2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments 5 and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.”
2 Timothy 2:23-25
But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting. 24 And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth.
2 Corinthians 10:4
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
“No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed; you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. This is what the LORD will do for his servants–I will vindicate them,” says the LORD.”
It is difficult to live in this body of flesh and live for the LORD. Fatigue and worldliness creep in easily if we are not watchful. Sometimes I can be lulled into a false perspective that being Christian is to be “nice” and flexible, tolerant of everyone and everything. I can become disillusioned when I think salvation is equated to being loved by all and living a trouble-free life.
While we are called to love everyone, that does not mean we should expect reciprocation. It also does not mean that we ought to condone sinful lifestyles or give in to the philosophies of this world. Paul, who had previously zealously persecuted Christians, was a fighter. He knew that to be faithful to God meant to be vigilant with our thoughts, faithful to seek God and spread His word. He recognized that this Christian walk is a battle and he armed himself for the task at hand.
But we all do not have personalities like Paul. I confess that I am naturally a shy person and a peacemaker. I would rather avoid conflict, but sometimes it is necessary. On one hand, I will not seek it out and waste energy on controversial arguments, but on the other hand, I want to be ready at all times to give an answer when someone is truly seeking.
Timothy strikes me as a more gentle soul, wanting to shepherd those around him, but equally as faithful to disseminate the word of God. I love his heart to keep what really matters in perspective – winning one precious soul with gentle correction. It wasn’t about being right, but about caring for the other person enough to be unpopular with them while the truth was lovingly shared.
We have all perhaps seen hostile arguments over faith and even tearing down of fellow believers because their style or personality was different. We might have even done so ourselves. These are not the weapons we are to use as believers. Pride and vanity can cloud our view and cause us to see things from a merely human point-of-view, but love can clear the fog. Not the world’s definition of love, but God’s Agape, unconditional love, which speaks the truth completely in love.
Boldness from God consumes me and causes me to see my need of God and to fulfill the calling He has on my life. I just want to be faithful. Sometimes we can be about the work of God and suddenly find ourselves under attack. (Which, by the way, should not surprise us, but being that my short term memory is lessened a great deal, I am surprised every time).
Even fellow believers can nip at our heels and judge the work we are doing in the LORD. What weapons should be use in our arsenal? Prayer. Forgiveness. Love. When persecution or judgments arise, they are opportunities to walk after the Spirit and not the flesh; to cry out to God, not man; to read His Word and apply it in our lives.
The stumbling blocks of fear and self-preservation can inhibit us from using the weapons God prescribes for use in spiritual battle and from trusting in God to fight for us. He is our Deliverer and able to accomplish far more than we ever could with our human tools. His weapons are not of this world and the battles we face are not, either.
Lord, thank you for being our Defender. Help us to recognize that every we battle we face in this life is a spiritual encounter, not a physical, fleshly one. You have overcome all! Help us to use the weapons You have given us, that many will be saved and healed.