Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 6th

Not as the World

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

2 Corinthians 10:3

The phrase, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does, is actually, For though we walk (or live) in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. The translators have substituted the word world, for flesh. Yet this is not exactly wrong. They are recognizing the close affiliation between what the Bible calls the flesh and the world. These two are closely combined and associated.

What is the flesh? The flesh is essentially inherited selfishness. It is what is basically wrong with human nature. It is the monkey wrench that was inserted into the machinery of humanity at the beginning and which we all inherit from our ancestors. It is responsible for the fact that all of us began life with a taint, a twist in our mechanism. If that is the flesh, then if you put all these flesh-centered, flesh-governed people together into a society, you have what the Bible calls the world. It is society governed by the flesh; society, with all the power structures with which we are so familiar in this day, all built upon self-interest. That is why the revisers have substituted the word world here. In a sense, they are right.

Paul says, We are not acting like other people. We do not operate from the same motives; there is something different about us. He is declaring also the fundamental tension in which a Christian lives. He says, We live in the flesh, in the world of normal society, but we do not fight on those terms. We are not carrying on a worldly war. Paul is speaking not only for himself, but for all Christians. He says we live in the world, we don't run away from it. History is full of men and women who have retreated to quiet places and tried to shut away all the mundane prattle and care of life. There has grown up in our time attempts to create a Christian hothouse, an atmosphere which is thoroughly Christian from the womb to the tomb, and that permits no invasion of secular ideas or forces. This is unbiblical because it is contrary to this clear word of the apostle, who says, We Christians live right in the midst of the world. Yet, says Paul, though we live in the world and do not run away from society, still we do not use human plans and methods to win our battles. It is important to understand that, because here is where all the problems have come. Many have recognized that Christians are to live in the world, but they go on to assume that a Christian living in the world must be like the world, that he must think like the world. Paul says, You are quite wrong there. If you judge me as doing this, then you have not understood the Christian position at all. We do not use human plans and methods to win our battles.

Lord, help me to live in the midst of the world and not run away out of fear. I need your wisdom to fight the battle, rather than depend on the methods and strategies of the world system around me. I confess that I have the same inherited selfishness, yet I thank you that through your redeeming love you have made me a new creation.

Life Application

Do you take on the world around you with too much ease, thinking and acting just like those around you who are without Christ and the power of prayer?

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

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Listen to Ray