For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
In his book, Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis says, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” This is very true. The devil is real. Spiritual warfare is real. The devil’s plan is to oppose the purposes of God, whether that has to do with your spiritual growth, the preaching of the Gospel, families, communities, nations, etc.
In the passage above, Paul is referring to a situation he was dealing with. There were false apostles who had influenced the church in Corinth against Paul’s leadership and authority. They had accused him of many things and they claimed that they were the true apostles and Paul wasn’t. Paul knew that he was not simply dealing with a leadership problem. Yes, there were leadership issues to deal with but the underlying problem was of a spiritual nature. It was a spiritual war that required spiritual weapons to fight it. From this passage can draw at least two lessons about fighting spiritual battles.
- Identify the nature of the battles you are fighting.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does (verse 3).
Just as you cannot fight a guerrilla war using conventional means, you cannot fight a spiritual battle, physically. Many Christians have lost spiritual battles because they have failed to know what they are dealing with in the first place. By knowing who your real enemy is, you will have covered much ground in winning the battle. The devil has chronological advantage over you when it comes to spiritual warfare. He has been at it for many years (from the time of Adam and Eve). The first strategy is to distract you from himself and make you think that other people are your enemies.
Ask God to reveal to you the nature of the battle you are fighting.
- Identify the weapons you are to use.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (4-5).
Note that Paul says “weapons”. There’s no single weapon that does all the fighting. Prayer is a powerful weapon but it is not the only weapon. The nature of your battle determines the type of weapon you can use. As you wait on God, the Holy Spirit will direct you on how to respond to the different situations.
Here are some other weapons at our disposal:
- The Word of God
- Faith in God
- The blood of Jesus
- The power of the Holy Spirit
- Assurance of salvation
- Proclamation of the Gospel
- Praise and Worship (not merely singing).
What other weapons can you add to the list?