February 18, 2018
Winning the War for Your Mind

Winning the War for Your Mind (2 Cor 10:1-5)
Verses 1-2 Paul is addressing some in the Corinthian church who were questioning his authority.
Verse 3 Paul realizes that this is a type of spiritual warfare.
• They don’t have just cause for their complaints. Paul has been firmly established by God as an Apostle.
Verse 4 Paul begins to explain his method of overcoming their attack on him.
o Not fighting back with physical weapons, the weapons of the world, but with spiritual weapons.
• Paul sees their criticism of him being rooted in a demonic stronghold.
o The word stronghold in Greek means just that, stronghold or fortress.
• A stronghold is where an enemy force can hide and launch an attack from.
o The enemy hides safely in the broken thoughts of people.
o This stronghold is a collection of lies, thoughts, pretensions that the enemy now uses as a place from which to launch attacks on us.
• Many English version put the “We tear down thoughts,” or “we destroy arguments” into the next verse.
EHV 4 Certainly, the weapons of our warfare are not those of the flesh, but weapons made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down thoughts 5…
• First, the stronghold or fortress, which again is demonic, are thoughts or arguments.
• Second, there is both a noun and a verb used in the sentence to convey the idea of tearing something down that has been lifted up. The idea here is that the false thoughts have been lifted up, made high.
o The implication is these thoughts are being lifted up in place of Jesus.
o In fact, one of the definitions for this verb is, “to take down as from a cross.”
• The Corinthians had allowed their own human thoughts and reason to become lifted up, in their own minds.
o Once it became “lifted up” in place of Jesus, it became empowered by the demonic.
Verse 5 Many English translations use this word pretension, but it’s actually two words in Greek.
o A good literal translation would be: “every high thing lifted up against”
o What is being lifted up are, arguments, human reason and thinking, lies.
 The verb is in the Greek passive form.
 Which means these thoughts are being lifted up against us without our volition.
• Paul makes an important distinction, all of these thoughts or arguments, these high things that have been lift up, are being set in contrast to the knowledge of God.
o We now have two competing forces. These two choices are going to be constantly before us.
• Of course, the knowledge of God is perfect and true all the time.
o This knowledge of God is referring to the total nature and character of God.
• Remember the two lies of satan? God is not good, and who do you think you are?
o The negative thoughts that come against us will always follow in line with these two lies.
• One specific example: “I can’t do this,” versus the truth of God, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
• Now, here is the real danger. If we let that thought stay in our mind for more than a few seconds, we are prone to start to believing it.
o And if we start to believe it then we are putting it above what is true in the knowledge of God.
• Our consent to agree with a lie or false thought is what makes the lie powerful.
o We have made that thought or lie, higher than the truth of Jesus in our life.
 And once it becomes a high thing, we have the potential for a stronghold.
So what do we do? We fight back but not with the weapons of the world, rather with knowledge of God.
• The word used here means “captive” or “to make a prisoner.”
o Taking that thought in your head, and making it your prisoner rather than the other way around.
• But the verb to take captive here in the Greek has an ongoing sense to it.
o So this is something we are to keep doing.
• It also says take every thought captive, every thought not just the bad thoughts.
o Every thought must come into alignment with the knowledge of God.
• How do we take that thought captive?
• We start by grabbing a hold of that thought and not letting it roll around in our head.
o We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit.
o Over time training ourselves to recognize those thoughts that are not from God.
• Next week we will look at how to use scripture to fight back as well.