Spiritual Strongholds

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Spiritual Strongholds

2Cor 10:4-5
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;

A stronghold is an area of darkness within our mind or personality that causes ongoing spiritual, emotional and\or behavioral problems. We can be genuinely born-again, and sincere in our faith, but have an ongoing struggle with thoughts, emotions, and habits that wage war against our relationship with Christ. We pray, we study, and we attempt to discipline ourselves, but often find our “problem” is resistant to real change.

A Stronghold is the Fruit of an Inward Lie

A stronghold is a lie which we have allowed to distort or confuse our thinking; a lie can gain a foothold within our mind/emotions  and then our behavior. If we allow a lie to reside within, then that lie, like a seed, will produce its fruit which will distort the way we see and think.

The fruit of an inward lie will ultimately affect our faith and interfere with our ability to possess the truths of the Gospel. The Scriptures tell us the devil is the Father of Lies, so we know that every lie is in some way rooted in spiritual Darkness. Because every lie is rooted in Darkness the fruit of every lie will eventually reflect the nature of Darkness.

Truth Overcomes Every Lie

As Christians, the spiritual armor we first put on is the Belt of Truth. We are told to put on the full (complete) Armor of God that we might stand against the devices and strategies of the Devil, and we begin with truth.

Light Overcomes Darkness

Our battle is with the Prince of Darkness, i.e. the Devil. It a battle with lies and our victory is Truth. Our fleshly nature willingly opens the door to Darkness for it finds its message pleasant. The Word of God brings a message of death to Self and new life in Christ.

Lies Seek Control

These lies then seek a place of control within our personality; they want control over our emotions, ambitions, motivations, priorities, and over our desires. Every Christian's heart and mind is the focus and target of lies.

Lies Produce Fruit

Once the lies of Darkness have found a secure place within our personality then like planted, watered, and fertilized seed, they will begin to produce fruit. But the fruit of lies is rotten - it will affect our values, our thinking, our behavior, and our relationship with the Lord. Our battle with evil is not theoretical but real. The battle is inward, it is intellectual, it is emotional, it is spiritual, it is intense, and it is relentless. The weapons of our warfare are provided by Christ and we win as we bring our life under the power of His Word. Remember, Darkness must be confronted with the Word of God, for when we confront Darkness with the Word, we are confronting Darkness with the power of God, and Darkness must obey.

Emotional Trauma

One of the most common causes of spiritual and emotional strongholds are the sins of others. Unfortunately, the sins of others can profoundly affect our life. People can say or do something that has the potential to forever change us. Even a single word of rejection, if not managed appropriately, can fester and grow and profoundly impact our emotional and spiritual health. We have to remember we have an enemy who plans, who lays in wait, and who looks for opportunity. If given an opportunity the devil will speak his lies into our lives. If allowed, his lies can then turn a small hurt into a life-long bondage.

Memories

People who suffer serious emotional trauma are prime candidates for spiritual strongholds. Ongoing memories of painful events prepare the heart to accept the suggestions of Darkness. If we're preoccupied with our painful past then we will not be able live out the redemptive victories of Christ; we will not be able to grow in faith and we will not be able to possess and walk out our New Identity in Christ.

Painful memories can and will drive us to bitterness, hatred, anxiety, or depression, but the Word of God will bring us healing. Even when we forgive the person or people that have hurt us, if the painful memories continue to recycle, then we can remain under the influence of those painful memories.

Jesus Gives a Sound Mind

Christ gives a sound mind, which means we are given the ability to see life with a healthy self-image. We all have memories, and we do not forget the past, but in Christ we do not allow the past to control our new life. We put on the New Man who is not controlled by the painful past.

The Power of the Past is Broken

In Christ, our old man (with his/her past) dies. Because the power of our past is broken we are given a new future. The only power our past has is the power we give it; our past has no inherent power to control us. As a New Creation in Christ, we need to enforce, possess, and walk out our new identity in Christ. See Warfare Prayer

We Stop Recycling Memories

It is the recycling of painful memories that plows and prepares the heart to receive the seeds of darkness. Lies that repeat within our mind evolve into spiritual strongholds which lead to more lies. Lies lead only to more dysfunctional thinking, which in turn leads to more lies, which lead to more powerful strongholds; lies put our life in a viscous, demonic, and downward  spiral. We can find ourselves unable to escape, disillusioned, discouraged, depressed, going in circles, wondering what has happened.

The Danger of Recycled Negative Thinking

As we recycle painful memories the devil speaks to us, he flourishes in an environment of negative and painful thinking. He wants us to remember every failure, every personal defect, every offense, every unkind word, every difficult relationship, and he especially wants us to remember the unfairness and inequalities of our life. He will remind us of all the things we are missing; He wants us to be unhappy, uninterested, unfulfilled, unresponsive, unthankful, and unbelieving. If through chronic negative thinking, Darkness has access to our heart, then spiritual Darkness will determine and order our destiny.

Medicine for our Soul

Just as fruit produced by lies will destroy, fruit produced by truth will heal. Truth is of God and is anointed of the Holy Spirit. Truth will defeat the Devil and his plans for our lives. If we make the Word of God our daily bread, it will provide the spiritual nourishment of Truth, which has the inherent power to renew our mind and defeat all the lies of our Enemy. God's Word is alive and He sends His Word, not only to nourish, but to heal.

Man Does Not Live By Bread Only

His Word is the medicine and power for our soul. The Lord tells us that we do not live by bread only, but “by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Life is more than nourishing the physical body, more than meat and drink. Life is knowing the power of God by allowing His Word to live in us.

All Emotional Trauma Can be Healed by the Word of God.

God is Greater

The comforts and encouragements of God, through His Word, are greater than all lies and all distortions of truth. Our encouragement has to do with the nature of reality, i.e. God is, and our lives are in His hands. He alone is security, provision, comfort, peace, and life. In Him we are safe and only in Him do we have protection from all the devices and lies of our Dark Enemy.

The future for the Christian is good, it is bright, and it is secure. Today we suffer with Him, tomorrow we share in His glory. Today, we war against our Dark Enemy, tomorrow we will delight ourselves in the abundance of peace.

Real Optimism

Christians are given the Helmet of Salvation to protect their minds from lies. Salvation is the source of optimism and the optimism of the gospel is greater than all the fear, stress, and turmoil this life can bring. Our Enemy hates optimism for it speaks of our future and his destruction. Let’s put on optimism and hope, by allowing the Word of God to speak louder than all the inward voices of negativity and fear. Jesus does not speak negativity and fear, He says, “in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He tells us to be light hearted and happy, that we have won, and our day of rejoicing is secured for us.

Keep your faith, lay hold on eternal life. Put to death fleshly lusts which war against the soul. The Lord is at hand, everything that can by shaken will be shaken, judgment must begin at the house of God. Keep yourself unspotted from the world so that at His coming you may be found in peace, blameless, without spot or wrinkle. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God bless you,

Jim

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