August 17, 2015
II Corinthians 10:3-6
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
I had a favorite professor at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry I attended near Pittsburgh. I was the seminary’s ‘token Baptist’ for three years as a part-time student. But I loved that school – the most conservative of 13 Episcopal seminaries in the country. It was refreshing to see liturgical training and worship in class and chapel blended with conservative Christianity. There was also a strong element of charismatic belief there, in which I rejoiced.
The dean, Dr. John Rogers, also taught theology. He was a great teacher and taught in such a way that presented theology as a personal and interesting adventure! Some instructors have made the same into a dry and dusty journey! One of his favorite lines has also become one of mine, for it describes some of the greatest problems human beings encounter – “The problem is: Everywhere I go, I go, too!” If that does not succinctly describe the human dilemma, I don’t know what else would!
“Everywhere I go, I go, too!” Paul examines a truth related to I Go, Too in II Corinthians 10:3 through 6 (KJV):
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 for pul-
ling 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; and having in a readi-
ness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
How is this related to I Go, Too? Far too many Christians see the problems that they face as ‘out there’ in the world, and not ‘in here’ in the mind!
• “If only my boss would recognize my potential and treat me decently, I would do fine at work!”
• “If only my family had been better (or my father had not left when I was ten, or my mother did not chase after men, or I was born wealthy) then I wouldn’t be in the mess I am in today!”
• “If only my friends would stop pushing drugs (or alcohol, or bad behavior) on me, I would stop doing what I have been doing!”
• “If only gambling hadn’t been legalized, and so many casinos hadn’t been built, I would not have a gambling problem!”
• “If only my classmates (or workmates) would stop picking on me about my shortcomings, I would not get so angry!”
You get the idea! Ask just about any person in prison, and the majority will say, “If only (insert any one of a thousand outside influences here)…, then I would not be incarcerated!”
The apostle is emphasizing in our featured scripture that the battle is ‘in here’ in the mind, not ‘out there’ in the world! He uses three words in verse 5 of our scripture that gives us the location of the battle – and I think the King James brings it out the best: imaginations, knowledge, and thought. Where do those three things take place? In the mind. And where is the mind generally thought to be housed? In the brain. We carry our brain, hence our mind, with us everywhere we go! As my professor said, “Everywhere I go, I go, too!” If we learn to control what goes on in our mind, we have the battle already won!
The mind is where the devil attacks. Although he is not omniscient (all-knowing), he studies us to find out where we are strong and where we are weak. Then he will place a temptation just where we are most likely to fall for it. So if we realize the location of the battleground, if we allow ourselves to be trained in the weapons available to us to fight the enemy, if we engage in the combat, if we get it in our minds we are assured of victory by the cross, then nothing can stop us from winning battles! But what weapons are available? The Word of God, the energizing and directing Holy Spirit, and like-minded and trained comrades-in-arms!
I believe the most neglected weapon is the Word of God. For it will instruct us in all else available to fight and win (see II Peter 1:3, 4). The Word is sustenance for the new man created in the image of God within us (see Colossians 3:9, 10). If we do not feed the new man, the old man – our natural sinful nature – will control our lives. It is this nature that, if dominate, will allow Satan to win.
You cannot escape yourself! “Everywhere I go, I go, too!” Make sure the ‘I Go, Too’ that accompanies you is the one who will help you live victoriously!