“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
According to the word of God in the context of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, when the Apostle Paul speaks of strongholds, he doesn’t mean a physical structure or a geographical location. The strongholds that we must tear down with divine power have to do with arguments, thoughts, and lofty opinions that rise up against the knowledge of God. These strongholds are constructed in our minds. This is the place where the enemy desires to build his stronghold so that he might hold us captive.
It’s also important to note that in 2 Timothy 2:24-26, Paul connects people escaping the snare and captivity of the devil with coming to their senses through the knowledge of the truth. There are things going on in the hearts and minds of people that are keeping them bound, making them captives to the enemy—not only holding them hostage but hindering them from walking in the victory of Jesus.
The Root of a Stronghold
Do you know that every sin begins with a thought? The thought, if not cast down by truth, will produce a desire. That desire will produce intent, the intent will produce an action, and the action will produce a memory. And apart from true brokenness and repentance (a change of mind that leads to a change of action) before God, the cycle continues. It’s been said, “Thoughts are like birds. You can’t keep them from landing on your head, but you can keep them from making a nest (stronghold).”
It’s been said, “Thoughts are like birds. You can’t keep them from landing on your head, but you can keep them from making a nest (stronghold).”
When dealing with temptation, our own hearts can deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9). We are masters at rationalizing and justifying our own sin. Oh, how we can deceive ourselves! But it’s important to note that the enemy is at work, too. Take heed, for continual disobedience will lead to demonic deception. In the gospel of John we read, “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2). The continual disobedience in Judas’ life, which started with giving in to the temptations of his greedy heart, eventually opened him up to demonic influence and deception. But it’s important to emphasize that even then, Judas had an opportunity to repent.
When Jesus dipped the morsel of bread and gave it to Judas and revealed that he would betray him, Jesus was giving him an opportunity to repent (John 13-26-27). Culturally, the dipping of the bread to give to another person during dinner was an act of friendship. At that moment, Jesus was telling Judas that he was about to betray the greatest friend anyone could ever have. But Judas didn’t take the bread in repentance. He took it in arrogance and departed. Notice what happened next: “So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly'” (John 13:26-27). Judas, who was deliberately disobedient and demonically deceived, is now possessed by Satan.
After Judas led the hateful crowd to Jesus in the garden and gave Him the kiss of betrayal (Luke 22:48), we read: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.’ And they all left him and fled” (Mark 14:48-50). If you read the account in Matthew 27:3-5, you’ll find that after the devil used Judas, the reality of what he had done hit him. He knew he had betrayed the Son of God. He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver, but the religious leaders couldn’t have cared less about Judas’ regrets. Sadly, Judas never turned to Jesus in true brokenness and contrition. He continued to believe lies, and in his remorse, he went and killed himself. What a disastrous ending.
The Reality of Restoration
Beloved, if you’ve blown it, don’t believe the lie of the enemy that it’s over. Don’t run from Jesus, run to Jesus in humility and repentance. Every disciple who forsook Jesus after His arrest was restored by the Lord. And they all—to the glory of God—fulfilled their divine destiny in the power of the Holy Spirit.
To someone who may feel betrayed: You need to know that no one, not even the devil, can keep you from fulfilling God’s divine destiny for your life. In fact, what others meant for evil God can work for your good (Genesis 50:20). Don’t allow someone’s betrayal to hold you hostage. As someone once wisely put it, “The glory of God is always in front of us, not behind us.” Stop looking back. Forgive as you’ve been forgiven. Press forward and align your will to God without delay. Don’t follow your heart, follow Jesus. He will lead you, guide you, and enable you by His power to be all that He saved you to be.
Don’t follow your heart, follow Jesus. He will lead you, guide you, and enable you by His power to be all that He saved you to be.
If you’re out of God’s will, surrender to Him in true repentance and brokenness without delay. There may be consequences you will have to deal with. But God will restore you and you will be back on the road to fulfilling God’s best for your life. He will turn your mess into a message and make you a trophy of His grace.
Our Rescue Mission Weapons
In order to keep yourself from becoming a captive of Satan—who wants to steal, kill, and destroy—you must guard your heart and your mind. Spiritual warfare is fought on the battlefield of our minds. And we don’t fight that battle with physical weapons. The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. The two primary spiritual weapons we must wield are the word of God (knowledge of the truth) and prayer in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-19). To pray in the Spirit, our hearts must be saturated with the word of God.
The two primary spiritual weapons we must wield are the word of God (knowledge of the truth) and prayer in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-19). To pray in the Spirit, our hearts must be saturated with the word of God.
When you’re praying in the Spirit you are praying with the heart and mind of God. Therefore, be in the habit of praying with an open Bible. And like Jesus, when the enemy comes with his lies, we must be prayed up and ready to throw the Book at him, saying, “It is written, it is written, it is written…” (Matthew 4:1-4).
Finally, we must not only guard our minds against the arguments, lies, and lofty opinions of the enemy, but be willing to be used by God to set free those who have already been ensnared by the enemy (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26). The weapons that He wants us to use in this rescue mission are also prayer and the word. Jesus said, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29).
Oh, may we guard our hearts and minds through devotion to prayer and the word and may God use us as instruments of His saving grace to set the captives free!
Copyright © 2023 Marco David. All rights reserved
Pastor Marco David came to know Jesus as his Redeemer and Lord at the age of 17 after a zealous evangelist knocked on his brother’s apartment door and came in for a visit. For 20 years he served the city of Chicago in various roles in the correctional system and the police force. Ordained in 2000, he began to serve the Church in a part-time capacity until he retired from the police force in 2015 to become the lead Pastor of Midwest Bible Church. He also serves as a Regional Leader for the 6:4 Fellowship and as a Renewal Coach with the 6:3 Discipleship. His passion is to make disciples that spread the fame of Jesus as he prayerfully relies on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Marco married his high school sweetheart Elizabeth and they have four sons who are all in law enforcement.