Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 11th

Know Your Enemy

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 10:5

One of the chief rules of warfare is, know your enemy. You can never be successful as a soldier if you do not know something of the tactics of the enemy. This is true in military conflict and it is true in spiritual warfare as well. What makes these strongholds so strong? Where does the enemy derive the strength that enables him to remain entrenched in human society? Why is it so difficult to eradicate these pockets of evil in our social structures?

The answer lies in the two elements which Paul describes for us. Here are the pillars of strength of evil, revealed to us: First, they are arguments. The Greek word means reasonings. Second, their strength derives from every pretension. Pride, in other words. Literally, it is every high thing which exalts itself, i.e. every point of pride which expresses itself in conceit or self-praise, self-exaltation, and whose final ultimate thrust is against the knowledge of God. That is where evil derives its strength. It is from these two things: reasonings and the independent pride which insists that man does not need God. These are the pillars from which evil derives its ultimate strength.

There is a relationship between these two things. Reasonings (arguments) are the outward expression of the inward attitude of self-sufficient pride. This is where evil derives its strength. It produces plausible sounding arguments which make their appeal to man's self-sufficiency, his unlimited capabilities, his lack of any need for God. These things appeal to man's independence, so compellingly, that millions are deceived by them and follow them. That is why evil is so entrenched in society.

In Scripture it is made clear where these reasonings come from. Paul calls these doctrines of demons. They arise from seducing spirits, using the minds of men as their instruments, to present to humanity what are really lies. They are reasonable-sounding lies, but they are indeed lies. Why is it that universities, dedicated to the pursuit of truth, should become places where evil is most powerfully disseminated? How else can you account for this, except that Paul has correctly analyzed the situation and that these ideas come from demonic spirits working through the minds of men, teaching wrong ideas in a very logical and plausible manner.

Every movement has its reasonings to support it — the good as well as the bad, the true as well as the false. Each has its philosophy, its defenders, its explainers, who are constantly justifying and explaining why things happen. But you can tell the difference between the good and the bad, between truth and error, when you see what is at the heart of it. In the good, it is always the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus himself said, No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (Matthew 11:27). That is what the knowledge of God is: it is knowing the Son of God, for it is through him that we know the Father.

Father, thank you for the glory of the gospel. Help me to see that it is the only means by which people can be set free from these plausible, reasonable-sounding arguments which enslave people and create the problems of our lives.

Life Application

In what ways are you susceptible to the proud reasonings that are against the knowledge of God? Are you growing in the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Methods of Madness

Listen to Ray