For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
I was a very mischievous child and admit that every spanking I received was painstakingly earned. But as I grew older, my mother transitioned me to a different technique for shaping my behavior. I call it “verbal recounting”. After recounting my infraction to me, she would retort, “you know better!” In her statement, she was reminding me of prior knowledge I had received and how I should have conducted myself. Paul reminded believers in Corinth that they too were to “know better” as they responded to spiritual pressure from the “prince of the air” (Ep. 2:2).
In our text today Paul is dealing specifically with spiritual warfare. The motif of the Christian life as warfare is a common one (Ep. 6:10-18; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:3-4; 4:7). Strongholds would be understandable to the Corinthians since Corinth had a fortress in which its residents could take refuge. Arguments and high thoughts represented barriers and barricades men used against God and the Gospel to maintain their sinful lives and influence.
As believers in Christ, we must recognize that we are at war with Satan and our battlefield is our current sphere of influence. Our chief enemy, Satan, comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10)—to kill human life and spirit by addiction, brokenness, and bondage; to steal the single-mindedness of family through infidelity, enmity between parents, and the redefinition of marriage. He comes to destroy moral and social order by elevating individual selfishness, indulgent living, and greed. Only “knowledge of God” (versus human tactics) can bring down and thoroughly demolish Satan’s kingdom.
To discount Satan’s activities in the 21st century is as fatal as walking down the middle of a busy highway blindfolded. Satan’s strategy for defeating God’s beloved creature (Col. 3:12) is dependent on our disbelief in his reality. While we must take responsibility for our personal sins, Satan is intent on minimizing his role in our sinful behavior. He is determined to “stay under the radar” like a stealth bomber on a mission to search and destroy.
“Knowledge” signifies to understand completely. By understanding completely who God is, His truth and His grace, Satan’s fortresses will fall. It is in the knowledge of God, His power and His presence, that those trapped inside damning lies can be set free. As believers we can move forward with great confidence knowing that He that is within us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). We dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (1 John 4:13). We need never to feel defeated or distressed. We can claim victory over Satan because we know better!
SELAH: Is there an area of your life where Satan has established a spiritual stronghold—an area which stops you from walking in the fullness of God’s will and blessings? Get in a quiet place with Jesus and ask Him what He wants you to “know” about Him that will set you free. Find a Bible verse that reinforces what Jesus says to you.