2 Corinthians 10:1-18
1 Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.
2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 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.
7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.
8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed—
9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters.
10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”
11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.
12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you.
14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ;
15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.
17 But “HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.”
18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
One of the greatest challenges to the propagation of the truth in the Gospel is the planted seed of doubt. The enemy would even use others that are well-spoken to present questions as to the veracity and legitimacy of the messenger in order to undermine and dislodge his/her message. Paul is addressing these challenges against him and his influence over the church. That he desires to walk in love and forgiveness is not to be taken as timidity with regard to the defense of the truth. He indicates that while there may be an outer shell that is vulnerable to criticism, the flesh is not where his power and impact lie. Every opposing high thought that would threaten the work of the Spirit in them would be brought down with great boldness and confidence. In his Spirit-inspired words would be a powerful, captivating force that would not be timid in the least against every supposed alternative. Especially when they themselves were brought to repentance with correction, Paul would be given a significant stance against all disrupters. While it could even be asserted that Paul is overstepping his authority, he indicates a responsibility he is taking that is well within his ‘sphere’ or jurisdiction due to the connection that is already theirs in the Spirit. He again instills a need for any boasting to not be in some “ministry” that is in fact undermining an established and necessary influence from God’s direction and purpose.
We have received revelation and purpose through those God has sent to impart His heart and vision. As powerful as this bonding can be in the Spirit, the enemy is dead set against this possibility and has weapons to disrupt any movement of the Spirit. With familiarity and proximity comes an opportunity to step out of the realm of the Spirit where power resides over every work of the enemy, and into the realm of the flesh where boasting in personalities subverts the power of love and mercy. We have been called to have our priorities and affections embrace tenaciously those He’s sent to serve and be served by us. With revelation of this will come strong resistance to all seeds of doubt with truths that bring down and captivate any of those self-promoting incoming missiles.
We don’t walk by the flesh we walk by the spirit, and I like how in verse 5 it reminds us that we cast down imaginations or anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
My study Bible says, ” Though we have this flesh world to deal with, our prayers lives build a bridge from the spiritual world to the natural, to change the things we can see in this natural world.”
We war in the spirit and in prayer! Praise God!!