2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Spiritual Warfare that’s Aggressive!
First you have to talk about what is aggression. It’s a form of communication. It’s a form of direction. And it’s a form of a specific type of energy. In order to understand aggressiveness you have to look at the alternative which is passivity. And then you’ll revisit that there are three levels of this normalcy, which are within the spectrum of this subject matter. There’s passive; then there’s assertive; and then there’s aggressive. And we know that when you have ventured beyond aggressive to that of being overly and excessively aggressive – there are other factors involved. But aggression in its healthy prospective is usually needed when there is a blockade. Or things are moving too slow. Or things are moving in a way that causes you to not progress as you need to; and be productive as you need to. And so the progressiveness, which Paul speaks about in this text, which has a type of blockade – is the progression of one’s spirituality and relationship with Jesus Christ.
#1 - There is a Competition with the knowledge of God!
Saints of God we must understand! When you are no longer in a comfortable place of complacency that’s suitable enough for the devil – he will begin to be affected by your change! Yes, the devil is comfortable with your lack of progression. When you weren’t praying, reading, attending church regularly; praising; thinking about God more often – the devil wasn’t worried. But the moment you make up in your mind – its time to move. Its time to progress in my relationship with Jesus. Its time to become more mature in Christ. Its time to do better for myself as a Christian and as a individual created to live in this world. You have caused a problem for the devil! Simply put – the devil doesn’t mind a little bit of Jesus in your life. No he doesn’t mind it. But when he hears too much of it; and sees too much of it – it becomes a problem! That’s when he becomes territorial and counteractive against your plans of productivity in Christ! That’s when he sends opposition! And one of the things that the enemy does is that he goes straight for our minds! He is the competitor with God. He is the one that’s competing against the knowledge of God by placing contrary information about God within your mind so that he can immobilize you from being closer to God. So he sends that information to us by way of our flesh. Yes our five senses. Our sight; hearing; smelling; touching; and tasting. Those are his conduits (or passageways into our mind). That’s why God gave it to Paul to tell us what to do about our flesh which starts in our minds:
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13, KJV).
The Loins of your mind is a metaphorical expression to say that your mind is like a sponge. Its like a woman’s reproductive organs. You can impregnate your mind with things and they can grow seeds into your thoughts and your psyche that will take a lifetime to get out! So you have to watch what goes into your mind from your flesh. What you taste. What you touch. What you smell. What you hear. And what you see. The devil uses this venue as a means to bring about things that are in competition with the knowledge of God!
So God is saying to us through the Apostle that we have to learn how to have spiritual-prophylactic measures to prevent demonic conception and demonically induced thoughts from getting into the womb of your mind! Can I break it down like this? Put a condom on your mind! Can I be real about it. Get some spiritual birth-control. I know that’s too deep for some of you. But it’s the truth. You are constantly in between the sheets of the devil and God and you need to learn how to be firm with the enemy – I don’t want to be intimate with you any longer. And the worst thing you can do is return home with a pregnant mind that’s full of demonic thoughts waiting to be birthed into your life with Christ. Yes - there are things in competition with the knowledge of God. We must make sure that we don’t allow things to be indoctrinated into our mind that will be in competition with the knowledge of God!
Here are some competitive thoughts:
The enemy likes to send you messages constantly saying:
- God is not on your side!
- God will not help you!
- God doesn’t care!
- God is not coming!
- God isn’t God!
Yes the devil is competing with the knowledge of God!
So on the other side the knowledge of God is saying:
- I am who I say that I am!
- I am your helper
- I do care
- I am on the way!
- I will not leave nor forsake you!
#2 – We must seek to learn more of the knowledge of God
But the only way to obtain the true knowledge of God is to bypass the competitive thoughts of the opposing force and find out what God says to us by His Holy Word:
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are past away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13)
- Yea are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)
When Paul was teaching the church of Ephesus (in which we get the book of Ephesians) about what the armor of God was – he told them what the armor was symbolic of when using the word:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestles not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).
The fight is not carnal! That’s what second Corinthians 10:4 says! Its not carnal. Which implies that its spiritual because the opposite of the flesh is the spirit. However the devil works through the flesh what’s really going on in the spirit realm. It’s a competition between the enemy and God. He’s competing for control and God is standing firm that He’s in control. The territory of your life; your purpose; and your assignment is the battle ground. Its not just about your mind. Its about your ministry. Its about your calling. Its about your giftings. Its about your personal life. Its about your professional life. Its about your husband. Its about your wife. Its about your money. Its about your job. Its about your health. Its about your soul! It’s a competition! And the word of God is the Sword of The Spirit!
How can you work your weapon in a fight if its not loaded? My God! What good is having a sword and its not sharp – able to cut your opponent and wound them – thereby letting them know you are serious? That’s what it is like when we face the enemy with the instrument but not properly loaded. We have to have the knowledge of the Word of God in our Spirit so that it can be a loaded weapon to engage the enemy! Yes you cannot even have a true shield of faith without the loading of the word of God. They work hand in hand. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God! Your shield of faith is only as large as your faith! Your sword is only as powerful as your knowledge of the Word of God! That’s why warfare cannot be properly won without faith and without the firepower of God’s Holy Word. It’s the only way you can defeat the unlawful rapes and abuse that the enemy sends to your mind when he impregnates you with demonic thoughts to stop you from progressing:
For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
The weapons of our warfare are spiritually powerful enough to defend us when we are in battle! But we must know how and why we use them! That’s why I need more bible in my belly! Say that with me: I need more bible. IN MY BELLY!
The more bible you have in your belly the better you can come up with bullets to fight the enemy! You cannot fight him with your sight. Because we are suppose to be walking by faith and not by sight. You cannot fight him with your fists because the enemy is an evil spirit that’s placed in high-places which will only cause you to be swinging at the wind. You cannot fight him with your emotions (with what you’re feeling) because he is the master of manipulation of emotions. The bible says he will deceive the very elect. You cannot fight him with your senses because he can make something smell good when its wrong. Even now we are suppose to be a sweet smelling savor before God.
So the flesh doesn’t work! Your thoughts; your actions; your intentions; the way you see things; the way your understand things – will not work for you to break free from the attacks of the enemy!
Our mantra or maxium to New Wine in 2009 is “Abruptly leaving the Old and Aggressively Partaking the New!
If you want to break free from the attacks of the enemy you are going to have to be aggressive about it! The first aggression is abruption. Abruption is rude! I know. Yes it is unconcern about feelings; emotions; what it sees; what it touches; what it handles. It does what it does with a vengeance. So let’s go back to our focal text:
Casting down imaginations, and every thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God….(Verse 5a)
The Greek word for the phrase casting down is the English word for demolition. We have to cause a demolition in our minds to the things that are from the very concepts of the devil. He gets into our imagination center which is the place of our creative power! See there it is again. The devil doesn’t want you to be truly creative in the context that God has created you to be. He wants you to create continual foolishness that will be aides to your setback and if not broken free from them – your demise!
Its time to get aggressive about it! Get aggressive about prayer! Get aggressive about worship! Get aggressive about Praise! Get aggressive about bible study! Get aggressive about change! Get aggressive about Ministry. Get aggressive about Evangelism. Get Aggressive about Discipleship! Get aggressive about God!
Don’t make any excuses. Don’t consider anyone’s feelings. Consider God!
Listen to what Jesus himself tells us about the trickery of old things:
No man also having drunk old wine straightway (or immediately) desireth new: for he saith, the old is better (Luke 5:39).
The Old is competing with the New Things that are pending in your life! The old places will begin to feel threaten by your new places. The old people will begin to feel threatened by the new people. The old relationships will begin to feel threatened by the new relationships that could take place. When you are serious about progressing – the enemy becomes immediately intimidated. The only strategy he has up his sleeve is to use your PAST to attack you! Cause he knows that’s the only thing that can slow you down!
Oh wow! Send her that old boyfriend. Send her that old sin! Send her that old mind set! Remind him of how they treated him before. Remind him of how many times you were told no before. Old issues from an old situation trying to walk with you into new places will not work. And yet we are not grasping the point! We’ve got to become aggressive about it!
I think of Tina Turner! When we saw Angela Bassett portray her in the movie “What’s love got to do with it?” And the scene was when they were in the car. And she had had enough of the abuse! Instead of her allowing him to just keep beating on her. She had looked him into his eyes for a brief second and started swinging back. I bet you Ike didn’t expect that one! That’s what we have to do with the enemy that’s been riding with us in our lives! We have to surprise him with a counter swing! Swing back! Break free! Cast it down by calling what you know to be true. The knowledge of God.
#3 – Then you have to lock it up and throw away the key!
“…and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (Verse 5b)
Damage it. Then drag it into a space for imprisonment! Its time to lock up those plaguing imaginations that have come through the enemy’s strategies to keep you from progressing in God. Captivity means imprisonment! Make those things full victim to the presence and power of Christ. Make those unwanted things; thoughts; issues; and obstacles become obedient to the presence and power of Christ! The key indicator is that Christ must be present with us when we start walking towards breaking the strongholds of the enemy.
Zechariah the prophet said it this way: Not by might; nor by power but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts!
Remember its not flesh and blood. Its not through the senses but its through the Spirit that its going to work for you!
Key Phrase in that verse:
Its mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds!
You must depend on God if you want to be abruptly leave the old and aggressively partake of the new!