Paul constantly reminds us of the challenges of living in this world and the resistance we constantly face due to the principalities and powers of darkness that are exerting their influence in the world each and every day short of Jesus’ return. Sometimes Paul talks about this as a race we are to run that takes training and discipline to win. Other times Paul talks about it in terms of spiritual warfare, recognizing the conflict that is happening and the two sides of the battle that are engaged in spiritual warfare against each other.
In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul talks about the war that we are engaged in and mentions that to fight this fight we have to use certain kinds of weapons. Here is what Paul wrote,
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” – 2 Cor 10:1-6
We don’t fight as the world fights. When we use the tactics that the world uses we determine our own failure from the start. What kinds of weapons are the weapons of the world? Manipulation, coercion, and abusive tactics. These are godless weapons because they trust in our own ability rather than in God’s ability. When we resort to these tactics using these weapons we cannot at the same time trust God to use these things to gain the victory because that is not how God operates because a true spiritual victory will never come from such tactics. They undermine our faith in the ability of God to provide the victory through the Way Christ showed us. This is the way of love. This is the way of humility. This is the way of considering others better than ourselves. This is the way of the servant. These are the weapons we use to engage in spiritual warfare on a daily basis and they work because they demonstrate a trust in God to fight the fight for us by His authority and power not ours.
Realize you are in a battle and the weapons and tactics you use differentiate whose side you are on.