“There is a war that rages inside every human heart, a battle between good and evil, order and chaos, light and darkness.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 22, 2022
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, ESV
Though it is an entry into peace and abundant joy, the spiritual life is defined by struggle and conflict. In the words of St. Paul, it is “warfare,” and you and I must realize this if we are to grow in our life with Christ and find our home in his kingdom. Confusing as it may sound at first, our call as Christians is to embrace a path of destruction and punishment.
In an age when global conflicts and wars seem to rage all around us, this language is difficult and confusing. Surely we are meant to avoid warfare in any and all forms, not actively engage it, right? What then do we do with Paul’s bold call to punish and destroy? Here wisdom and discernment are essential!
In virtually every form of human warfare, evil is found in the disregard for human life, seeking victory for one’s side through the death and destruction of another being who shares the same likeness and image of God, no matter how darkened or distorted that image may be. This is not the kind of warfare Paul is advocating. We are not called to destroy another human being or take their life, but to wage war against the unseen powers that turn us against our brothers and sisters, and even against ourselves.
Paul acknowledges that there is a war that rages inside every human heart, a battle between good and evil, order and chaos, light and darkness. This is a war that every follower of Christ must willingly engage, for it is truly a life and death matter, and we ignore it to our own demise.
Though we are made for eternity and are called to be creatures of the light, we do not simply wake up one day having arrived at this blessed state. No, we must daily enter the arena and contend for our faith, opening our hearts to the healing power of the Spirit and waging war against our wayward thoughts and distorted desires. When thoughts surface that elevate our egos and increase our thirst for power, we must punish them with the power of prayer. And when seeds of disobedience or worldly gain begin to take root in the soil of our hearts, we choose to daily uproot them and cast them out, refusing to let them find a home in which they can rest.
As we focus our attention and energy upon this spiritual warfare, we gain clarity on the nature of our true enemies, slowly but surely learning to see others as Christ sees them, beloved and worthy of our love. So then, let us wage war that our hearts and lives may be made pure and ready at the end to enter into the blessed peace of our Lord.
Father, give me the strength and courage to put to death the evil and distorted desires of my heart and thoughts of my mind, that I may instead enter fully into the blessedness of your peace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where are your desires and passions most deeply misaligned in this season of life? What specific part of the battle for holiness should you most actively engage today?
Bethel Music feat. Kari Jobe: Surrounded (Fight My Battles)
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