“Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won’t have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives. We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.” 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 NLT
Paul was lovingly reminding the Corinthian believers that he was intent on seeing them obedient in their submission to Christ and the authority that Christ had given him over the churches. He was steadfast in his position and unwavering in his resolve. He did so, not to be hurtful to them, but, rather to correct their conduct. Apparently, some of the Corinthian believers were accusing Paul of being harsh by letter and timid in personal presence. He clarified his intention to deal with any insubordination when he arrived. This man loved these people. His interest in them was for the furtherance of God's kingdom and their spiritual well being. Paul was not a hireling, he was a genuine shepherd. Even in the midst of misunderstanding and controversy, he remained steadfast and focused. He recognized that the real battle was not with the people themselves. The real problem was a spiritual warfare. He knew that the exterior expression of their misconduct was related to their interior spiritual condition. The best way to fight spiritual problems is with spiritual warfare. The Holy Spirit can destroy the enemy's schemes without a single physical blow. Letting God fight the battle is the way to victory. We must always remember that, although we are in a carnal (fleshly) world, we cannot fight spiritual battles with fleshly methods. Ephesians 6:12 states it this way: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
There is a real war being waged in our lives, even within the church. The devil knows how to cause conflict and controversy. His intent is to sway the souls of men from the truth. He will do whatever it takes to accomplish this. The only way to be victorious is to let Jesus fight the battle.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, help me submit myself to Your Word and to those you have placed over me. May I be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. When I am tempted to get in my flesh to fight the battle, help me wage war in the Holy Spirit instead.
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Rev. Curtis Norris