2 Corinthians 10:4-6 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is an almost impossible topic to teach in a short devotion. Every day I deal with men’s lives crushed by addictions of sex, alcohol, and drugs. Regularly I see lives, families, groups, and churches destroyed by being judgmental, unforgiving, and insensitive. I often see people facing destruction while being surrounded by Christians, churches, and organizations that are indifferent. All these needs have one common thread that asks are we willing to “Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Jesus gave two commandments as the foundation of each Christian’s life: Love God radically and love people unequivocally. The two do not exist separately. If you do not love people, you do not love God. Loving others unequivocally in a broken world is impossible without God. James challenged Christian negligence to those in need in James 2, but very pointedly in James 2:17 when he said, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” How then do we live in a world that is so demanding, so entrapping to its pleasures, and consuming in all life’s options? The complexity of this passage requires much more than I am going to give, yet the simplicity of the following suggestions should help every Christian not only live a devoted life to Christ, but also be more fruitful for Him.
- Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Christians dealing with the challenges given in the opening paragraph seldom consider what is called for in making Jesus Lord. These challenges seem to be determined by the hardship of giving up something, why you cannot take less, and how you cannot do without the things in your life. The parable of the Good Samaritan did not provide excuses for the first two men who passed by the wounded traveler but celebrated the one who stopped and helped.
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Do not let your surroundings and circumstances deceive you into not acting. Jesus described a disciple in three ways: 1) Dwells in the Word (John 8:31-32), 2) Loves others (John 13:44-45), and 3) Bears fruit (John 15:8). How do these three tests affect your decision making? What habits, possessions, and activities might prevent what God is putting before you?
- 2 Corinthians 11:30 “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” We see weaknesses and difficulties as reasons for not stepping into difficult situations, while God says difficult situations are where He is waiting to meet you as well as help you! Proactively pray into and guard yourself in situations that cause you to bypass God’s work through and in you.
There are many other Scriptures that can be applied to this message, but I think most readers will be adequately challenged and directed with the first three. Do the following when faced with a difficult or tempting situation:
- Begin by giving your situation to God. Act according to Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Pray! Pray! Pray!
- Order your decisions according to God being first in your life.
- Do not allow discomfort and hurt to blur what God is calling you to do but see them as opportunities to experience and know God!
- Step into opportunities that press into your life with the expectation of experiencing God!
2 Corinthians 13:4 “For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God's power we will live with Him to serve you.”
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Book: The book, “Through the Eye of the Needle,” was written to take you into total Lordship with Christ. It is out of Lordship that God’s best work is done in your life.