Internicean Warfare . . .

We live in this world, but we don’t act like its people or fight our battles with the weapons of this world. Instead, we use God’s power that can destroy fortresses. We destroy arguments  and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Ever wonder how Paul thought he would manage that ‘destroy arguments and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God’ thing?  What about ‘capturing people’s thought and making them obey Christ’? Have you tried lately? I have–‘in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit’ isn’t easy! I’m learning how to be a real disciple one low blow or bruise at a time! A gifted preacher once called them ‘sheep bites.’  Yep, His sheep bite all right–and given a good opportunity, turn into piranah! Ready for a swim, anyone?

It’s one of the prices you pay for wanting to be a disciple–being chum. I’m reading Paul’s letters a lot more sympathetically these days. I’m beginning to understand his complaining. But I don’t have a grip on ‘patient’ yet . . .

We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food.  But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real. We have spoken the truth, and God’s power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right. Whether we were honored or dishonored or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not. We are unknown to others, but well known to you. We seem to be dying, and yet we are still alive. We have been punished, but never killed, and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. Although we are poor, we have made many people rich. And though we own nothing, everything is ours. (2 Corinthians 6:4b-10)

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