Monday, November 5, 2012

Destroying fortresses

I was thinking about fortresses today. Fortresses of both the spiritual and the military kind.

Some years ago, my husband and I traveled to Italy. We rented a car and spent a month bumming around. We wound up visiting the tiny nation of San Marino, a separate nation inside of Italy. I never forgot our day there.

I like military history, weapons advancement and development, (San Marino is known for its expertise in medieval crossbows) and forts. Therefore, San Marino was a gold mine for me in spending time learning its history and culture! This micronation at just 24 sq/mi. in size is intensely fortified and almost impregnable.

http://www.johnnyjet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Jennifer-Dombrowski-San-Marino-2012-1.jpg

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Legend has it that a man named Marinus, later a saint (San Marino) fled Christian persecution in 296 AD and founded a small community atop Mount Titiano. There, his little community flourished. They built a tower and a wall, as was the custom of the day. The geography also affords a natural protection. The cliffs look like devil's teeth and the height (2400/ft) gives a spectacular view across the plains to the east all the way to the Adriatic. You can spot an advancing army coming hundreds of miles off. To the west, the Appenines butt up against the Mount in extremely close proximity. There's literally no way to sneak up on them and nowhere to hide.

As the community grew, they built a second ring wall around the expanded community and then eventually, a third. Each has a tower. The place is known as the City of Three Towers.

The Fortress Guards, called the Guard of the Rock

The bible tells us "For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)"

John MacArthur preached on this verse, saying,
"To successfully fight the spiritual war requires weapons from the heavenly arsenal. Only those divinely powerful weapons are suited for the destruction of the enemies’ fortresses. That term would convey to the New Testament reader the thought of a formidable stronghold."

"Fleshly weapons cannot successfully assault the formidable strongholds in which sinners have entrenched themselves. Such impotent weapons cannot bring about the destruction of those fortresses, which Paul defined specifically as speculations (logismos), a general word referring to any and all human or demonic thoughts, opinions, reasonings, philosophies, theories, psychologies, perspectives, viewpoints, and religions. The fortresses in view here are not demons, but ideologies. The notion that spiritual warfare involves direct confrontation with demons is foreign to Scripture. Christians who verbally confront demons waste energy and demonstrate ignorance of the real war. We are not called to convert demons, but sinners. The battle is rather with the false ideologies men and demons propagate so that the world believes them. Doomed souls are inside their fortresses of ideas, which become their prisons and eventually their tombs—unless they are delivered from them by belief in the truth."
So if you picture the fortress itself as an ideology and the people living in the fortress of Tower 1, they are raising up every lofty thing as a speculation, which the wind will simply carry away because it has no substance. And the people living inside the wall in Tower 2 are likewise imprisoned by their own empty reasonings. And the same for tower 3, yet another vain thought system satan has raised up, and put a wall around so they cannot escape. They think they are secure in their strong tower but they are not, they are actually imprisoned and will eventually die and their fortress becomes their tomb.

How to get them out? GotQuestions has the answer:
"Here’s the picture: the Christian, wearing his spiritual armor and bearing his spiritual weapons, sets out to “conquer” the world for Christ, but he soon finds obstacles. The enemy has erected strongly fortified garrisons to resist the Truth and attempt to thwart God’s plan of redemption. There is the fortress of human reasoning, reinforced with many subtle arguments and the pretense of logic. There is the castle of passion, with flaming battlements defended by lust, pleasure, and greed. And there is the pinnacle of pride, in which the human heart sits enthroned and revels in thoughts of its own excellence and sufficiency.

The enemy is firmly entrenched; these strongholds have been guarded for thousands of years, presenting a great wall of resistance to the Truth. None of this deters the Christian warrior, however. Using the weapons of God’s choosing, he attacks the strongholds, and by the miraculous power of Christ, the walls are breached, and the bastions of sin and error are battered down. The victorious Christian enters the ruins and leads captive, as it were, every false theory and every human philosophy that had once proudly asserted its independence from God.

If this sounds a lot like Joshua fighting the battle of Jericho, you’re right. What a great illustration of spiritual truth that story is (Joshua 6)!"
So cool, huh?! Proclaim the Gospel. Speak of Jesus. Commit His word to your heart. It is those weapons that demolish even the strongest looking fortress. Even a fortress as impregnable as San Marino does not stand a chance against the piercing weapon of the truth of Jesus and His Gospel!

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