Characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; “a conceited fool”; “an attitude of self-conceited arrogance”; “an egotistical disregard of others”; “so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty”; “growing ever more swollen-headed and arbitrary”; “vain about her clothes”
The formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses; “popular imagination created a world of demons”; “imagination reveals what the world could be”; The ability to form mental images of things or events
Luke 1: 51 – 52 – He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
I. 2 Corinthians 10:3-8 – The Message (MSG) – 3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
7-8 You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re looking for a clear example of someone on Christ’s side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I’m not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down.
II. 2 Corinthians 10:3-7 King James Version (KJV) – 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
III. How to Cast Down Strongholds and Vain Imagination
a. Paul wrote that we do not war according to the flesh (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Our warfare is not of this world; it is divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. That is, if you have a stronghold, which is a deeply embedded sinful habit pattern, you can pull it down and destroy it by appropriating the powerful spiritual warfare that is ours in Christ.
b. We destroy “vain imaginations” (KJV), speculations and every lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God, by casting down any thought that does not line up with the Word of God or what we know of the Son of God.
c. We take the thought captive to the obedience of Christ. That is, we march the thought that we captured before we acted upon it, and present our captive thought to our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ. We ask Him to crucify the thought and by faith thank Him for doing so. Then we continue our walk of faith. Great truth. Now how does it work?
d. Thought-“I am such a bad Christian that God could never really love me.” Truth-That thought does not line up with the Word of God. I John 4:10 says, “In this is love,not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (See, this is why you must know the Word of God! How else will you recognize the vain imaginations that are lifted up against the knowledge of God?) Test-Can you capture the thought or do you get some kind of perverted pleasure from denigrating yourself?
e. Do put-downs come easily? Has your self-worth been so debased that you really believe the lies the enemy is shooting your way? Can you capture the thought before you act upon it (giving into depression or self-loathing) and turn to the Lord, marching the thought at gunpoint (mentally) to your Commander in Chief and asking Him to crucify the thought. Triumph-Yeah! You have taken your thought captive to the obedience of Christ, cast down the lies of the enemy, crucified self and exalted Christ in your life. God gets all the glory because our weapons are not of this world, but they are “other-worldly!” you rock!
f. This process works for any lie of the enemy (“You are stupid”, “You are worthless”, “You are a bad mother” etc.) or any stronghold (anger, jealously, lust, envy, etc.) that has built a giant honking strong tower in your psyche. This, is how you pull it down…brick by brick…you are delivered as you repeat the process so many times that it becomes as natural to you as breathing.
g. When you are successful, you put your foot on the neck of your enemy and he is forced to admit that Jesus is Lord! This is why we must put on the helmet of salvation-to guard our thought life-lest we allow the enemy to find a chink in our armor and exploit it or lest we allow a sinful habit pattern to remain unchecked and develop into a stronghold. So, my beloved family memorizes Scriptures that will be useful when the enemy comes against you to your specific weakness and point of vulnerability. Hold forth the shield of faith, draw the sword of the spirit and fight the good fight of faith.