“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; 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.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
A stronghold is one of those churchy Christian words that is hard to wrap our minds around. It’s not a word we use everyday. So what exactly is a stronghold? Let’s take a look, shall we ….
A stronghold is a thought pattern that forms a fortress around the mind, holding it prisoner to faulty thinking. In a nutshell; its toxic thoughts that hold us hostage in our own minds. It is formed brick-by-brick by repetitive faulty thinking or it could be all at once by a onetime traumatic event such as a rape, molestation, or abuse ….
In the Old Testament, a stronghold was a fortified dwelling used for protection from an enemy. David hid in wilderness strongholds when he was hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:4-23:14). These were usually caves high on a mountainside or some other structure that was hard to attack …..
In the Old Testament, God is called our stronghold: “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).
The New Testament writers took this same imagery of a fortress to describe the spiritual tower of bondage, not protection, that we put ourselves in by developing thought patterns and ideas that hold us captive. I think a stronghold is “anything that we hold onto that ends up holding onto us” ….
It is anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. A stronghold does not protect us, it protects the enemy who is manipulating our thoughts and suggesting our actions …..
Anything that consumes us can control us. That is why we can become prisoners of our own thoughts ….
A stronghold might be a thought such as:
I’m no good …
I’m damaged goods ….
Nobody loves me ….
Nobody cares about me …
I can’t do anything right …
Another type of stronghold might be an addiction such as:
Sexual promiscuity ….
Feeling sorry for yourself …
The enemy locks you up in hopes you’ll never reach for the key that is certainly within your reach. But I assure you that you can ….
The only way to expose the enemy and defeat him is to tear down the stronghold, the fortress where he is hiding. An ungodly habit becomes his habitation, his stronghold in our lives, and his whispered lies can take root in our minds that will result in our spiraling down to deep dark places of bondage …
Once you recognize a lie in your life, perhaps something that has even taken hold of your imagination and stirred ungodly feelings such as jealousy, worry, fear, or anger — you reject the lie and replace it with truth ….
Each time you reject the devil’s lie, you knock one more brick from his fortress, and pretty soon, he’s exposed for the liar and deceiver he truly is. He is the Father of lies ..
I do not want to give the impression that this is an easy process. Some of us are so comfortable with our strongholds, we don’t even realize they are there ….
This was the case with me. I had been walking around saved — but enslaved for many years. I dragged the ball and chain of inferiority, insecurity, shame, and inadequacy around with me everywhere I went, and I grew so used to my inadequacies, that I didn’t even notice they was there, nor realize how deeply my thoughts truly affected me physically ….
My thought patterns, though dysfunctional, were entirely normal to me. Yet, I assure you I was a hostage, even though I was saved. My enemy had set up camp and was living rent free right in my head. I was comfortable with my weakness and served Satan a cup of tea every day that I sat hidden away behind the wall he had helped me build ….
But praise God, Jesus opened my eyes to the truth and called me out of the fortress that had become my prison cell. He set me free …
Destroying strongholds is not easy, but it is simple. Paul used words such as struggle, resist, tear down, and fight. The good news is that we’re not a one -woman demolition crew. The Holy Ghost gives us the power, Jesus gives us the light, and God is overseeing the entire project. We simply agree to participate through obedience ….
When we talk about strongholds, we’re not talking about random thoughts or occasional sins. A stronghold is a thought pattern or habitual sin. It is a fortress built with the bricks of thoughts and held together by the mortar of emotions. Strongholds can become our perception of reality, though a false reality ….
In my own life, replacing self-defeating lies with God’s truth helped me chip away at the stronghold of inadequacy that led to a negative cycle of discouragement, despair, and defeat. Rejecting the devil’s lies will tear down those strongholds, and after a time, even the ruins are removed ….
When we realize the enemy’s true identity, recognize his lies, and replace the lies with God’s truth, we’ll finally be free. Chains will break, addictions will cease, and dawn will break in our hearts with the glorious light that is able to dissipate the darkness of defeating thoughts and emotions …
Let us pray ~
Heavenly Father, show me any strongholds that I may still have in my life. Show me any areas where I am not totally free from the enemy’s influences. I thank you, Jesus, for coming to set me free. Please help me live free in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen ….
Blessings ❤ ….