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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Strongholds of Human Reasoning

"We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NLT

When I heard that a Hollywood studio was in the process of making a new motion picture about Moses and the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, I already knew that some people would ask for my opinion on the Bible account of this event. I've heard it all before. "Do you really believe that the Red Sea was parted the way the Bible says it was? It's simply impossible!" I have gotten used to the funny looks on people's faces when I tell them that I believe that every word of it is true.

This wasn't always the case, however. I was quite the skeptic myself until about 22 years ago, when I surrendered my life to Christ for real, and I told the Lord that from then on, by His grace, I would take Him at His Word. I had heard the testimony of one of the greatest evangelists of our time, who said that his life radically changed when He made a quality decision to believe that the Bible was true. He confessed to the Lord that he didn't understand how remarkable biblical accounts, such as the story of Jonah, could be genuine, but he was determined to shake off his doubts, and to live his life as though God was true to His Word. Since then, this man has brought literally millions of people to Christ.

Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3 NASB) Adopting the faith of a child is part of our conversion experience! What is the attitude of a child that the Savior is referring to here? It's an attitude of trust. It's the same attitude that Abraham had when God told him that he was going to be the father of many nations, even though he and his wife were still childless in their old age. Scripture tells us: "[Abraham] did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb. No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised." (Romans 4:19-21 AMP) Abraham was commended and blessed by the Lord because he didn't "doubtingly question" God's promise to him. It amazes me how many Christians doubtingly question the veracity of the Scriptures. It's no wonder, then, that they never reap the full benefits of God's "precious and magnificent promises," even though these 7,000 promises are their inheritance in Christ. (2 Peter 1:4 NASB)

When the apostle Paul teaches us about spiritual warfare in the Scriptures, he writes: "We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NLT) Notice the phrase, "strongholds of human reasoning". This means that Satan comes against us with thoughts, mindsets, and attitudes which are contrary to the Word of God, which are all designed to keep us from knowing the truth about God. These "rebellious thoughts" might not keep us from being saved, but they will likely keep us from receiving the good things that God has promised Christ followers in His Word - including gifts of protection, provision, and healing.

In Galatians, Paul says: "Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:10-12 NLT) No matter how hard we try, we cannot "reason" someone into the kingdom of God. They can only receive the Gospel message as truth through revelation from the Holy Spirit. That's because, as Paul says, the Good News is "not based on mere human reasoning". It makes absolutely no sense to the human mind apart from God. As Paul says elsewhere in the Scriptures: "The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT)

So you and I have a choice as Christians. We can decide to live and act as though the Bible were true, and we can receive the full benefits of the divine promises it contains. Or, we can allow doubt, disguised as human reasoning, to rob us of the good things that are our rightful inheritance in Christ. Jesus says to us every day in every instance, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" (John 11:40 NIV) Are you prepared to put aside your doubts, and to see more of God's glory manifested in your life and circumstances than you ever have before?

Prayer: Lord, You once told Your disciple Thomas, "Stop doubting and believe!" (John 20:27 NIV) I pray that for myself this day, and I ask that You help me to cooperate with You for the building of my faith. Help me to spend time each day being still in Your presence - praying, reading Your Word, and listening for Your voice. Remind me that it's Your Word that renews my mind and makes me resistant to the kind of human reasoning that robs me of Your best. Thank You that as I choose to believe Your truth, no person on earth, and no devil in hell will be able to keep me from reaping the full benefits of Your magnificent promises!

- J. M. Farro


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