Bad choices can easily grow into bad habits. Bad habits then become a stronghold. In a war, a stronghold is a fortress where weapons are stored. They can be a good thing if the stronghold is your arsenal against the enemy, but when the enemy finds a stronghold in you, that’s another story. When you allow a bad habit to take over your life, the enemy will use that to defeat you. You will beat yourself up and feel as if you’ve let yourself and God down. This can lead you to live a defeated life rather than a joyful life in the Lord.
Strongholds are used by the enemy to make a Christian turn from God. As we begin a new year, you might want to start it out right by examining your life to see if the enemy has a hold on any part of your life and resolve to draw nearer to God. Talk to God and ask Him to guide you through each day. Then, listen for His guidance, making sure you hear His voice guiding you. God wants you to put the world behind and walk the strait path that leads to a life that glorifies God. Satan will only lead you on the path of destruction.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
We can choose which path to follow, but you can never go wrong if you follow the path that leads to God and away from the path of destruction.
The path of destruction begins with a thought. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it clear that God looks at sin very differently than humans do. God wrote the Law of Moses, and there were many things set out as sin, but they fall short of how God truly sees sin.
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Matthew 5:27). This is one of the Ten Commandments: “Neither shalt thou commit adultery” (Deuteronomy 5:18).
Adultery is a sin. God wants us to respect marriage and not let lust of the flesh become a stronghold for the enemy to use to destroy a marriage. Jesus then told the crowd what God’s standards are. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
You see, the sin of adultery goes beyond the physical act. It begins with a thought. In order to keep from allowing the enemy to build a stronghold in your life, take your thoughts captive. Make a special effort to turn your thoughts away from worldly thoughts and keep them centered on Godly things.
“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 strong holds:) 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. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
Satan and his minions use strongholds to keep you under the bondage of sin. Lust is carnal in nature and begins with a thought. Your neighbor gets a new car, and you lust after it. Your neighbor has a beautiful wife, and you lust after her. Anything someone else has that you want is lust. Be content with what you have, and be happy the neighbor can afford that new car and its payments, insurance, upkeep, etc.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren” (James 1:14-16).
Take your thoughts captive, and let God rule your heart. The way to fight against the enemy is to walk close to God. Study Scripture, and apply it to your life.
Strongholds are things that hinder our walk with the Lord. Fear is also a stronghold. When we’re afraid, it’s a normal reaction to do the wrong thing. Think of a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. They usually freeze. There’s no doubt that there are many things happening in the world that put fear in our hearts. It’s easy to be afraid when all you hear is bad news, talk of war, murders, sexual depravity, children thinking they are animals, dark spiritual forces breaking through the barrier, plagues, and so much more. Remember, nothing happens that God hasn’t warned us about in prophecy. Instead of living in fear, go to Scripture and take comfort in knowing that God is always with us. If all we hear is the bad news, we miss out on the good news. There is good news.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Now that is good news!
God has foreseen everything, and nothing surprises Him. He has given us Scripture to comfort and guide us. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).
Most people have plenty of time to listen to mainstream media and then feel fear and anger at what they hear. Instead of spending time with God in prayer or Bible study, strongholds of fear and anger are built by listening to the world. You might spend an hour on Sunday sitting in a pew, but how many hours a week do you spend listening to the problems of the world as told by the evening news? Jesus gave His disciples some pretty tough news, and they felt fear at what was going to happen. He encouraged them, and we need to take His words to heart.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When things get tough, remind yourself of that truth.
Prophecy is a very neglected part of Bible study, and sadly, most pastors don’t talk about it at all. A huge part of Scripture is prophecy, so if God didn’t want us to know what’s coming, He wouldn’t have put it into Scripture. I can tell you that whenever I begin to feel fearful, I turn to prophecy and see that no matter how bad the world seems, God is still sovereign. There is nothing that surprises Him, and, in the end, He wins. I want to stick with the winning side. As I watch the world spiraling down the road to destruction, I can look to prophecy and see that God had foretold of these times of trouble. The fact is we are edging very close to the Rapture and the end of time.
Many centuries before Christ was born, a man named Daniel was given a prophecy summarizing what to look for as signs of the times. The Pharisees suffered from the stronghold of pride and were blinded by that pride; they failed to recognize their Messiah. Daniel’s prophecy goes on to talk of the end of days. Jesus expanded upon what Daniel had said, and The Revelation tells even more. An understanding of prophecy will help to ease your fear of the future.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:19-20).
Peter knew that prophecy is a sure way of God telling us what’s to come, and by seeing past prophecy fulfilled, we can be sure remaining prophecy will also be fulfilled.
Another way that strongholds can be built in us is to deny the truth of Scripture. If you don’t believe the truth of what exactly happened prior to the judgment of Noah’s Flood, you won’t understand what Jesus meant when He likened the end of days to the time of Noah. Fallen angels were messing with the genetic makeup of all of God’s creation, and today, there is genetic tampering happening with our food and our own genetic structure. In Sodom and Gomorrah, sexual perversion was rampant… and so it is today. We cannot change the outcome, but we can stand up for God’s truth today.
Christians seem to be easily silenced. We send our children to public schools where they should be learning reading, writing, and arithmetic. Instead, they’re learning that boys can be girls, and if they think they are a dog, then they are a dog. They are also being taught how to hide their choices from parents. This isn’t something parents should be silent about. If every Christian parent would homeschool their children, the public schools would pay attention.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
The lie of evolution is a secular idea that only brings evil. Read the first chapter of Romans in order to understand why homosexuality is on the rise. Break strongholds by studying Scripture and believing God.
Most Christians are mixed up about the supernatural. We say we believe in a supernatural God and the truth of Scripture. We say we believe the Holy Spirit inspired the men who held the pen to write God’s truth. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Many people give lip service to that truth, then turn around and choose which part of Scripture to believe and which part of Scripture to decide isn’t exactly what God meant, then change it to make life easier. That’s where much trouble comes from.
In Genesis chapter 6, God told us that fallen angels mated with human women, creating the Nephilim and leading to the judgment of the flood. Many Christians think God sent the flood because Cain’s daughters married Seth’s sons. They just want to believe the good side of the supernatural while denying the evil. This denial is also a stronghold that Satan (the most-evil creature) uses to work his evil. If we only believe the good part of the supernatural, we don’t recognize that demons are real and do possess people. Christians need to keep their faith strong and stand firm on God’s truth in order to keep ourselves away from the ways of the world.
The Apostle Paul was well aware of the spiritual battle and how to fight the enemy. Strongholds have to be destroyed in us individually, and blinders have to be taken off so that we understand all of God’s truth. Feeling overwhelmed by the evil we see in the world is another stronghold Satan uses against us. If we forget to study Scripture, we will miss the part about the spiritual battle and how to fight. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).
If we aren’t strong in the Lord, we have given the power to Satan to destroy our faith. What do we do? “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
Don’t deny supernatural evil by ignoring it. It’s real but has no power that is superior to God. Be strong in the Lord and fight the spiritual battle with spiritual weapons. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). Study the rest of Ephesians chapter 6 to understand the armor of God. We are in a battle, and only God will win.
Examine your life and your attitude to discover the strongholds you need to get rid of. When the enemy uses a stronghold against you, remember to turn to God.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.
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