30 "If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, 31 if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, 32 I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; 33 but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. (Psalms 89:30-33 NIV)
In this psalm about God’s promises to David, we see in a shadow God’s promises to the “Son of David”, Christ Jesus. We are His offspring, His seed, in Biblical terms (Isaiah 53:12). In type then, we see God’s attitude toward us when we sin. We are still sons, but God is neither indulgent nor ruthless. He will not let us go on without dealing with our sin, but He does not deal with it in a way that would crush us or cause His heart to turn from us.
That flogging often goes ignored by us at first. We chalk it up to circumstances, refusing to examine our hearts. When it comes to our own heart, we can be our worst deceiver and the most gullible of fools. We seem to find a justification for anything we wish to indulge in. Meanwhile, the heart of our Father aches, knowing He is going to have to afflict us in a more serious way to get us to open our eyes.
When that happens, we cry out and ask, “Where is the God of love we once knew?” His love is still with you, but it is being expressed in faithfulness to turn you from the sin you refuse to admit is clouding your heart and judgement. Through it all, He weeps with you, hurts with you, as any loving father would when dealing severely with his own children. Thank God for His faithful love, even when it comes in the form of painful discipline. He loves you enough to not allow you to go on deceiving yourself. Thank Him for His loving discipline that keeps you from self destruction.
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. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)
The world wages war against physical locations and troops. Those who belong to Christ fight a different battle. Jesus told Pilate that if His kingdom was of the world, His servants would be fighting physically. The Kingdom of Christ is in the heart, in the spirit. There are territories and enemies in the spirit that must be taken.
Paul tells us that we have divine weapons that are powerful enough to demolish strongholds. He goes on to describe what those strongholds are. Arguments, pretense set against the knowledge of God, and thoughts can all be strongholds in which the enemy takes cover. A stronghold is a defensive position. The children of God are on the offense. Since Jesus conquered death, the enemy has been cowering in these strongholds. How people cling to one sham of an argument after another! When their life is on the line, they drop them all and run to God, but when the Holy Spirit is gently knocking, the argument stronghold keeps Him out.
That is when we come in as servants of Christ and use our divine weapons to break down the strongholds. Our weapons are the same as the fruits of the Spirit. Love conquers all. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. We attack every thought that rises up against the knowledge of God, whether in another’s life or our own.
Conquering our thought life with the fruit of self-discipline results in a major victory. Once our thoughts are made to obey Christ, our actions will follow. All the fruits of the Spirit are from the life of the Holy Spirit who indwells us. As we yield to His prompting, the strongholds come tumbling down.
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