by Tony Evans on Youversion
Satan knows not only where to get at us, but also how to get at us. That’s why we need to understand the method he uses to defeat and imprison us.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3–5, Paul reveals the devil’s primary battle strategy:
Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
What Paul wants us to know first is that we can’t use secular or fleshly weapons to fight spiritual battles. The reason so many Christians are losing the battle is that they are trying to beat the devil using the world’s weapons. They’re looking to the secular world to help them with their spiritual need. If your problem, your struggle, your need is induced and orchestrated by your spiritual enemy, your flesh can’t win the fight. Unless you choose a spiritual response, all the time, effort, and resources you spend trying to fix the problem will ultimately be a waste of time, a Band-Aid on the situation.
Paul says our methods are not of the flesh because our enemy is not of the flesh. Some of us have been wrestling with things day in and day out for years. Those are battles, no matter what other names we may give to them. And if God speaks to it, it is a spiritual battle. And if your battle is spiritual, it needs a spiritual cure. You don’t fight cancer with skin lotion. You don’t fight a brain tumor by taking aspirin and lying down. Those kinds of problems demand another kind of help. So do spiritual problems.
The text we cited above tells us that Satan targets his attacks on our minds because Paul talks about “speculations,” “the knowledge of God,” and “taking every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5). Where do speculations come from? The mind. Where is knowledge rooted? In the mind. Where do thoughts come from? The mind. It is all in the mind. So, the Christian who wants to trade his or her spiritual POW status for freedom must learn to think differently.
When Satan attacks a Christian’s mind, he starts building what Paul calls “fortresses” (“strongholds,” niv and kjv). The devil builds a place from which he can operate, and he means for that fortress to be permanent. He plans to take up residence there.
Satan makes himself at home, in other words, and he gets a grip on the mind until people begin thinking there is no way to overcome this problem, no way to save this marriage, no way to unify this church, no way to make a difference in our world. Whenever you hear a Christian saying, “No way. It can’t be done. I’ve tried everything, and it just doesn’t work.” then he’s got his grip on their minds.
A fortress or stronghold is a mindset that holds you hostage. It makes you believe that you are hopelessly locked in a situation, that you are powerless to change. That’s when you hear people saying, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” The only reason you say, “I can’t,” when God says, “You can,” is that Satan has made himself at home in your head.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.2 Corinthians 2:3-5