David Mathis, Ex Editor for Desiring God wrote in his blog yesterday: “In communicating the gospel, one of the essential things we must at least imply, if not make explicit, is the most offensive truth possible: you are powerless precisely where it matters most. You are dead to what truly is life.” When we come to grips with that statement and yield to Christ then we know the truth: “So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” [Rom 6:11] The heart of the matter is this: the gospel is offensive and the gospel workers are as well. Paul of all people faced it head on when he became aware of the charge: “some” were saying Paul was living by the world’s standards. Paul may have lived in the first century but the same charges are leveled today. It seems that although our enemy is strong and he has been honing his skills, his tactics remain unchanged. We are called hypocrites, complainers, judgmental and the list goes on and on. But, in godly wisdom Paul gives us some idea of how to face our foes and his ideas come straight from the book of Joshua. God is unchanging and His ways are unchanging. What worked then works now.
God told Joshua that He was about to defeat the enemies of Jericho, but there was a condition that must be obeyed scrupulously. They were not to take any of the riches of the city lest they make the Israelite camp subject to annihilation and cause a disaster. The same is true for us. We are not to take any of the riches of the enemy we face: “all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world” [1John]
In 2Cor 10 Paul tells us more: the riches of this world are the enemy’s stronghold: the arguments or reasonings that are hostile to Christ and His Word. These are the philosophies, reasonings, schemes of the world. The battle is in the mind and therefore we must take captive these enemies to the obedience of Christ. God has given us the weapons. We are but jars of clay and He wants to fill our jar with His promises and power. Here are a few.
- 2Cor 10:6 take every thought captive. Bind them and destroy them just as Joshua was to do to Jericho.
- Eph 6/Ps 119:11 we have the sword of the Word, thus hide it in our heart. Memorize it and use it when the enemy comes
- Is 41:10/Matt 28/Heb 13:5 I am with you and will never leave you nor forsake you. This is God’s promise just as it was with Joshua and the Israelites.
- Ps 50:15 Call upon me in the day of trouble. That is our weapon of prayer.
- Ph 4:19 I will supply all your needs. Whatever the battle is before you, God has what you need.
Today wherever the enemy has you in his stronghold, apply these to your situation and see the walls that he has erected come tumbling down so you can walk freely from the enemy’s camp into the newness of life that God has for you. You are the Rahab that God has saved, now go forth and proclaim the victory.
Remember the Battle is in the Mind!