“For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way; because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (Complete Jewish Bible)
** Another version reads:
“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, u but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” – 2 Cor 10:3-5 (Holman)
I think one of the greatest challenges we face as Christians is understanding the difference between the way a war is waged as a non-believer and a believer in our day to day lives.
Let us look at one of the many aspects of the many skirmishes we face every day which is part of the war we are partakers in- the area of health and wholeness.
Growing up in Singapore as a Chinese, my grandmother and my mother would drum into me the importance of understanding if food is “too heaty” or “too cooling”. I grew up with that heaty-cooling balance becoming a natural instinct. It is what the Western world better knows as Yang (heaty) or Ying (cooling). I struggle to unlearn this knowledge that has become so much a part of growing up and living in this culture.
I am not dissing Chinese traditional medicine or any form of medicinal practices. They have their place in this world we live in. I just feel that sometimes we end up being so fixated on it and so dependent on it that we, as believers of the LORD Jesus Christ, forget what is TRULY needful for us to live in good health.
Like vitamins, ionised/ filtered water, organic food and diets, work out routines, physical trainers etc etc etc. It is okay to consume them or engage in such regimes, but when we become convinced that without these we are ‘screwed’, we might have to take a back seat and really think about where or what or who it is that we trust with our health.
If we feel that we didn’t drink a certain drink or eat a certain diet or take a certain pill that we have just thrown our bodies out of whack, then you have just put yourself under a kind of earthly law. Whatever is not of biblical Truth, is of this world and whatever we give power over us in this world has a stronghold over us.
There are some people who wonder why is it they pray and pray and pray and ask for Jesus to heal them that the prayers have not been heard. It is because their prayers are asking prayers instead of authoritative prayers. They are prayers that have no power because they don’t declare the glory of the Risen LORD. They are prayers that pray as if Jesus’ work is not perfected or complete, prayers that are defeatist and lacking in victory.
Over the years, reading and learning I have come to realise that we don’t ask Jesus to give us health because when we truly understand the finished work of Jesus, we understand that Jesus is. It is because Jesus is that we can declare with His authority that we are heirs to this promise of life and life more abundantly, this shalom that the world cannot give.
It is as simple as that.
Jesus is your health if you have received Him as your LORD and Saviour. The Word says that by His stripes we are healed of all our infirmities. Note that it is not some or a few infirmities, it is ALL our infirmities. It isn’t maybe we might or might not be healed, it is we ARE HEALED. This is now your birth right after you have been born again as a Christian through His death and resurrection on the Cross.
We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God – what does this mean?
When a doctor tells you there is no chance your illness can ever be cured, or that your illness will take a long time to be healed with side effects etc – it is an arrogance and argument and supposition that has raised itself up against the knowledge of God. The doctor knows medicine, he knows how health works in the worldly field of medicine. He is an expert in this but he is not an expert in how the LORD works His miracles into your life. He can’t be because unless he knows more that the LORD knows, he is not qualified to make promises for Jesus.
Your neighbourhood GP or Specialist does not dare guarantee is that God is a God of all things possible. He cannot say, as a doctor who has studied at least a decade to get his status as a doctor, that you are healed in Christ. This is because his medical knowledge works on the basis of logic, not faith.
I am not saying you should not see a doctor if you are sick. By all means, see one! What is important is to remember that the LORD can quicken your healing in ways mere medicine can’t; the LORD can effect healing in places where the medical field has declared impossible.
What is also interesting to note is the use of “infirmities”. It does not just refer to a physical ailment. An infirmity can be used to describe a moral weakness or failing too.
What does this mean?
Beyond your health, His stripes has healed you of your other failings or weaknesses – moral, thought life included.
- Do you have an addiction to negative thinking or a tendency to lie? It is healed.
- Do you like to watch porn or smoke or consume certain drugs? It is healed.
- Do you have an anger management issue that has cost you your relationship with your loved ones? It is healed.
By His stripes you are healed of ALL your physical ailments and weaknesses, as well as ALL your moral weaknesses and failings.
Jesus is merciful to bear those stripes to avail this very complete and holistic, all encompassing healing for you and me.
Understanding what His Word declares as the TRUTH over our current condition, we can then “ take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah”
This means we bring our thoughts captive to the finished work of Christ… We stop wondering about the what ifs and of onlys & focus on what He has said He has already done for us through His perfect and finished work on the Cross.
You can replace that anxiety or fearful thought with thoughts of God’s promises of goodness over you because ‘His perfect love casts off all fear’. The more I focus on His love for me, the more the fear departs from me.
You can speak over the stronghold and call it defeated because we are ‘more than conquerors in Christ Jesus’. You can know with confidence that ‘the Son of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings’ and that He ‘Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses’.
Businessmen like to study the Art of War by Sun Tzu to understand how to wage battles in the corporate field. As Christians, we need to study the Word so we know how spiritual battles are waged. It is not us who fights these battles, they have been hard fought and won ALREADY by Jesus. What we need to do is to raise the banner of victory in our lives. It does not matter what trials and tribulations come our way to make us think that we are still under the mercy of the enemy- these are illusions. We continue to brandish the Sword that is the Word.
I love this song by Hillsong which I feel sings about what I just meditated on in the above:
The particularly relevant lyrics to me begin in the second verse:
Death, where is your sting?
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live
In mercy, my heart now to sing
The day and it’s trouble shall come
I know that your strength is enough
The scandal of grace, you died in my place
So my soul will live
Oh to be like you
(To) Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there’s no one besides you
Forever the hope in my heart
Let Jesus be THE HOPE, THE TRUTH that you brandish before the enemy.
You are sealed in Him and can never be apart from Him. Don’t brandish at the enemy what the doctors say, what other people say about you, what degrees or certs you have, what business networks or ‘guan xi’ you have… those are without power.
You brandish what JESUS HAS ACCOMPLISHED for you. You brandish your birth right as someone who has died and risen with Christ at the Cross.
I finish my reflection with Philippians 3:16 (MSG):
“Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”