The AMI QT Devotionals from May 8-14 are provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as a staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology. He is married to Annie.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
2 Corinthian 10:3-6
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.
In the 1984, my father immigrated to the United States from Taiwan with my mother, to study Computer Engineering at San Jose States University—he wanted a better life for his wife and his future children. So when my father became a United States citizen in 1985, he had to give up his Taiwanese citizenship. He explained to me that while becoming a citizen had its benefits, it was also very complicated: he had to learn everything that came with becoming a citizen such as jury duty, taxes, and different business policies. Additionally, he had to adhere to the laws and rules that came with becoming a new citizen.
In this passage, Paul explains to the Corinthians that they are in a spiritual war. However, this war is not fought through the standard means of Greek philosophy and reasoning; rather, as citizens of heaven, they must fight using a new method—the divine power of the gospel.
Paul describes in verse 5, that this stronghold-destroying process must be done in two steps: First, we must “demolish philosophies and arguments that set themselves against the knowledge of God.” However, we do not demolish simply by using counter-reasoning, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. Second, we cannot simply destroy these strongholds, but “we must take every though captive and make it obedience to Christ.” After armies destroy a fortress, they take the enemies captive, preventing them from gathering again. In the same way, as the knowledge of God demolishes strongholds, we must make them obedient to Christ, so that these thoughts do not come back.
A common spiritual battle that we fight is in the area of evangelism. Many of us have opportunities to minister to family members, co-workers, and classmates. What kind of approach do you take when it comes to sharing the gospel? Do you rely on your knowledge and experiences, or do rely on the Holy Spirit to minister to co-workers and friends?
In our society, knowledge and experience are highly regarded, putting a high premium on those who know a lot. We take this same standard and apply it to our Christian walk, especially in the area of evangelism. While apologetics and our personal experiences are important and needed, Paul reminds us that as citizens of heaven, this spiritual battle must be won through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for shedding Your blood for me. I know that I am no longer a citizen of this world, but a citizen of heaven. Therefore, the way I fight this spiritual battle is not through my own strength and reasoning, but through the power of Your Spirit. Help me to trust that You are working in those whom I am evangelizing to! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Deuteronomy 3
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read Psalm 20: May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. 6 Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 Lord, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!
Questions to Consider
- What do you notice about the psalmist’s transition from verse 1-5 and 6-9?
- Who does the Lord give victory to (vv. 8 and 7)?
- What will happen to those who trust in chariots and horses (vv. 6-8)?
- In verse 1-5, the psalmist repeats the word “may” to reveal that he hopes God can bless these situations. However, verse 6-9 transitions into promises that are for sure.
- The Lord gives victory to those who are anointed (set apart) and to those who trust in Him.
- Those who trust in chariots and horses will be brought to their knees, meaning they will perish.
In light of today’s sharing, do you have co-workers, classmates, or family members whom you can evangelize to? Consider the ways you have evangelized in the past. What are some ways that you can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit more?