The apostle Paul understood that he was born into a war. He was as comfortable describing his ministry as “warfare” as he was describing it any other way. Unlike many forms of militant Christianity, however, he knew that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 6:12).
Friend, you are a battlefield. There is a war in the heavenly realms, the spirit realm, for you. If you don’t know Jesus, your spirit, soul (mind, will, & emotions) and body are being fought for. The kingdom of darkness is trying to secure defensive strongholds in your life as the Kingdom of God calls for a surrender to Jesus that leads to freedom.
If you’ve surrendered your life to Christ, your spirit has now become one with the Holy Spirit (like how two become one in marriage). “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Yet, there is still a war for your soul (mind, will, & emotions) and body. They belong to Christ; they’ve been totally redeemed, but what has been redeemed must be reclaimed. Just like the people of Israel were given the Promised Land by God yet still had to go in and possess the land, so too are we in a battle to reclaim and maintain our freedom from sin and the enemy’s influence.
You are the battlefield in this war, and the frontlines of the battle, where the war rages most intensely, is your mind. The apostle Paul talks about the weapons he employs in this battle for the mind:
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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).
In war, you take captive either enemy soldiers or friendly soldiers who’ve become spies. Notice that he said that in this battle we must take captive “every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That means some of our thoughts are enemy soldiers and don’t originate with us at all. Instead, they are the lies that are whispered by the enemy. It also means that other thoughts did originate with us but have become tools for the enemy to use against us. They are not truth but instead our own thoughts that deceive us. These we must “take captive,” reject the lie, and remind ourselves of the truth.
We should all be encouraged that the weapons the Holy Spirit gives us to fight in this war “have divine power to demolish strongholds.” No encampment of the enemy in our life can withstand the power of the Lord. But we must be willing to find the stronghold and demolish it in Jesus’s name!