REFLECTIONS FOR LIFE
The Invisible War
2 Corinthians Series: PERFECTION IN WEAKNESS
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Pastor Lou Gallo
December 20, 2020
1. What kind of war are we fighting?
2. What question does Satan still ask today?
3. What does it mean when we say the battle is the world vs. the Word?
4. What are the forces that are against you?
5. What weapons are available to you to fight those forces?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
There’s a constant and invisible war that goes on in our lives it is the war to control our hearts (what we love) to control our minds (how we think)!
Where does this invisible war take place? Where is the battlefield? How do we fight this war? Who’s the enemy?
1. Weak Weapons (v:3-4a)
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4a For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.”
The false apostles appealed to the flesh. They appealed to the outward appearance.
They appealed to the things that the Corinthians valued – success, eloquent speech, confidence, charismatic personalities, prosperity; both financially and socially.
Their “weapons” or their arguments were ‘fleshly’ maybe even logical. They persuaded others towards their way of thinking through conventional means – outward displays and showy personalities. Talking about fantastic visions and spiritual achievements.
Paul says, “though we walk in the flesh,” meaning, we are weak, we don’t possess inherent power in and of ourselves. The only power we possess comes from outside of ourselves.
The life we live is in the flesh, like clay jars, fragile, and imperfect.
You can see how the Corinthians would be swayed by the accusations of the false apostles about Paul being weak. Paul, the human is weak.
He says, “For though we walk in the flesh.”
Our power comes from a much higher place, a much greater place, a place that’s eternal.
We live in a world we can see, but we don’t live according to the world we can see.
Our battles are against Satan and the philosophies of this world.
This is a war we cannot fight with weapons of the flesh. Which are weak, earthly, and ineffective.
The world will teach us to use weak weapons against unhappiness, or anxiety, or fear.
The world will teach us how to be happy, how to have joy, what success is, where our safety comes from.
I read that the president of a very important democratic country said; Don’t look to capitalism for your happiness, so far so good….right? He went on to say; Look to the government, we will take care of you!
Where does our safety come from? The world systems? Governments?
In the middle of a pandemic, where does our help come from? The world? Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!
Though we walk in the flesh, like Paul, though we are weak, our weapons are not weak.
Our weapons are empowered by the divine power of God
2. God’s Weapons (v:4b)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
What are these weapons that have divine power? If I’m in a war, I want weapons that have God’s power!!! That’s what it means that our weapons have divine power!
Paul’s weapons are God’s weapons. Which means that Paul fights according to God’s rules (even if they seem not to make sense).
Like, loving your enemy! Like blessing your enemy! These are divinely powerful weapons.
These don’t make sense – yet they are God’s weapons and come with God’s power.
You see, Paul is battling false apostles and he is trying to persuade the Corinthians not to follow them.
Paul’s weapons are not from this world, they are not fleshly, they are from God. He doesn’t rely on worldly wisdom or cunning schemes, like manipulation and deception. He’s not trying to trick the Corinthians into following him, like the false apostles are doing.
Paul may walk in weakness, but he fights with a power that does not come from himself – it’s a power that comes from God.
God’s weapons are powerful enough that they can destroy the strongholds that the false apostles are erecting to “block out” the truth of God’s Word and specifically the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As stronghold is a battle term and refers to a fortified area. Maybe like a fortress.
It’s a place that is constructed to keep the enemy out.
However, with God’s weapons, there is no place that is unreachable by the power of God. There is no place that is unreachable by the Word of God.
But these strongholds are not physical, they consist of worldly arguments that are raised up to defeat the truth of God’s Word.
The fact is that whatever the specifics of God’s weapons, whether they be prayer, or divine wisdom, or living a holy life, Paul doesn’t say here and could mean all the above.
But one thing is for sure that whatever God’s weapons he is referring to he has access to them because of his weakness.
God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
What are the forces that are against you?
Are they the world’s definition of success? Maybe they are the devil’s accusations against you – tempting you to doubt God’s Word AND His way for you?
There is nothing that can stand against a humble, weak warrior calling on the name of the Lord and trusting in His Word.
And in this war, it brings us to our responsibility.
3. Our Obedience (v:5)
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God!
There are lofty arguments that are raised up against the knowledge of God. They are opposed to the Word of God.
Anywhere God’s word is twisted and questioned – just as Satan did in the Garden of Eden.
“Did God really say?”
Don’t be fooled, we have an enemy. Paul connects this warfare ultimately to Satan, as he has throughout the book.
The false apostles are merely the pawns or agents that Satan is using to war against the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
It is a war for our minds as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:14, “But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.”
In 2 Corinthians 4:4 Paul says, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Satan keeps unbelievers from seeing the light of the gospel. He blinds their minds.
Later in 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul says, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
Satan raising arguments and opinions raised up against the knowledge of God.
He is still doing the same thing today.
It’s the battle of the world vs. the Word!
It’s Christmas time! The world says that joy comes from what you get. Maybe even from what you give.
The word says joy comes from Christ and the fact that all of your sins are forgiven and your relationship with our Heavenly Father has been restored.
The world says power comes from what you do, your position, or what you know, or what you have.
The word says, power comes from humility and weakness. That’s when God’s power is made perfect! In our weakness.
Arguments and opinions raised up against the knowledge of God.
This is the war we are fighting. It is a war for hearts and minds.
It’s no different than the fight that Paul was waging against the false apostles.
For us, it is also a war for our hearts. The Satan, who is in the world, is waging an all-out war for our heart and mind.
The battle for our minds is vicious.
It’s the battle of the world vs. the Word!
God is faithful. He is with us. He will never abandon us!
We pray that this exercise will strengthen your relationship with the Lord as you draw near with confidence.