept the lies he whispers to us and, and then accept them as truth. Those lies affect our view of ourselves, of God and our outlook on life. We must nourish our minds by safeguarding them, so when we’re faced with thoughts that hold us captive, we can filter them through the Word of God. Pastor Craig Groeschel says, “Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts”. You and I are to cast our all thoughts and beliefs that are contrary to the Word of God, before they ever get to our hearts through our mind.
So the question we’re left with is how do we face these three challenges? How do we demolish strongholds, arguments and anything that sets itself against the knowledge of God?
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, “we are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and destroy false arguments”. Today I want to help you with God’s mighty weapons to fight on the battlefield of your mind.
We are to grab hold of the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17 teaches us that we have “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He replied by quoting the Word of God. He used the sword of truth. We are called to do the same. We’re able to reject the lies and fight the deceptive thoughts, strongholds and arguments by grabbing hold of the sword of the Spirit.
The second instruction Paul gives us is to pray. Ephesians 6:18 says, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”. We are able to tear down strongholds, arguments and pretensions through prayer. This spiritual battle is won on our knees through prayer.
Today, you and I may face this battlefield of the mind, but we don’t fight this battle on our own. God gives us the tools necessary to fight and win this battle when we use the spiritual weapons, He has provided for us.