Journal 2 Cor 10 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” 2 Cor 10:3-5a

Observation:  Every time I run across “spiritual warfare” references I am finding out I need to think about what the Scriptures are saying with increased concentration.  This is a subject that I can run off the rails about…

Analysis:  There are two venues that I think the Scriptures reference about “spiritual warfare.”

One is the spooky, unseen, spiritual realm.  This is referenced in Ephesians 2 (maybe other places as well).

Another is the spiritual realm that is battled within hearts daily.  I think that is what the Holy Spirit is referencing above.

Where is the Battle primarily being conducted?  It is not of the things of this world—those things are destined to rust, rot, and decay.

The primary battle is my heart and mind.  If my heart and mind can be dissuaded from practicing that Jesus is Lord, not with just lip-service, not by any demonstrative acts of claiming that Jesus is Lord (outward, seemingly pious appearances but with a deserted heart) then the enemy’s battle is won.

It is why my mind is desired to be renewed (Ro 12) so I can prove what the will of God is.  In this renewal I am waging war with arguments—bad doctrine— “lofty opinion”—so in proving what the will of God is, the good, acceptable, perfect, will of God I can…what?  What can I do?

One way (and a bad way) is to cultivate a mind-set of arguing by stocking up Christian ammunition to be ready for anybody who may have a contrary opinion.  Yes, the Scriptures say “be ready to give an answer for the hope within you…”  (1 Pet 3:15) But this is not “I am right, you are wrong” type of arguments that folks (like me) usually get involved with.

The question boils down to about the Hope within me.  Once I am set and fortified with being able to talk about my Hope, then I can start addressing strongholds.  The first set of strongholds?  Those are the ones within me, concurrently living and battling parallel to my Hope.

Line upon line, precept upon precept: I must build my way to maturity and not just provocatively and presumptuously jump into the deep end of the pool without preparations.

Prayer: Lord, help me to pursue, aggressively pursue maturity.  I don’t want to live presumptuously on Your Grace when I know I have responsibilities toward drawing near to You.  Claiming you as my Lord in all things is not just going limp in Faith, it is becoming a factual disciple in all that implies.  AMEN.