2 Corinthians 10:1-6
1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! 2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Examine / Explain
Paul was writing this to the church at Corinth. The church misunderstood Paul’s meekness and gentleness for weakness. Also, he was not a man of character. It appears they believed he was only strong when he was away from them and could say strong things in letters. But Paul understands the real issue, and it’s not what the people believe about him. There is a spiritual battle and in our position in Christ, we have the ability to destroy strongholds. We can take our thoughts captive for Christ. And in that power, the church can align with obedience to Christ and deal with those who are making false claims about Christianity.
How do I apply this to my life?
I read these passages and wonder what my spiritual walk looks like to others. Am I meek and gentle when needed? Am I bold and handle business when needed? I know I am passive, and I am learning what boldness really means in Christ. Boldness is not shouting from the rooftops Jesus is Lord and demanding everyone to follow Him. Boldness is speaking truth in love. And everyone has the opportunity to reject the truth. When Jesus turned to the crowd and stated that to follow Him meant taking up your cross, many left. They were not willing to put in what it takes to follow Him. They understood what the cross meant. Do we understand what it means? Do we understand that the opposition we face is not even about the people we are in opposition with? Spiritual battles are carried out in the physical world. They start with ideas from ungodly sources that turn into our “own” ideas and are then carried out in our flesh. Are we taking every thought captive to Christ? Do we play around with ideas? Or do we let them fester and grow? We let them stay too long, uninvited, and yet we don’t evict the idea. Soon enough, the idea turns into action because we have hearts of flesh. We fighting the spiritual battle. We turn to a fleshly one, thinking we can power through after the thought takes hold of us. Only in the power of Jesus can we take those thoughts captive. How are we doing? Are we in the right fight? Are we at war with the proper powers?
What is my response?
Father, where am I? Am I fighting the good fight with spiritual battles and You on my side? Am I trying to fight spiritual battles with physical means? Am I letting You fight the battles for me, and am I just tagging along? We can take our thoughts captive, which makes me believe we have a part to play. We must believe in You. We must believe that after identifying a thought that is out of control, we take control of it and hand it over to You. We then must take a thought from You and put it in its place. Or else the thought is going to get out of control again. Am I actually living this way, Lord? Do I take every thought captive? Where am I distracted in my thinking? When am I not intentionally controlling my thoughts? When am I not engaged in battle? I am losing if I am not engaged. I will succumb to attacks and fall. You will give me strength to keep going but I must stay engaged with You. In Your presence! At Your feet and at the foot of the cross. I am laying down all of my desires and picking up Yours. Help me get there. Help me see You in all things and be engaged in all areas of my life. Amen.