Every time there is a television special about 9/11 I get really angry. Still after all these years, I can vividly recall the feelings I had on that day that changed the entire world. But it occurs to me that there are some lessons from that day that I need to apply to my life.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (American Standard Version)
Those men who I still feel hatred towards to this very day; have taught me a lesson that we as Christian men are supposed to heed. We are called to destroy the strongholds of the enemy. The followers of Bin Laden saw the World Trade Center as a stronghold of their enemy: America. They believed it represented everything that was evil. To them it loomed tall and shiny, larger than life, and was a symbol of everything they stood against and had committed their lives to fight. The thing that I now have come to admire about those men is the fact that they did something about it. They were so willing to destroy that stronghold that they put their very lives on the line. They were willing to die to themselves in order to see that fortress lie in ruins. There are millions of Islamic fundamentalists around the world who piss and moan about evil America every day. But how many of them are willing to put their money where their burning flag is? How many of them are willing to do something about it? Not many! And the same thing is true of the Christian church today. Do we hate sin? Absolutely! And we’ll pontificate all day long about how evil our enemy Satan is and how he is building strongholds in this world on a daily basis. We’ll quote scriptures and shake our fist at the air, but do we have what it takes to start bringing some of those buildings down to the ground? Remember, our weapons are not of the flesh, so our strongholds look different then theirs.
"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)
Lying lips and envy stand taller than those two buildings ever did. Lust, porn, and secret lives are shinier and prettier that those two majestic feats of architecture ever were. And we all see them on a daily basis. But are we willing to give our lives away so that those strongholds will “come a tumbling down”?
So what is your stronghold? Only you and God know that. Me, I’m an addict. And daily I stand at the base of my addiction and stare up the massive size of my foe. I feel so insignificant against the might of my own personal World Trade Center. But I still pick up five smooth stones, take my slingshot in hand, and run towards it in the name of our God with whom all things are possible.