We can have precise theology and comprehensive Biblical knowledge, but if our experience of Jesus results in distrust, fear, or disdain, we will struggle to have a transforming friendship. Similarly, if we walk through life smothered by personal inadequacy, shame, or meaninglessness, we will remain stranded in our diseased perceptions.
The Apostle Paul demonstrates a profound knowledge of the inner workings of the soul—what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives and how to partner with the process.
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
—2 Corinthians 10:4 (NASB)
Context: Paul is writing to an emerging church that has become enamored with the message of false prophets who are polished and winsome communicators. Paul argues that the test of an authentic relationship with Jesus is not slick presentations or popularity but personal transformation.
Fortresses, oxýrōma, is used only here in the New Testament and refers to fortified, walled, military strongholds. The root word meaning is “to hold fast.” The secular Greek literature of Paul’s day uses oxýrōmato to describe pirate hideouts built atop steep ocean cliffs along the Mediterranean. The emphasis here is upon impenetrable fortresses, painstakingly built piece-by-piece, which lay beyond the reach of standard tactics. In our lives, these fortified strongholds can include beliefs so deeply ingrained that we rarely question them, including: “I can never change,” “God gave up on me,” “It’s up to me to meet my needs,” or “My worth is what others say it is.” In Christ, these “fortresses” can be deconstructed.
Describe a vision of who you long to be in Christ? Be specific.