Strongholds

strongholdStrongholds can be a good thing. They can be a place of refuge for our weary bodies. Strongholds were places of protection in ancient times. They were fortified with necessities and protected those inside from attack. They were a good thing.

We still have strongholds today. They dot the European countryside and if you’re fortunate you can visit them, or at least watch tours of them on Netflix.  Great stone buildings designed to protect their inhabitants against attacks from the enemy without.

But what about when they didn’t work? What if the enemy was inside? Where was the protection then?

The simple answer is there wasn’t any.

We still have strongholds today. We all have places, habits, people we run to when we feel we’re being attacked. Some of us run and hide either literally or figuratively.  Life puts the squeeze on us and we run shopping. Or we hide in a phone call to a friend. Or skip out through sleeping, alcohol, drugs, a good book etc.

If we can’t run, we’ll fight back. Or maybe for some fighting back is our stronghold. “You hurt me, yeah well, hang on, buddy because I’m gonna get you right back. Only I’m going to make sure you’re really dead this time.”

“Apparently I killed you too quickly the last time.A mistake I don’t intend to duplicate” type of thinking. (Bonus points if you know where that quote came from.)

We also forge strongholds by our thoughts and feelings. These are lies we believe, either consciously or unconsciously. We believe they are true and so we act on them as if they were true.

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For example, if one believes they have no value, or are to blame for everything they will act as if this were really true. When they act this way, guess what? The world learns to treat them as if everything was their fault and that they have no value. Which reinforces the stronghold belief. While also causing incredible pain to their heart.

If one believes they are not wanted, they will either make sure they are not wanted or work to make sure everyone wants them. It’s only when the stronghold of “I’m not wanted” is released through Jesus power that we really see how wanted we really are.

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Strongholds color our perception of everything. It’s like wearing dark, broken glasses. Everything, even those good things, is seen as dark and broken.  We can’t see truth because we don’t truly see.

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When we ask Jesus to break the stronghold, invite Him to the pain of it, ask Him to speak His truth to the core of the painful hold it has on us, He replaces our dark, broken glasses with clear ones and we can plainly see that what we perceived as bad was really not.

We can see the lie for what it was because we can see the Truth for what it IS. We can now more easily see the truth and separate from it the lie.

The lie always seems at first to be more powerful and true than the truth. But when we pray and choose to believe the power in the truth we see that it is more powerful and is wielded by the One who used that power to raise Jesus from the dead.

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And that is some pretty awesome power!

“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 divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses [Strongholds]. 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, and we are ready to punish all disobedience whenever your obedience is complete.”
2 Corinthians 10: 3-6 (nasb)

What are you trusting in? Is your trust in the power of your stronghold or in the power of your God to demolish your false strongholds? Those strongholds you’ve erected over time to protect yourself from outside invaders not realizing the enemy was inside the stronghold with you feeding you lies. Lies you chose, and still choose, to believe.

“Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle;
My Lovingkindness and my Fortress,

my Stronghold and my Deliverer;
My Shield and He in whom I take refuge;…”
Psalm 144:1-2 (nasb)

“The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
Psalm 34:7-8 (nasb)

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