Our culture is really into boasting and bragging about our accomplishments. Whether it be fancy résumés, lofty sounding credentials, status symbol luxury cars, or casual name dropping, we really like showing off our success and importance.
But this is no new thing.
Disguises are meant to hide and conceal one’s true identity. Over the centuries, spies have used them to get behind enemy lines and gather important intelligence and information that can help their side win a war. During the Holocaust, many Jews assumed disguises to pass undetected on their way to freedom and safety. While disguises can and have been used for good, the whole purpose of a disguise is to hide, conceal, and become someone you are not.
Throughout the New Testament, the church is referred to as the bride of Christ. A redeemed and ransomed bride who is waiting for her glorious Bridegroom to return. However, in that waiting, she must be careful not to get distracted or led stray from her faithful devotion by the lofting promises of the world and lies of the enemy. She must remain sincere, pure, and fully devoted to her heavenly Bridegroom.
“‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”
~II Corinthians 10:17-18
Paul wraps up his defense of the ministry God has given him with a quote from Jeremiah 9 and a final truth that is so important for all those laboring for the kingdom to remember. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished, who you’ve met, where you’ve been, or how far-reaching your ministry is, all that matters is that you are approved by the Master.
Paul was a man of humility. But he wasn’t what we’d consider a quiet man. No! He was quite bold with the gospel. In fact, some first century Gentiles might have considered him a bit obnoxious. Paul held nothing back, but was all in and extremely bold in his ministry. He loathed timidity in God’s work, but was 100% committed to the ministry God had given him and the people in it.
Are you excited about the divine weapons God has given us to destroy strongholds? Are you feeling more victorious in your daily battle against evil? Or do you feel inspired by the fact that we can destroy strongholds, but don’t believe that you personally can do it?
Do you ever feel like every day is a struggle? Are you ever worn out by the hardships, demands, and cares of each week? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. The Bible clearly tells us that we’re in a war each and every day. While you may think that it’s a war against life circumstances, bills, fighting siblings, and opposing political forces, the truth is that we’re in a spiritual war not a physical one. Our enemies are not our parents, siblings, in-laws, landlords, or annoying co-workers, but rather spiritual forces of evil and Satan’s cohorts. As Ephesians 6:12 reminds us:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
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