2 Corinthians 10:3-12 – English Standard Version (ESV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
7 Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. 8 For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. 9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
Spiritual warfare is and will continue to be a common theme here on 3 Minutes to Midnight. Spiritually speaking, the battles we face on a daily basis take place in our heads. The issues we face in the physical realm are manifest symptoms of our inner spiritual battle. The battlefield is in your mind. The war that is going on is FOR your mind.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
What and who are we if we aren’t our personalities; our convictions and beliefs? This is why knowledge of truth is so important, because it shapes who we are and where we’re going. Our true identities are hidden and preserved for us, inside the truth. When we become conscious of something and believe it wholeheartedly it changes our worldview and points us in a new direction. This is why it says in the Bible that God’s people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge. We live in a fallen world and we’re stuck here until we move on to the next. Humans by nature are “children of wrath”. We are sinners by default; self-preservation comes naturally, as it does to any animal. The difference between us and them (the animals) is our spirit. Our goal is to shed our animalistic (self-preserving flesh) nature and discover and truly live and breathe Christ-consciousness, with thankfulness. Oh and hey, I’m part native but I still stand by what I’m saying here. Respect for creation and it’s creatures is a good thing, yes; but in everything we must draw lines until it becomes a clear picture. This may come as a surprise to you – but you are worth more than the animals, though they are valuable.
Ephesians 2:1-5 – English Standard Version (ESV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
We are expected to work hard towards capturing our thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Jesus. Every thought? Yes. Every. Single. Thought. All of them. As it is in a physical war, so it is with the spiritual. As above, so below. A war consists of many battles; we win some, we lose some. The fact remains though that God has already won this war. You have the advantage of knowing which side will win. The question though, is will you die in the process? This is where free will comes in. Will you die? Are you willing to fight for life or will you roll over and allow death to overtake you? How do you prep for battle? Are you a deflector? Are you a prisoner of war? A treasonous traitor? Are you in the front lines or are you busy hiding behind a wall of dead bodies? When you see the enemy coming, do you fight or do you flee? Can you imagine what this battle would look like if it manifested in the flesh, with each one of us playing a part? What part would you be playing? Are you a Pawn? A Knight? A Bishop? Do you guard the King or run head-long into the path of the Adversary’s Queen Babylon? Are you becoming a part of the body that makes up your King’s Queen? Are you becoming a member of the Body of Christ? The Bride of Christ? Do you remember Esther? Do you see what I’m saying or do you play chess with a blindfold on?
Speaking of pawns; contrary to popular belief, they do have value. They are extremely useful and they absolutely serve a purpose.
1 Corinthians 12 – English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
One Body with Many Members
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 13 – English Standard Version (ESV)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
So again I reiterate: What part are you playing in this war, who’s side are you assisting and how prepared and willing are you to fight to defend it?
In the following video Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California talks about God’s desire for us to fulfill our dreams and grow in Him.