Our Secret Weapons
A daily devotion for September 21st
1By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away! 2I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We 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. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
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. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
Paul says we do not employ the weapons of the flesh. What are those weapons? What does the world use to try to solve the problems it recognizes in society? You know what it uses: coercion, manipulation, pressure groups, compromises, or demonstrations that ultimately result in raised voices, clenched fists, and outbreaks of conflict. These are the weapons of the world. So it is understandable why those who are governed by the flesh would seek to employ fleshly weapons to get things done. But the universal testimony of history is these do not work.
We have other weapons. They are mighty, they are powerful, and they accomplish something. They will
demolish strongholds of evil, Paul says. But there are no answers in this passage to the question,
What are these weapons? The apostle has referred to them in various places in his letters.
The first weapon available to us is truth. The Christian is given an insight into life and reality that others do not have. We know what is behind the forces at work in our society today, and we ought to know how to go about overcoming them. That is what truth is all about. Truth is realism. The wonderful thing about the Word of God is that when you understand the world as the Bible sees it, you are looking at life the way it really is. That is why it is so important that we understand the Scriptures, that we refresh our minds with them all the time, for we are constantly bombarded with illusion and error every day, and it is easy to drift back into thinking the way everybody around us thinks.
Love is also a powerful weapon, and in Scripture, the Word of God links truth with love. When you begin to treat people with courtesy instead of anger, when you accept them as people with feelings like yours and understand that they too are struggling with difficulties and see things out of focus as you often do, when you begin to treat them as people in trouble who need help--that is what love is--then you change the whole picture.
Along with truth and love in Scripture is faith. Faith is the recognition that God is present in history. He has not left us alone to stumble on our own way. The Lord Jesus sits in control of all the nations of earth. Faith believes that and expects Him to do something. In Hebrews 11 we have the great record of the plain, ordinary men and women like you and me who found, by faith, that they could stop the mouths of lions, open the doors of prisons, and change the course of history.
Another powerful weapon for the Christian, proceeding from faith, is prayer. The power of prayer is held before us throughout Scripture. We are constantly exhorted to expose the situations in which we find ourselves to the prayers of believing people, both individually and corporately, praying that God would move in and change things. Again and again the record testifies that Christians who pray have drastically altered events.
Lord, help me from here on to begin to use the weapons of truth, love, faith, and prayer.
Life Application: For every Christian, spiritual warfare is a given, whether engaged actively or passively. Are we alert to identify and engage our spiritual weaponry?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.