NT Fire Starters – Day 252: 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
READ: 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
THINK: What weapons does the devil use against you? Are there temptations, habits, insecurities or attitudes that frequently get the best of you? The devil isn’t stupid; he will use what has worked against you in the past. By the same token, he will not waste time with ineffective weapons. This passage gives insight into how to disarm the devil and turn his best weapons against him. The strategy involves capturing ungodly thoughts as soon as they come to mind, turning them over to God and replacing them with ideas that honor God. The key is getting to the point where things that once troubled you become simple reminders to turn to God and do what pleases Him. Eventually, Satan will put down those old weapons, because the last thing he wants to do is remind you to rely on and honor God.
RESPOND: What motivated Paul’s opponents in Corinth? (See 10:1 note.) How do Christ’s followers “wage war” (v. 3) differently than the world does? What’s the main source of opposition and conflict for Christians? (See 10:4 note.) What types of weapons must Christ’s followers use to wage spiritual warfare, and why are they effective (v. 4)? In what way is a Christian’s battleground in his or her own mind? (See 10:5 note.) How should this affect what you allow into your mind? Is it a sin to be tempted? Why or why not? (See 10:5 note, sub-point 2.) At what point does temptation become sin? What does it mean to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (v. 5)? How does this strategy work in practical terms? (See 10:5 note, sub-points 3-4.) How can you keep your mind on things that honor God? (See 10:5 note, sub-points 5-6.) Why is it unwise for people to “measure themselves by themselves”? (See 10:12 note.) How can you ensure that your life and work are commended by the Lord (v. 18)?
PRAY: Ask God to help you effectively use the weapons He provides for victory in spiritual warfare. Ask Him to guard your mind and thoughts and to help you reject anything that could corrupt your spirit and compromise your relationship with Him. Pray that you’ll always measure your attitudes and actions by God’s standards, not your own.
ACT: Think of people with whom you have conflicts. Realize that they are not your real enemy. Pray for these people and situations, asking God for wisdom in resolving your differences. Also, think of one or two things Satan typically uses against you. The next time you face these thoughts or situations, let them remind you to immediately turn to God for help and to do something to honor Him. This could include praying, humming a worship song, reading the Bible, thanking God for His help or strategizing about something you can do to reach others for Christ.