(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; – 2Cor. 10:4-5 KJV
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The Apostle Paul was no doubt the father of the Church in Corinth and so it was not unexpected that if there are issues that needed intervention of elders, he would be the final arbiter whose opinion should be sacrosanct. This however was not the case as his visit, to resolve protracted issues, was not successful with all sides sticking to their positions. Worse still, some of them questioned his claim to discipleship as they were aligning with different fractions of the what should be a single Church. This is hardly surprising though, because the position of Corinth as a major commercial centre will no doubt have brought financial prosperity to the city, and money remains a major reason for divisions amongst human beings, Christians unfortunately inclusive, and the reputation of Corinth, known all over the roman world, as being a city where wickedness thrives did not help either. However, some measure of sanity was achieved after his departure and Titus brought him this good news which made him happy and was the reason for writing this his second letter to them.
In this letter, the Apostle Paul re-emphasized the same message of unity, forbearance, tolerance, forgiveness, etc., which have always been the core of the Christian message. He also used the opportunity to disabuse the minds of those who were questioning his claim to being an Apostle, probably because of his approach to the ministry task. Such people accuse him of lacking authority in his verbal utterances, adding that his letters are weightier than his speech (2Cor. 10:7-10) and concluding that he is too timid when compared with other Christian leaders of his time – 2Cor. 10:1. He however, made them realise that they are only looking at issues carnally since the evidence of his works among them should be sufficient testimony to justify his claim to being called by God.
He told them of his intention to avoid boasting over what God had used him to achieve in the ministry and resist the temptation to compare himself with any other person (2Cor. 10:12-18) as he has made up his mind not to live according to the standard of this world – 2Cor. 10:2. According to him, he does not fight ministry battles the way the world fights – 2Cor. 10:3.
He described his approach to fighting ministry battles in the foundation scripture for today’s devotion. He is fighting ministry battles, not with the weapons of the world which are physical and target flesh and blood as against weapons used to fight ministry battles which are very spiritual and aim at:
1. The demolition of spiritual strongholds.
2. The demolition of arguments.
3. The demolition of pretensions that set up itself against the knowledge of God.
4. The taking into captive every thought with the intention of bringing them into obedience under Christ.
Every Christian today has a ministry duty to go and make disciple of the world – Mk. 16:15. It is the great commission that we all have to harvest souls for the kingdom of God. That is the task that the Apostle Paul describes as a war for which weapons have to be deployed. It is unfortunately, a consciousness that most Christians do not have also, as we are not aware that there is a battle to be fought with the common enemy who is the devil – 1Pet. 5:8. Church sizes and population seem to be increasing but real and true Christians are reducing in numerical strength. Just as Christ said, increased and unchallenged iniquity is making the love of many for God, Jesus Christ and the gospel wax cold (Matt. 24:12-13) and it is becoming very doubtful if Christ will meet faith in the world when he returns – Lk. 18:8. We must wake up to this war to ensure we successfully execute it. Success is not in the way the world fights (2Cor. 10:3), but the way the Apostle Paul describes in this scripture.
Our weapon of war as Christians remain THE WORD OF GOD. We must with this weapon destroy the stronghold of Satan and demolish all ungodly arguments. We must with this weapon, battle to eliminate completely all deceits and hypocrisies setting up itself against the Word of God. We must not only physically bring people into halls called church, but must bring their thoughts into subjection and obedience to Christ and with this same weapon. That is the way to fight this war and it is no doubt best approach considering the violent antecedents of the Apostle Paul before his conversion. The evidence of our success in this battle will be the number of souls in whom the above objectives have been achieved and not the huge, beautifully decorated church buildings that lack the divine presence of the Almighty God and the souls that manifest none of the fruits associated with such environment – Gal. 5:22-23. It is not the millions that we make neither is it the amount of affluence we have on display called prosperity, which is no doubt necessary but should not be the major yardstick to measure the success of our battle against the forces of evil.
We must not only acquire the best weapon for this battle, which remains the WORD OF GOD, but must deploy same effectively. The Bible describes THE WORD as being quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, with the ability to pierce 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. – Heb. 4:12. Let’s all strive to acquire this all powerful and efficient weapon and learn to utilize it effectively so we can successfully achieve our mandate in this world, which is to populate His kingdom and not just the church on earth, with real Christians and not just people. The harvest is much but harvesters are indeed few. May the Lord of harvest send true harvesters into his vineyard in Jesus name – Matt. 9:37. Amen.