Mental Warfare

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), November 30

imagesThe Apostle Paul teaches that spiritual warfare begins in our minds—with our view of God: “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 Cor. 10:5).

Every man acts out of his view of God.

If a man’s God is holy, he lives in light of God’s holiness;
If a man’s God is just, he lives in light of God’s justice;
If a man’s God is redemptive, he lives in light of God’s mercy and grace;
If a man’s God is “the man upstairs”, he ignores him;
If a man has no God at all, he lives according to the dictates of his evil imagination.

The world’s narrative allows man to construct and live out of his own view of God. Five popular man-constructed images of God:

  • A “Santa Claus” view of God – He’s there once a year to dispense gifts to everyone regardless of whether they are “naughty” or “nice”. He has nothing to do with the remaining 364 days of their year.
  • A “Genie in a Bottle” God – He’s contained until He is needed and called upon to grant wishes.
  • A “Disney World” God – He’s magical and exists to provide entertainment and create happy memories.
  • A Deistic view of God – He may have created the world, but He is uninvolved and has left the world to run on its own. Those to whom God is unknowable structure their lives according to reason and science. God is simply an absent landlord.
  • An Atheistic view of God. God does not exist at all. Without a Creator man simply lives as he pleases.

All five views leave man intact and in charge of his own life, but nothing in history or experience indicates that any man but Christ has ever been whole or that people have ever been wise enough to be left to their own devices. Any view of God that diminishes God’s sovereignty and man’s need of redemption is false. False ideas about God have consequences. Faith-wrecking views of God must be identified, exposed for what they are, and demolished.

No other narrative but the Bible reveals God as He is. It is His Story to tell—and tell it He does! Only those who understand the story know its Author.

Every believer battles against entertaining and living out erroneous thoughts and ideas about God. As a hunter uses a machete to cut his way through an overgrown jungle, the believer must take up the Word of God to slash through and demolish all the false ideas about God projected upon him by this world and its false teachers. Every thought must be weighed against God’s revelation of Himself in Christ Jesus.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Cor. 6:14-10:18):
How had Israel’s intermarriage with the Canaanites during the Judges Era negatively impacted their walk with God? What does Paul teach about the consequence of unequally yoking with unbelievers?
Describe the spiritual benefits of godly sorrow and genuine repentance.
How does Paul move the Corinthian believers beyond the matter that he dealt with in chapter 7?
Describe Paul’s relationship with the Corinthian church.