For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 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, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV)
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that wayâ€”never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Message)
I think this is the first time that I have noted a Scripture with two different versions. Now the NKJV is a translation where The Message is a paraphrase but as I was looking and studying this passage I was interested in the words that were offered.
Jesus said that I would be in the world but not of this world (John 17). And here Paul says that while we are human, when the troubles of this world come that Jesus spoke (John 16), fighting like the world does is not the way to win.
The world says that when someone offends you â€“ get a lawyer! When life isnâ€™t fair â€“ well it should be! So pass a new law to make it fair for everyone â€“ and get a lawyer! Laws really arenâ€™t to be defended â€“ they are to be manipulated to my advantage! Standards in education and discipline should be lowered â€“ not raised â€“ so that no feels â€˜less thanâ€™ and has to work harder!
I am not cynical. I am done trying to find or expecting to receive what is â€˜fairâ€™ from the world. I have accepted the truth â€“ with joy â€“ that I am an alien in this world. I am a citizen of Godâ€™s Kingdom and no longer â€˜fitâ€™ here.
The God-tools that I have are:
My relationship with Jesus. I am the child of the King. I wear the breastplate of righteousness because of Jesus (Ephesians 6). Every knee bows at the name of Jesus. When I call on His name, when I praise Him, all the demons run. I have been blessed when I begin my day with committing my words and my actions under the power of God. He is faithful.
The Armor of God. This isnâ€™t some â€˜good luck mantraâ€™ but a visual reminder of what it means to be a child of the King of kings. I have a helmet of salvation that assures me that I am His child. The breastplate of righteousness that allows me to come into the throne room of God with my prayers. The belt of His truth that tears down the lies of the enemy when he attempts to tear me down. The shoes of peace that I walk in because of the Good News Jesus has given me. The shield of faith that I raise and wrap around myself every day. Some days it may seem as tiny as a mustard seed but Jesus is strong when I feel weak. So I am covered! And the sword of the Holy Spirit that, just as Jesus said, reminds me of all His promises.
Each day, in obedience I bow my head, take up my God-tools, and step out into this alien world, to walk in victory no matter what comes my way.