FOUNDATIONS: Our Complete Victory In Jesus: The 60 Second Rule – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Hello and welcome to Foundations where with each video I’ll go through one memory verse from the Bible that you can learn which teaches key foundational principles about God.
Today’s foundation verse is all about our complete victory in Jesus and how to be victorious in spiritual warfare. If you memorize this verse and put it into practice, I guarantee that you will live a victorious life in Christ. The foundation verse is 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV)
This verse is packed full of foundation principles of God and how to overcome the enemy. Here are 6 foundation principles and a strategy to make it all work, called the 60 second rule.
First, warfare is the reason why we are here. In the Greek, this word “warfare” is the word “strateia” (strat-i’-ah). It does not mean a little skirmish, but an extended, ongoing military campaign, an ongoing war. Did you ever wonder why, once you placed your faith in Christ and got saved that God didn’t immediately take you to be with Him in heaven? Instead, He leaves us in this fallen world of sin that is in rebellion against God. Why? So that He can use us to make war on God’s enemies, to tear down the enemy’s strongholds and to rescue as many people as possible who are being held captive by the enemy. We are here for warfare, to further God’s Kingdom on earth until the day when He Himself comes to claim the victory. We’re talking about spiritual warfare, not a physical war. We’re not talking about guns and ammunition, but of defeating the lies and power of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word and the power of His Spirit, through the Person of Jesus Christ.
Satan is perfectly happy with Christians who live in their own little world, keeping to themselves and living merrily day by day. If that’s what you are doing, then open your eyes to the warfare raging around you and join the battle. God is looking for spiritual warriors.
Second, God has equipped us for battle. We have mighty, spiritual weapons at our disposal through God to live victoriously. We don’t have to live a defeated life. Christ has already won the victory for us and we can walk every day in His strength and power. Satan wants Christians to think that they are powerless and tries through this world and every means possible to make us live in fear. But as this verse says, we have mighty weapons that are strong enough to tear down enemy strongholds. Some translations use the word “fortresses” here, that our weapons can tear down enemy fortresses. Satan’s strongest defenses can be torn down. We are not fighting the battle alone and we are not unarmed. Therefore, there is no reason for fear in a Christian’s life.
Further, these weapons are not carnal. Carnal means “of the flesh.” In other words, we are not fighting this war in our own strength but with God’s strength as He empowers us through faith. You may be the weakest person physically but still be the mightiest warrior for God.
Do you see this as your purpose for being here, to pull down strongholds? Start seeing yourself and thinking of yourself as a warrior for God, because that’s how God sees you. That’s who you are. That’s why you are here.
Third, enemy strongholds can be pulled down. Have you ever had a sin that’s just gotten a hold of you that you couldn’t seem to shake? That’s a stronghold: an area of life where desires, things, thoughts or ideas that are against the will of God exert dominion over your life. These strongholds are real but they can be pulled down. You are not trapped in them. There is a way out. And once we are out, we have an obligation as warriors to rescue others who are still being held captive in strongholds. The marines have a saying, “no man left behind.” So it is in our Christian lives. We have an obligation before God to become warriors for Christ to rescue those that are still lost, and God has equipped us to do so.
Fourth, our primary weapon is the truth of God’s Word. Notice the phrase, “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” What did Jesus do when tempted by Satan? Each time Satan tempted Him, He answered with the Word of God. He didn’t try to do battle in His own physical strength or intellect, but He engaged in spiritual warfare by proclaiming and standing on the truth of God’s Word.
The words “high thing” in this verse is one word in the Greek. It’s the word “hypsōma” (hoop’-so-mah) and it means “an elevated thing,” something that has elevated itself to be, in this case, higher than God. Think of all the things people have been convinced into believing they need more than God, so they hold those things in a higher place than God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel. How does he blind them? By convincing them that there are better, more correct things out there than God. Just as he tempted Eve in the Garden that eating the apple was really good for her, contrary to what God said, so he tempts each of us to elevate things above God. As a result, so many people are striving for things that have nothing to do with God, the very One they need most of all. And to do battle against that, we need to anchor ourselves and equip ourselves with a sure foundation and our primary weapon: the Word of God.
Fifth, the #1 battlefield is in our minds. The way we win spiritual warfare battles and have victory in our lives is by first being sure of the truth of God’s Word in our own minds to the point were we stand on it by faith in the face of all the lies of the enemy. We become so sure of God’s Word that no lie of the enemy can defeat us. Then and only then can we stand in God’s presence and be victorious over the enemy. Then and only then can we help others to find freedom in Christ. You are not going to be very effective in helping others walk in the freedom of Christ if you yourself are still being held captive by sin and the lies of Satan and this world.
God’s Word tells us that we are not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. And we do not wage war as the people of this world wage war. We wage war through prayer, through reliance on God’s Holy Spirit for strength, through our union and faith in Christ to cleanse us from all sin, and by exposing the lies of the enemy to the truth of God’s Word.
But then, sixth, a good soldier must be disciplined. It says we are to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Do you want to be used by God? Do you want to make a difference in furthering God’s Kingdom? Then let the victory start with you. Let God’s Word be firmly established in your mind and train your mind to become devoted to God. Be intentional about it. Paul told Timothy to “fan the flame” of his faith. Strong faith and a disciplined mind don’t happen by themselves but are totally achievable if we take some basic steps to get there.
Satan and this world are working non-stop to train your mind to think the way they do. As Christians, we need to retrain our minds to think in ways that honor God. Our thoughts matter. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Romans 12:2 says to “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.” If the mind of Christ is in you and your thinking is obedient to God, then your actions will also be obedient and you will be useful as a warrior for God, bearing good fruit.
My #1 encouragement to you is to take this verse seriously and be intentional about retraining your mind. Take steps to reprogram you mind away from the way the world thinks and instead train your mind to think in godly ways. Develop a game plan that works for you. Everyone is different, so your plan may look different than mine. The things that work for me to reprogram my mind are these:
- Bible memorization, Bible Reading and Bible Study: Memorizing verses on a daily and weekly basis so that God’s Word becomes part of who I am and becomes my safeguard. Psalm 119:11 “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Daily Bible reading and Bible study keeps me anchored in God’s Word. One of the reasons I do these videos is to force myself into a deeper study of God’s Word so that I become more grounded, so that I don’t stray off in the wrong direction and am better equipped to share the Word of God with others.
- Daily prayer: I am not a soldier fighting a war my by myself but I am dependent on God’s Holy Spirit working in my to achieve daily victory. I ask God each day for strength through His Holy Spirit and to help me to walk in obedience to His Word.
- Restricting worldly influences to what honors God: At the very least, eliminate what dishonors Him: What I watch on TV, music I listen to, conversations or social media I engage in. We can’t pull ourselves out of the world but we can at least manage how much of it we let into our lives to influence us. Would God approve of what I’m allowing into my mind?
- Another one: Get into the habit of thinking about God throughout the day
- And then there’s what I call the “Sixty Second Rule”: Do not let impure thoughts, ungodly thoughts, thoughts of depression or fear, degrading thoughts about yourself, or lies that go against the Word of God to dwell in your mind for longer than sixty seconds.
Let’s be honest. As long as we are in these mortal bodies, we will still be subject to sin, temptation, fear, lust, weakness, self-doubt, worry, anxiety and the like. We will experience sinful thoughts and the world around us is constantly bombarding us with sinful ideas and encouraging us to partake in those thoughts and to act them out. Those around us are also caught in this battle and sometimes their sinful thoughts, words and actions also get directed at us.
But with God’s strength, we don’t have to let them be victorious over us. We don’t have to let them dwell in our minds. With God’s help, it is possible to start limiting those thoughts so that they don’t become rooted in us.
Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” God’s Word warns us to not let sinful thoughts, like thoughts of anger, dwell in our minds for very long.
But what about thoughts are are really hard to control, like lust? How do you shut those off? I encourage you to find a way that works for you, that helps you intentionally shift your thinking. For example, one way I’ve found that works for me when I start feeling uncontrollable lust or anger is to change the atmosphere. I get up, move around and do something different. In my weakness, I’ll hit the play button on some Christian praise music and, before long, it pulls me in and away from those thoughts that are dishonoring God. That’s what I mean by changing the atmosphere. Be deliberate about it. Find what works for you.
Train your mind to honor God because, if you do, then everything else will fall into place: You will have victory in your life in terms of holiness, obedience, rest and joy. You will have a more intimate walk with God. Instead of God continually disciplining you for heading in the wrong direction, righteousness will start to become your new normal as the mind of Christ begins to dwell in you, and you will experience what Paul described in Galatians chapter 2: that it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. More than that, you will become useful in being a spiritual warrior for Christ and serving His Kingdom here on earth.
Today, this very day, put in place the sixty second rule in your minds. Start monitoring your thinking and let an alarm go off in your head when ungodly thoughts start to dwell there. Even thoughts of depression, fear or anxiety: shut them down. Change the atmosphere if you have to. Ask God to help you in this. He will. As you start to develop that discipline, your whole walk with God will be transformed into a much deeper relationship that is pure and honoring to God.
Of course, this all assumes that you have a relationship with God to start with
. If you don’t or if you are not sure about it, whether God will even save you, then settle that first. Having 100% assurance that God will save you is as simple as ABC.
Just between you and God in prayer:
ADMIT to God that you have sinned and fallen short of His holiness.
BELIEVE that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in your place to pay for your sin and that Jesus rose from the dead to show you the eternal life, a much better life, that He offers you.
And then CALL. Call upon the Lord to save you and strengthen you, trusting in Him to forgive you and abundantly pardon you. If you do, you will find compassion, forgiveness, eternal life and a love from God that never fades away. God’s Holy Spirit will come to live inside you, enabling you to do what you could never to before, which is turn from sin, have a changed life and become an effective warrior for God.
In closing, I encourage you to memorize this foundation verse to lock it into your soul. You are here for warfare, to be a warrior for Christ. Find that purpose in your life and live it out.