2 Corinthians 11
Paul begins 2 Cor 11 with concern for the Corinthians that they would be deceived by Satan’s cunning schemes, just like Eve was. That their thoughts would be led away from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Interesting that he says he is concerned for their thought life! How did Satan tempt Eve?
Genesis 3:1 Satan asked the woman, “Did God really say…” Then he follows her response by planting doubt in God’s Word and God’s character; “You won’t really die! God knows that your eyes will be opened and you will be like God…” (Gen 3:4-5) Satan was planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s thinking! Instead of sincere and pure devotion to God, Satan introduced Eve to thinking about herself. As she entertained those thoughts, those thoughts led her away from devotion to God, and she became devoted to herself. That thinking led to an attitude of doubt towards God’s goodness. The attitude resulted in the action of eating the fruit!
How often does this happen in my life? How often does it happen in your life? You probably don’t hear Satan’s audible voice saying, “Has God said…” But, how often do you doubt what God has clearly told you in His word? Have you ever had thoughts like this:
- I’ll never be able to do this.
- This is just the way I am. I will never change.
- I’ll never be as good as so and so.
- I will never be the father / mother / husband / wife I should be.
Here in orientation I have heard things like:
- I’ll never be able to learn a tribal language.
- I don’t think I’ll ever find the right team mates.
- I can’t imagine this ever getting any easier.
In Winning the War in Your Minds, Craig Groeschel said, “Lies we live by, affect our lives as if they were true.” What are the lies in your life that hinder you from believing God and living by faith in what God has said? Paul’s words echo in my mind, “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your THOUGHTS will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
What does “Sincere and pure devotion to Christ” look like? I think we see a good example in the disciples journey in following Jesus. Their journey began in John 2:11, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”
The more time they spent with Jesus, the more devout / devoted they became. So much so that in Acts 4:19-20 after they are arrested and told to stop talking about Jesus they said, “Whether this is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, that’s up to you to judge. But we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard…”
In Titus 1:8 Paul describes the characteristic of an elder. He says, they must love what is good, live wisely and just, and they must live a devout and disciplined life.” What does that mean? Here’s a few thoughts on that:
- Being totally committed
- Living with discipline – not legalist, but disciplined
- A lack of discipline is a failure to be intentional.
- Discipline sees what is important and pushes everything unimportant to the side.
Don’t allow your thoughts to be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ! (2 Cor 11:3)
- I choose today to take captive the thoughts that undermine what God has said. (2 Cor 10:5) God, reveal the lies that affect my life as if they were true, so I can replace them with truth.
- I choose to devote myself to God. God reveal those things that distract me from completely being devoted to you.
- I choose to pursue pure and sincere devotion to God by starting each day in His Word, praying through these declarations for myself, and those whom God puts on my mind.