Engaging the Spiritual War (2 Corinthians 10:1-6)
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6)
1) To wage "war according to the flesh" means attempting to accomplish God's purposes in one's own strength and limitations, without divine aid. What opportunities has God currently given you to minister to others? What might it look like to depend on God's power instead of your own as you minister to them?
2) The "strongholds" Paul mentions refers to arguments people have for rejecting the gospel. What strongholds are common in our time? How does the gospel message come against those strongholds?
3) Paul's gentleness - which his opponents criticized - was actually an imitation of Jesus himself who is meek and gentle (see Matthew 11:28-30). Are your interactions with others characterized by gentleness? How can you grow in gentleness toward others?