Warfare Part 5 Casting Down Imaginations
June 1, 2012 · Print This Article
Casting Down Imaginations
Text: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
The reality of spiritual conflict and battle in the invisible realm is attested to by Jesus Himself, and has characterized the life of the Church since the time of the Book of Acts. In order to live successfully, we need to realize there’s another arena and a vicious adversary set on our destruction.
People will see those things as “circumstances” but Jesus unmasked the reality that they are foisted on you out of another realm. Human beings are capable of doing dumb things on our own without satanic intervention, but there are such things as direct assaults upon us from the adversary who seeks to steal and destroy the possibilities of purpose and joy from our life. Most people don’t recognize those things and consequently, don’t know how to declare war and return an attack.
- According to flesh (v. 3) — This does not mean a carnal commitment to indulgence but that though we walk in a material realm, the conflict we’re engaged in transcends that realm.
- Weapons of warfare (v. 4) — Our resources are not found in or limited to human reasoning. Their dynamic comes from God.
- Strongholds (v. 4) are barricades against your future, against your life being fulfilled according to God’s creative purpose for you. An example is the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6). Israel’s successful attack defies human logic, but illustrates the victory of people who move in the purposes and resources of God.
- Imaginations and thoughts (v. 5) are said to be things that exalt themselves. They are personified—meaning, they are beings exalting themselves against God’s purpose in you.
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy
(John 10:10) Everything the adversary does is intended to reduce to rubble the image of God’s purpose in you. God has something in mind for you. The adversary would like to erase that prospect from your mind by seeking to sell you what is his mind for you. He does that by something the Bible calls thoughts and imaginations that have another source than just the human rising of thoughts or imaginations, or the divine gifts of insight and perception—these thoughts come from Hell.
Every one of us has suffered and fallen prey to the wearying mental attack of the enemy. The thought processes are so relentlessly and subtly sown into our minds that we conclude, Something must be wrong with me.
The word thought (noema) means a plot, plan or design, something calculated. It has to do with things that have been designed just for you. The idea is to neutralize what you know with lies designed to follow your own line of reasoning so you assume that the thought came from you. Doubts don’t automatically generate themselves—there is a spirit of doubt that can be entertained or confronted.
Among believers there is a tremendous gullibility to swallow the noemas—thoughts sown by doubt—without recognizing the plot to erode your faith. The Bible declares those noemas are to be confronted, cast down.
The same spiritual warfare is to be applied to imaginations (logismos). This has to do with systematic lines of reasoning (consider our word “logic”). It’s virtually mathematical, referring to the orderly presentation of a philosopher making his case for what he sees as truth in a logical presentation. With logismos—the presentation of his case—is also diatribo (consider “diatribe”), the philosopher’s attempt to wear down through debate any argument presented by a challenger.
How do thoughts and imaginations work?
The Lord created us in His image and has something specific in mind for the life of every individual. In our hearts, a vision of that begins to rise; you feel there’s something you are to be and become. That vision constantly expands the longer you walk in it; it isn’t an idle dream. You test whether it is of God or not by two things:
- You have faith in your heart that pursuit of your goal can be realized; and
- Everything of your dream or vision aligns with the Word of God.
But there are other “visions” not from God—imaginations which are really fantasies and notions. They include things that make you, as a believer, wretch inside to consider they ever found a place in you, and you wonder how you can break their wearying syndrome:
- “Dreams of becoming” that don’t align with the Word of God
- Accusations against you
- Seductions away from God’s purpose for your life
- Fantasies and impure thoughts that pollute your mind
- Internal statements that intimate you
- Condemnation making you feel worthless and inadequate
- Covetousness that makes you keep wanting more
- Defeating self-expectations that go back to childhood
- Recurring memory of past failures
- Disappointments and guilt you wish you could shake free of
Continuing to entertain these thoughts and imaginations instead of casting them down is the equivalent of making them idols. According to the Corinthian epistles, wherever there is an idol, there is a spirit behind it. These idols are not “graven” but they are images that come to impose themselves on you—i.e., the image of the world, of other suppositions, of what you feel you are supposed to become in human energy but can’t.
When we “bow down” to those idols by entertaining them in our minds, we become chained into patterns of thought from which we just can’t seem to break free. The blood of the Cross of Jesus applied to those chains of bondage will dissolve them.
You need to declare war!
These fabrications and contrivances constitute the strongholds the adversary intends to build against your progress in the way and the will of God. Those strongholds need to be confronted and overthrown—cast down (Ephesians 6).
Victory is contingent upon recognizing the tactics and strategy of the adversary. He is relentlessly seeking to cut down anything of God’s purpose in you by wrestling your mind, pinning you to the ground with impure thoughts or with destructive notions about yourself until he erodes your sense of confidence and purpose in the way and will of God. Unless you come to terms with that, you will be dictated to by notions never intended for your life by God who created you.
The Lord is calling us to make up our minds about the spiritual arena and declare war against the adversary of our soul. When you are confronted at the mental and emotional level, the Word of God says fix your mind on Jesus, and He will keep you in perfect peace because you’ve chosen to trust in Him.