Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians 10

A Word to the Frustrated Believer

In general, I stay more frustrated with myself than with others among the church. But I must confess that I too can grow weary of people.  For some strange reason the Mac Davis song, “Oh Lord it’s hard to be Humble,” is now playing in my mind. If you know the song, you remember the next line “when you’re perfect in every way.” Now, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “I beseech you,” meaning I beg of you, to understand I’m as far from perfect as the pendulum swings! But human nature being what it is causes my mind to focus on the errored way of others, and when I do I am brought to a message like this in 2 Corinthians 10.

It comforts me to know that even the great Paul had to talk his way through the frustrations of dealing with stupid people.

2 Corinthian ds 10:1-2

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

Remember Humility

Paul said that he was base (the lowest) among us. How could that be?  A man who was beaten and imprisoned for preaching the gospel and died a martyr for the faith. How is it that he would say that he is less than anyone else? Because he remembered humility. It’s a character trait of those who are most used by God.

Paul’s past, pre,-salvation was spent having Christians murdered for the same faith that he now defended. That no doubt weighed heavy on his heart. And though it was under the blood of Christ, it would not have prevented Satan from using it as a tool of discouragement in Paul’s ministry. Satan doesn’t have any new tricks, he doesn’t need them. He always has plenty of ammunition in the line of guilt in my life even after salvation. I can either allow him to tear me apart, or I can face the world in humility as the Apostle Paul did, knowing that I am a sinner saved by grace. It’s in that humility that I’ll learn to extend grace and mercy to those who frustrate me.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;

Avoid High-mindedness

Paul said to cast down every “high” thing that puts itself above God. I think of that as those self-righteous moments of mankind when we look upon the faults of others and forget our own. Oh, the saints of God love calling out sin, so long as nobody opens their closet doors.

It is so easy for me to look at someone else’s life and assume that they should have known better, or that no excuse was worthy of the transgression they committed, but justify my own blunders. Paul lay a reminder before us that that kind of high-thinking is detrimental to the children of God. It makes someone feel less and someone feel more and that is not the way Christ did it. Christ never justified sin, nor did He execute the sinner.

2 Corinthians 10:6-8

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

Understand it’s a Matter of the Heart

When we’ve been hurt, or we’re in disagreement with someone else, it would do us well if we’d consider the heart of the matter. While my weakness may not be yours or vice versa, we cannot say for certain that we understand every underlying condition that created our frustration. I only have to recall an issue that I had with a person who seemed arrogant and prideful. My frustration with them grew to the point that I’d cringe when I’d hear their voice in the distance. They later became one of my best friends and what I discovered was that the arrogance and pride was a shield that they placed before them so that people couldn’t see the insecurity and lack of self-confidence that they garnered inside. Once I understood that about them, my frustration quickly turned to compassion and the realization that everything wasn’t always what it seemed.

Paul could have boasted in his authority with God and his wisdom of men. He was right. But he chose rather to look on others with compassion and allow the love of Christ to be exhibited rather than the pride of man.

I’ve learned that most people eventually realize the error of their ways, or I recognize mine. And when they don’t I need to leave them with Christ and move on to matters I can control.

Placing it in Christ’s hands in indeed the cure of the frustrated believer.

When is revenge okay?

I’m truthfully not a vengeful person, however, I am human. Very human. Because of that I can say with honest humility there are days that I long to see a pot fall from a windowsill, in an animated version of course,  that wouldn’t allow anyone to get hurt but would allow me the satisfaction of smiling when it happened. While emotional pain doesn’t usually come with a scar, it still leaves a mark on the soul, and the propensity to get even. Praise God for grace, and for the Holy Spirit that knocks on my mind’s door and hands me a past due bill of stupid behaviors that could have me on somebody’s “animated flower pot list.”

Apostle Paul probably had a list and was on the lists of multiple people, but his focused attention on the spiritual accountability of his life would have caused him to cast his list in the fire of forgetfulness and move on to the next mission of God. And so it should be with us. So when is revenge okay?

2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.  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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

There is it! The one time that revenge is okay: “to revenge all disobedience.”

Believe me when I say it’s a battle in the making! My flowerpot thinking is according to the flesh which wants an eye for an eye. Over all that’s unrealistic and a bad idea! It’s not even the right enemy. Paul said we don’t war after the flesh, and our weapons are not that of a carnal nature either. Our greatest battle, or at least mine is not fought on the soil outside my door, but rather in the battlefield of my mind. And it’s usually brought on by a hurtful act of another person, who may or may not have been aware of it. But I’m left with the hurt and it’s a playground for Satan to begin sowing seeds of vengeful thinking toward another soul who stands in need of grace every bit as much as I do.

But the stronghold of hurt on my mind is just what Paul said it was: a “strong hold.” And it’s too strong for me to fight in the flesh. Pulling down the strong hold gives me the mental image of something that I have allowed to get above me, between me and God. The place that Satan likes best. He loves making me feel lower than, less than other people because it’s my kryptonite. It weakens me spiritually because I feel so unworthy and the negative thoughts begin to flood my mind and I desire carnal resolutions.

Three things Paul said to do to win this battle.

  1. Pull down strong holds
  2. Cast down imaginations
  3. Take captive thoughts

The strong holds are the areas of our lives that we’ve allowed Satan to place something or someone between us and God causing the site line to Heaven to disappear. Imagine yourself taking a hold of it, pulling it down away from Heaven’s view until God is back in our site line again. It’s not as hard as Satan would have us believe because it’s a whole lot easier to pull something down, than to pull something up.

Another thing that will pull us down are the imaginations of our mind. We place thought bubbles above the heads of others, assuming to know what it is they think of us, or assuming we know what God thinks of us. This keeps us in a lower position in life because again we’ve placed imagination between us and the word of God. Which is the only truth. Casting down the imaginations is removing the thought bubbles above your head and the heads of others that you’ve placed there without God’s permission and replacing it with the Word of God.

The last thing to do is to lock them up and throw away the key. This too is not a carnal battle but in the spiritual realm. And the key is not that of a metal material but rather the allowing God to place under lock and key what Jesus placed there at the cross. When Christ took back the keys of death, hell and the grave he locked behind them the power Satan has over us. It’s we who allow the release of those demonic thoughts when we open up our minds to Satan’s words.

The spirit world is a very real place with access through the portal of the mind. The only way to keep it at bay is to keep our mind in subjection to the Holy Spirit. The ultimate revenge against Satan, or anyone or anything in our lives that causes us misery is to be obedient to Christ, Who has only our best interest at heart. In Him is where true happiness and contentment lie. He has pulled us up above this earth where we are seated in the heavenly realm. Again… we can’t see it. But we’re there because the word says we are.

Ephesians 2:6

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Glory! The Victory is ours!

How to shush Satan on Failures

CHICK SHSH

Listening to a Perry Noble Sermon the other day, he spoke of a man going through a time of rebuke. He said that what he discovered was, when he rebuked himself, it was harsh and angry; but when God rebuked him it was with an arm around his shoulder, and words of kindness as God drew him close to show him what needed corrected in his life. That’s so true in my own life. I constantly have feelings of failure in every realm of life…being a wife, parent, grandparent, friend, teacher, servant of God, housekeeper, cook… oh the list goes on. If we received certificates of failure my wall would be filled!

Side note: Certificates of failure do not have God signature on them. That’s an interesting thought is it not?

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;

Thoughts of failure are a stronghold in my life and I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. What an awesome weapon for Satan to use ourselves against us. He cannot occupy the space within but he can occupy the space without; whispering imaginations in our ear against the knowledge of God. I can look about my messy house and unfinished projects and Satan spews “you failure.” But if I shush his lips and listen to the Holy Spirit I hear, “Look how blessed you are! Those guitar picks strewn across the floor are there because of the gift of music and the gift of grandchildren (who strew them across the floor), the dirty dishes in the sink are there because of the gift of food and the joy you receive from cooking and serving, that laundry is there because you have clothes on your back… really cute ones and cute boots on your feet! Those unfinished projects are joy in the waiting because I’ve gifted you with the ability to create… oh my stars I just wrote myself happy! I “almost” don’t care that my house is wreck… but Satan still spews. You can’t shut him up forever. But God will one day!

Revelation 20:1-3a ~ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up,

Shush Satan…

Being the Captor not the Captive

the cross

From the time our eyes first fly open in the morning we’re in a battle with the enemy, or at least I am. My mind starts rolling with to do lists, my iPhone buzzes with received messages, social media is calling my name and the covers are oh so warm… let’s wait a while… and Izidora the Chihuahua agrees that under the covers is a better place to be. Why move?

I love places of comfort! The church is that to me (meaning my home church building). I love walking into the vestibule where it feels like I’ve just arrived at the home of my best friend; I guess technically I have. Be it a Sunday Service or when I’ve forgotten my computer cord in my classroom and have to go back and fetch it at 9:30 at night, I feel at home. My thoughts are much easier focused on the things of God when I’m in that place, not so when I walk out the door. So many things are vying for my attention and my thoughts are not always godly. As a matter of fact sometimes they scare even me. Why do such thoughts and images pop into our minds? I won’t share them with you for fear you’d know how warped I am… but perhaps you have your own warped mind to deal with. A Word from God for me this morning:

2 Corinthians 10:5 

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;

The Captive

I usually have a flee mentality when I get into one of those scary thought moments. I just want to get my mind as far away from that idea as possible by getting into another area of thinking. You know the mode…. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts! But sure enough it won’t be long until those thoughts catch back up to me and I’m in the same boat causing me to wonder if somewhere deep down in the recesses of my mind an evil Shari is waiting to come out. Crazy right? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Satan. He loves exalting himself and having control. Being that I was not raised in a Friday the 13th movie world and I still close my eyes on the commercial for a horror movie I know that these images and ideas have to be fabricated in some other realm for the purpose of getting my eyes off Jesus and causing fear and anxiety with in me. In that condition I’m of little use to God. So how do I become the captor not the captive?

The Captor

To “cast down” is to utterly destroy those imaginations and things that try to get between you and the mind of God. So how can you destroy a thought that you have no control over?

2 Corinthians 10:6

 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Obedience to the Savior trumps Satan every time! Satan may be able to cause those crazy thoughts to enter our mind, but within us is the Holy Spirit! Rather than fleeing, stand your ground. The Holy Spirit stands ready for us to call upon Him and rescue us out of Satan’s little shop of horrors. SPEAK JESUS! You’re not alone. Don’t just shake that thought off and go on with life, it needs to be taken captive. Take the thought and destroy it through the Word of God by dismantling it one word, one image at a time. Is it true to who you are? No. Is it honest? No, it’s a lie out of the pits of Hell. Is it just, unprejudiced? No, it’s fabricated by Satan. Is it lovely, a good report, worthy of Praise? No? So envision the Holy Spirit locking that up behind bars and refocus your mind on Christ!

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

My mind needed rescued this morning. The Holy Spirit… my Hero!