2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (KJV)
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
One of the spiritual battles believers face is pulling down a stronghold. A Stronghold is a fortress that has been built in our lives, a habit that has been developed, a way of thinking that brings about discouragement, anxiety, worry, guilt over bad thoughts. Strongholds are built over time as we buy into Satan’s imaginations or lies. These strongholds develop and look impenetrable and can cause a believer to live in daily defeat. But God gives us spiritual weapons that are mighty to the pulling down of strong holds. In fact the word for “pulling down” means demolition or utter destruction. It is not God’s plan for you to toy around with strong holds, or develop them more, or just be content to live with them. Nay, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. The Holy Spirit gives two mighty weapons that will blow apart strong holds.
1) “Casting Down Imaginations”
This is vital and must be continual. Notice the word “Casting” is a word that implies continual diligence. Strongholds in our lives are built on lies like:
• No one will see me
• Everyone else is doing it
• I can never get victory over this, so I might as well not try
• This is just the way I am, it’s not going to change
• I give up. I have tried, and tried.
• No one cares about me
These thoughts and reasonings and others that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God must be cast down continually. The phrase “casting down imaginations” is interesting because it means to lower with violence. This defines mental warfare. The battles of the mind must be fought. You must guard your mind and be ready to take violent action against imaginations that are planted in your mind by the enemy.
1 Peter 1:13(KJV)
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
You may have to cast a similar thought down on multiple occasions in a day. Thought patterns develop and when certain things happen, it is easy to go back to a thought pattern, a stronghold, that you have allowed to develop. It is vital that you live with spiritual alertness expecting imaginations to come.
The weapon is readily available. For spiritual victory, you must develop the Biblical habit of casting down imaginations in your everyday life. Would you pick up this weapon today?
2) Bringing Every Thought into Captivity
The 2nd weapon is a complimentary weapon to casting down imaginations – that dealing with false reasonings, lies, thoughts to convince you to do wrong, act wrong, respond wrong, talk wrong, but notice the 2nd weapon extends beyond imaginations to every thought and it provides simple tests. The tests are: 1) Does this thought rightly represent who God is and 2) Does this thought lead me to obey Christ? These tests are simple and are to be the deciding factors as to whether or not you spend any time on that thought or whether it should be destroyed. This spiritual discipline should happen at the point a thought enters your mind. You must come to the point where you are thinking, “Does this thought deserve any of my time?” By running it through the Spirit’s tests defined here in 2 Corinthians 10:5, you will know the nature of the thought.
To bring a thought into captivity means to bring it to spear point. This is serious business. This spiritual weapon is meant to do damage. That is, if the thought does not lead me to obey Christ, then I should pierce it and discard it from my mind. The overriding Biblical principle is that thoughts cannot not have free reign of your mind. They are to be controlled, they are to be brought to spear point, they are to be brought into captivity which is the opposite of having free reign. This requires discipline and diligence. It requires being active spiritually. It requires a renewed alertness that you are in a battle. It requires the assumption that today you will have imaginations come into your mind and thoughts that will lead you away from obedience to Christ. You must wake up and live with this mentality.
Lazy Christians produce loose minds. Loose minds produce loose living. Have you been fighting the battles in the mind, or have you been coasting in your mind? Today is a day to avail yourself, to pick up two spiritual weapons that are mighty, that will demolish any strong hold that has developed in your life, in your heart, or in your mind. Thank God for teaching us by His Spirit about these two vital weapons that are available on a moment by moment basis for the Christian.