The Real War
“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 Corinthians 10: 3-5
It feels like we live in a dangerous world. So much to think about, and so much that can seem overwhelming. But there is one place where the battle matters most: Our minds are crucial battlegrounds. Many of our thoughts and decisions will profoundly impact our lives and the lives of those we love.
We are urged to submit our thoughts to the Lordship of God because thoughts precede action. Did Satan wrestle Eve to the ground and force her to eat the forbidden fruit? No. He enticed her into thinking in ways that challenged the Word of God. He played with her mind and dangled temptation in front of her—and she succumbed because her thoughts had been captured.
Six Greek words are translated into “thoughts” throughout the New Testament, but only one, noema, is translated into both thought and mind in two passages: today’s Scripture above, and Philippians 4:7 (“the peace of God...will guard your hearts and minds...”).
Noema means “a purpose or device of the mind.”
As we submit our thoughts to the Lord, He pours into us peace, love, joy, and the fruits of the Spirit. When we allow the enemy to use this tool, this device of our minds, he gains the deadliest foothold of all into our lives: fear, anxiety, confusion, and unbelief.
Half the battle is knowing your enemy. Now you know.
Your enemy is not flesh and blood, not the things of this world, but every thought, imagination, every “high thing” that wants to loom higher, loftier, and greater than the knowledge of God in your life. This is an ongoing battle that many of us struggle with over a lifetime. Sometimes we need help from friends, counselors, and others who can stand with us in prayer as we fight the battle together. But there is victory when we cling to the promises of God!
“My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” says the Lord (Isaiah 55:9).
When we give our thoughts to the Lord, and trust in His thoughts toward us, the battle for our minds is won.