I was reading this morning in 2 Corinthians 10 and of course came across those words of Paul - 'we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ'.
Paul and his co workers were fighting the war - understanding that this was not simply one or two skirmishes along the way but all out warfare. They knew that the Lord Jesus would build His church - was actually building it through them - knew that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it, but understood completely the reality of the enemy and his constant attempts to defeat and destroy.
Paul recognised that work in Corinth - saw the enemy's efforts through the false teachers and their deceived helpers - and knew that he must fight with the weapons that God had provided - with prayer and with the Word of God.
He would write the same thing to the Ephesians, telling them to stand firm and put on the full armour of God - every part of it pointing to the truth of the Gospel message - that our God saves, that His righteousness is our breastplate, that our defence, our shield is our faith - that the sword in our hand is the Word of God and that prayer - prayer for all the saints must be bold and unfailing - confident that God not only hears those prayers but will always answer in power!
And what was his prayer?
That the Corinthians believers would actually listen and believe the truth of his teaching, 'the whole purpose of God' (Acts 20:27) and that their obedience would therefore be 'complete' because they would recognise the authority of Paul and the truth and power of his message.
And as I read I wondered about us, here in 2018, do we really understand that this is a war zone? Do we live in the reality that we are in enemy territory - that our home is heaven but that we have been stationed here to fight the good fight and to run the race? Do we know that we are to be awake and sober, alert and ready for any and all attacks of the enemy? Are we constantly sharpening our sword and making all the necessary preparations for the battle at dawn?
Do not be deceived, the enemy is at work and all around us is evidence of his success. He has built strongholds and mighty fortresses - he has massaged the ego and praised the intellect - he has brought perversion and corruption out into the open and dressed them up as virtue. He has built walls and divided to conquer, he has whispered in the ears of the saints that it is not worth the fight, that we are not strong enough or good enough and our God is not faithful. He is at work all of the time - are we?
Pick up your weapons - listen to the Word of God, believe Him, trust Him, obey Him - come to Him every day on the basis of His Word and ask for all that you need to fight. Ask for His mighty power to be manifested through you - for Him to destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and ask believing that He will delight to answer that prayer.
He has been waiting for you to come to Him and to intercede for your fellow believers - He has already gone before you and will lead you in triumph - as a sweet fragrance of Christ Jesus - 2 Cor. 2:14
He has promised you victory and in that victory HE WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH!