In the reading today, the Apostle Paul brings up spiritual warfare. There were some in Corinth who were seeking to cause division, which Paul was compelled to address. Some individuals mistook Paul’s directions and intentions as a personal attack, rather than a loving rebuke. Paul writes to reassure them that he’s not looking to start a fight, but that the church needs to be on guard against spiritual forces seeking to destroy it from within (10:3-4).
It’s not as though there is a demon lurking around every corner. Even if there were, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. One of the schemes of the devil is to blend in at church (11:14-15). Most often spiritual warfare begins with “stinkin’ thinkin'” (any thought that isn’t good and isn’t from God). Not every thought that pops into our head is a good thought or a true thought. Every thought needs the light of the gospel to examine it. Paul says, “take every thought captive” (10:5b). We need to compare what we think to what we know to be true of Jesus.
I’m reminded of the movie, A beautiful mind. The main character begins to see people that were not real. When he interacts with them it becomes apparent that he is mentally ill. There comes a point, where he understands that he is having delusions and so he doubts and scrutinizes some of the people that seemed very real. He used a metric to evaluate what he was experiencing. His delusions didn’t go away, but he was able to navigate life despite them because he put them in their place.
There are some thoughts that pop into our head that we should doubt. Thoughts that think the worst of others, rather than the best. Thoughts that seek to tear down and destroy. Thoughts that sow seeds of discord. Thoughts of hatred, envy, and bitterness. Thoughts of worthlessness. The list can go on and on… These thoughts should all be filtered by the gospel and brought to obedience in Christ (10:5b).
FATHER, Thank You for the Word of God. Thank you that we can evaluate thoughts that come through our mind and take captive those that would lead us away from you. Thank you for the Holy Spirit and the role He plays in guarding our hearts and helping us to discern truth from error. Help us to remember that we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but that we are waging a spiritual war. Help us to guard the battle ground of our minds. Thank you for the grace to lead your people. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.