Fairmeadow Community Church of The Nazarene
November 21, 2021
  • It Is Well With My Soul
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV
    3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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.

    In every version of the world, God’s authority has been resisted

    People want to debate about what they think is right or wrong. But Scripture doesn’t really present things that way. It doesn’t say: these guys are right and these guys are wrong. It says, thou shalt and thou shalt not. This put Paul in a challenging position as a leader in the early church. Even as people were coming to faith in Jesus, they were continually bringing with them baggage from life before Jesus. And even Paul was affected by his Pharisee past. So all kinds of ideas were bouncing around people’s minds, perhaps even Paul’s.
    So what does he do? He goes back to square one: the foundation of it all:
    2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
    5 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.
    He examined his and everyone’s thinking in light of two things:
    That God exists and cares for us-we can know God.
    That Jesus is God’s Son, our messiah, savior and Lord. He is our way to God.
    He pictures it like a great battle. Ideas coming in: but those not aligned with these two great truths are in fact DEMOLISHED. (Explosion) Another one bites the dust.
    Now Paul is careful here. He’s not demolishing the people who hold those arguments. God forbid. He is loving people and leading people. But just because we love someone doesn’t mean their ideas align with Scripture. Even some of our own ideas may have to go. If we always hit the panic button, we are forgetting God is real and loving and active in our lives.
    I’ve actually heard it said and I think I may have even repeated it at some point in my ministry: trust like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on us. But now I realize that is flawed. If we work as if it all depends on us we will end up working against God. This is the mixing of human wisdom with clear doctrine. This is what is often going on when we find ourselves confused or in conflict.
    Do you go into debt immediately when an unexpected expense arrives? Pray about it first. Do I actually have to replace this item at all? Do I have to replace it right now? What is God’s plan for paying for it? Take a little time to get it right.
    I used to pay all my bills as early as possible. Then I ran into a few situations where it got credited to the wrong month. Or, one time with my water bill, they simply lost track of it. They were holding all the checks and depositing them at the same time right on the due date. So that wasn’t working well to pay so early. But also sometimes I was running into the problem of not having the money on hand to pay it so early. So I would panic, what will I do I can’t pay it now? I’m afraid I’ll forget. I realized God provides for our needs but not always way ahead of time. So I figured out with each bill the best time to pay it so it will post at the right time and I will be most likely to have the funds available to pay it. It took a while but I developed a system that works. I was giving God time to provide while also being responsible. But I had to change my thinking about paying super early being the best option and trust God to provide in a timely way. No system is perfect. But the worst system is one that doesn’t leave room for God to provide.
    So, never forget that God exists and stands ready to help us with our needs. Never forget that every area of life can be submitted to His plan. Paul says, literally every thought can be brought under Christ’s authority.
    So this takes time. Paul is saying he takes the time and makes the effort to do what lines up with God. Whether it’s a thought that keeps bouncing around our heads or some advice from a friend or a plan of action we are considering.
    Ephesians 5:15–20 NIV
    15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Make the most of every opportunity:
    “I’d rather fail five times for the Lord than be victorious for the devil.” Chester Goff
    To me this relates because you have to try in order to fail. Making the most of every opportunity means you don’t kick a field goal when you need 7 points to win and there’s 1minute left. You go for it. Try your best to make the winning play. If you fall short at least there are no regrets.
    Sometimes God asks us to go for it without delay. Sometimes God asks us to hold on, keep our nerve, trust and wait.
    And when it comes to our daily thought life we can make the same kinds of choices. When thoughts pass through our minds like: you’re worthless. you’re nothing. God isn’t real. nobody cares. it’s not worth it. All kinds of dark thoughts will be hurled our way or dredged up by our subconscious mind.
    But you don’t have to do their bidding. You don’t have to believe them. You can demolish these bad ideas with better ones.
    God loves me. God cares. I can do all the things I need to do through Him who gives me strength. It’s always worth it. Lot’s of people still care. Some of them even care for me. Remember these things. They are true for any believer.
    Demolish the bad ideas. Hold every thought captive to Christ.
    1. Slow it down. Pray out loud. Write out your prayers. Talk it out with your pastor and or believers you trust. Things seem less desperate when we slow our minds down to see things as they are. Slow it down.
    2. Take control of your thought life. Don’t let yourself get carried away thinking bad thoughts. Train yourself to think good ones. This is every thought captive. No leaks that you know of...
    Philippians 4:4–9 NRSV
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
    3. Be pro-active. When you wake up in the morning, don’t reach for your phone, unless you’re gonna read your bible there. Talk to God first. Remind yourself of truth first, before you let the day come at you full speed.
    Colossians 3:1–4 NRSV
    1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
    Remember your hope. Set your mind on things above. Be proactive.
    Ephesians 5:20 NIV
    20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    4. Give thanks. It rounds things off. It helps you remember. It helps you not take it for granted or slip back down into stinking thinking. It’s simple. Give God thanks for all the things he is doing in your life. The ones you are aware of and even the ones you aren’t yet. Believe it. God is working.
    I’ve seen it first hand. In my own life and in your lives.
    I know God can win this battle in your mind.

    Slow it down. Take Control. Be Pro-Active. Give Thanks.

    If you are here today realize you’re not alone. If you’re watching online, realize you are still a vital part of things. I just heard from Debra this week who is watching and looking to join us in person as soon as her schedule allows. Debra, we count you one of us today.
    For everyone: God will win this battle if we follow his game plan. Together we can do it. So get plugged in to Sunday School and to a Bible study or small group. You’ll see the daily difference it makes.
    Sunday School is right after church. TLC Meets Tuesdays 3pm here at the church. I do 2 online Bible Studies and i’m looking to start a new one for those interested. Let’s make the most of every opportunity for the days are evil.
    Winning this victory will help us help others win their victory. It’s so important because so much is at stake for us all...
    Let’s pray...
      • 2 Corinthians 10:3–5NRSV

      • 2 Corinthians 10:5NRSV

      • Ephesians 5:15–20NRSV

      • Philippians 4:4–9NRSV

      • Colossians 3:1–4NRSV

      • Ephesians 5:20NRSV

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