From the moment we get saved, we are in a war. We have the Spirit of God in us, but we are still in this earthly body. And it’s wicked. It’s our warfare and we must fight it. Like men are trained to know their enemy, to use their weapons and to meet certain objectives in combat, so we must do the same. In fighting our warfare we must know:
Our enemy – 2 Cor 10:3 – our enemy is “we.” We are the enemy. We are in a war against our flesh. In Rom 8:6-8 the carnal mind is enmity against God. They that are in the flesh cannot please God. In 1 Jn 2:16 we have to deal with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These are all resident in our flesh. According to Gal 5:16-17 the Spirit and the flesh are in a constant battle. Most of your trouble, then, can’t be blamed on the devil or others. You are it.
Our weapons – 2 Cor 10:4 – our weapons in this war are the Bible [Heb 4:12; Eph 6:16-17], prayer [Heb 4:16; Eph 6:18], the blood of Christ [Heb 9:14], the grace of God [Heb 4:16], the righteousness of Jesus Christ [Rom 6:12-19; 2 Cor 5:21], the Holy Spirit [Gal 5:16-17; Rom 8:13], and so forth. The Bible is that beautiful sword that slashes against sin in your life. Prayer brings God into the fight. The blood of Christ obliterates terrible imaginations that come up. The grace of God strengthens you in the war to give you victory. The righteousness of Christ is in you so that you can yield to it; Christ never sinned. The Holy Spirit is constantly striving against your flesh, as in a tug-of-war, to keep you from falling to sin.
Our objective – 2 Cor 10:4-6 – our objectives in this war are:
- To pull down strongholds – some sins stopped suddenly after you were saved. Others are rooted in deeply and are tough to pull down. They may not even be evident to you. But the Lord knows they are there and will show them to you and help you pull them down so they don’t have ahold of you anymore.
- To cast down imaginations – so much of our trouble comes from the images we have seen and the imaginations that surface inside. The Lord must help us cast these down. If these imaginations have been presented by the devil, we can say, like Michael did, “The Lord rebuke thee,” [Jude 9] and leave it at that. The Lord does the rest.
- To cast down high things – these high things exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. One of these high things is our own righteousness. In Phil 3:7-10, Paul said he didn’t want to have his own righteousness but the righteousness of God. And he wanted to be made conformable to the death of Christ “that I may know him.” His own righteousness was exalting itself against the knowledge of God.
- To bring every thought captive – he wanted his thoughts taken captive like a dog on a tight leash and he wanted them to obey Christ like a well trained dog. In this he was like David in Ps 139:23-24.
- To revenge all disobedience – see 2 Cor 7:10-11. The same mouth that used to tell lies now tells the truth. The same fellow that used to tell dirty jokes is now the preacher preaching the gospel. What revenge. You revenge your disobedience when what you do now that is right with God avenges what you used to do when you were serving your vile flesh.
Conclusion: you must fight against your own flesh and you must fight with the weapons God has given you. And be ready to take revenge on your flesh. Once the Spirit gets the upper hand, you don’t ever want to give up the ground you’ve gained.