“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …” 2 Cor 10:3-5
This is how the enemy wars against us, and how we war against him. The enemy’s weapons that we must pull down and cast down, are strongholds, arguments, and high things that exalt itself against the knowledge of God. They are thoughts, in other words – thoughts that do not agree with the truth, the knowledge that God has revealed in His word.
He is a liar, and the father of lies. His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. He accomplishes that mission by launching fiery darts at us, and those fiery darts, are lying thoughts. If he can get us to agree with him, to believe what he has said instead of what God has said, then our own belief will produce fruit that leads to death, and his mission is accomplished (Gen 3:1-6).
An argument, in the enemy’s case, is all the reasoning used to justify a statement which brings torment. The enemy is a master logician. If the statement he wants us to believe is intrinsically false, he will reason with an argument that would be true, if the statement were true. Or vice versa. Either way, he couches the fiery dart that wounds and destroys, in a blanket of truth to make it seem believable. Then, because we tend to be undiscerning, we will swallow the lie along with the truth.
Here is an anonymous example from my marriage counseling:
“Because I have done _x_, my husband can’t love me. But because my husband is a good Christian, he will not discard me even though he can’t love me. Therefore my husband is trapped in his relationship with me.”
This argument which is exalting itself against the knowledge of God, is 75% true, and the inclusion of the true bits bolsters the seeming truth of the lie that is the fiery dart which brings torment and fruit leading to death, when it is believed in the heart.
But what is a stronghold? I believe it is a deeply-held belief, something believed at the core of a person’s being. We can have a stronghold of fear that God will not take care of us, even while our conscious minds assert that we believe that God will take care of us. Strongholds do not produce thoughts as much as feelings. Feelings come from belief (Rom 15:13).
A stronghold can be built out of either a true or a false belief. As Christians, most of us have a deeply-held belief that we will go to heaven and live with Jesus when our bodies die.
That belief is a stronghold. If the devil came to torment us with fear, he would not say, “You won’t go to heaven when you die. When you die, you may go to hell. You can have no idea where you will go.” Why not? Because those fiery darts of his just bounce right off the thick stone walls of that stronghold of truth that exists in our hearts. It would make us laugh to consider such a possibility for even a moment.
Instead, if he wants to torment us with fear, he might say, “What if your parents (husband, wife, children, pastor, friends) find out about what you did? Don’t you think they’ll be disappointed in you? They’ll be ashamed of you.” He attacks us with lies in an area where we do not have a stronghold of truth already established. Or, it may be in an area where a stronghold of lies is already established. The enemy’s fiery darts slip right into a stronghold of lies, building it even greater.
That is his battle plan and his tactic in this war we are engaged in. It is to get us to believe his thoughts, that are lies, that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, that is truth. We respond to his attacks, by:
1) Recognizing the truth from the lie. We have to renew our minds in the truth of God’s Word, so that we learn what the truth is, so that when a lying thought comes our way, we know enough to defend against it!
2) Capture those thoughts that are not true, and cast them down. When we recognize one of those false thoughts zinging through our minds, we must declare, “I recognize _______ as a lie, and I arrest it right now in the name of Jesus – I do not accept it as true, and I will not allow it to sink into my heart and be planted there as a seed!
3) Make those thoughts that are not true obey Messiah. He is the Word of God. We replace the lie with the truth. We say, “ ______ is a lie, but the truth is contained in the Word of God, and this is what it says: ______.”
This is the warfare that we are engaged in, and we must take it seriously, because the enemy is seriously seeking to produce casualties right and left by it. He is seriously seeking to steal from me, to destroy me, and to kill me, and he will succeed only to the extent that I lay down and allow myself to be assaulted with every thought that enters my heart and mind. Praise God that the weapon He has given us in this battle, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, is mighty through God to pull down every stronghold, argument, and high thing!