As the truth of God’s Word penetrates our hearts, it displaces those secular mental barriers we have erected over the years. In fact, we receive several very exciting benefits. Paul names two of them in 2 Corinthians 10—divine power (10:4) and authentic independence (10:11–12).
We get the distinct impression that nothing on this earth can intimidate us. The New International Version helps clarify this supernatural ability of the “renewed mind”:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.
(2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV)
Did you catch the reality of divine power? Servants with renewed minds have a perspective on life and a power to live life that is altogether unique—divinely empowered.
That explains how wrongs can be forgiven, and how offenses can be forgotten, and how objectives can be pursued day in and day out without our quitting. It’s divine power. God promises that He will pour His power into us (Philippians 4:13) and supply all we need if we will simply operate under His full control. When we think correctly, we instantly begin to respond correctly.
How can we “demolish” those things that once blew us away? With Christ living out His very life through ours, that’s how. By His power we can give ourselves away again and again and again. And we won’t fear the outcome. We won’t even feel slighted when we don’t get the same treatment in return. Servants, remember, don’t “keep score.”
When God is in control of the servant’s mind, we realize as never before that life’s greatest joy is to give Christ’s love away.
As we allow God’s truth to pierce the tough, hardened barriers we have erected in our minds, we receive surprising benefits. We saw yesterday that God gives us His divine power (2 Corinthians 10:4). He also grants us what I call authentic independence.
Look at verses 11 and 12 in 2 Corinthians 10:
Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present. For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
(2 Corinthians 10:11–12)
Isn’t that refreshing? No masks of hypocrisy. No competition with other believers—just authentic independence. A Christian with this type of attitude refuses to get caught in the trap of comparing himself or herself with others. It all comes to those with a “renewed mind” . . . those who determine they are going to allow the Spirit of God to invade all those walls and towers, capturing the guards that have kept the Lord at arm’s length for too many years.
I can’t recall the precise date when these truths began to fall into place, but I distinctly remember how I began to change deep within. My fierce tendency to compete with others started to diminish. My insecure need to win—always win—also started to fade. Less and less was I interested in comparing myself with other speakers and pastors. This growing, healthy independence freed me to be me, not a mixture of what I thought others expected me to be.
I mean it when I say that my heart really goes out to others when I see in them that misery-making “comparison syndrome” that held me in its grip for so many years. Don’t misunderstand me; I still have very far to go. Nevertheless, it was not until I started thinking biblically that this authentic, independent identity began to take shape.
I believe God has designed it to occur this way.