What does it say?
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (ESV) For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
What does it mean?
False apostles, false gospels with another Jesus, and critics of Paul were increasingly influencing and leading away the true believers in Corinth. There were also legitimate “super-apostles” who Paul saw as equals but who seem to have not have been supportive of him. His ministry and leadership are often misunderstood, he is seen as both meek and strong, his teachings are challenged, and he sends confusing signals by refusing financial support and choosing to work. In short, Paul’s authority and leadership are continually being discredited and he appears unsuccessful as an apostle. In response, Paul brings correction in a powerful way in 2 Corinthians 10-13.
In our passage, Paul reveals his strategy for overcoming the effects of these personal attacks, as well as to counter, silence, and have victory over the enemies of Jesus. While he lives in the world, he does not wage war as the world does. He reveals that he has divine power or “mighty unto God” weapons that destroy the strongholds of the enemy, that silence the critical voices, arguments, and lofty opinions against the knowledge of God and that bring correction to and punishment for disobedience.
While we don’t know a lot about the problem people in Corinth, Paul revealed in Ephesians that our battle is not against flesh and blood. He wrote, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
He also does not elaborate on the nature of these “mighty unto God” weapons but we’re reminded of Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians on the many and diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit along with his exhortation in Ephesians: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Indeed, we have identified the true enemy and we are well-equipped for victory!”
What does it mean to us?
We likely have all experienced some degree of hostility, personal or professional attacks, misunderstandings, being underminded, disrespect, and perhaps even misrepresentations, but we don’t need to use human tactics and methods to win our battles. Our battles are not against flesh and blood! God’s “mighty unto God” weapons are available to us as we fight against the spiritual forces of wickedness. You and I must choose whose methods to use, God’s or the world’s.
Paul assures us that God’s spiritual gifts and His weapons of prayer, salvation, faith, hope, love, God’s Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit are effective. These weapons can deliver, restore, and strengthen as well as break down the proud human arguments against God and the walls that Satan builds to keep people from finding God.
Repent and receive forgiveness if God is bringing to mind times that you waged war according to the flesh. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you in times of conflict that He is ready to war on your behalf against the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Finally, give yourself to learning to effectively use the mighty weapons and the armor that God has provided for His people!
Perhaps you have had “super” friends and family who have not been supportive of you. Have people misunderstood you and what you care about and then verbally disagreed with or even challenged you? Have people been unkind to you or mocked you? These kinds of attacks are so painful, but we must remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into a response that fully uses His divine power or “mighty unto God” weapons and His armor. Expect breakthrough, deliverance and victory!
Ask God to use you and His divine power or “mighty unto God” weapons to open the eyes, ears and hearts of those who need Jesus.
God has given you His promises in our Meditation Verse: Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”