Strongholds and hard hearts

We all have strongholds. There is not a person alive who does not have strongholds. Whether or not we ever choose to acknowledge them or invite Jesus in to speak into our strongholds and set us free, we all have them. 

Mine are no worse than yours. And yours are no worse than mine. They all stem from sin. Every sin we commit comes straight from a stronghold. 

Remember all strongholds are lies. And we believe them. We choose to believe them over the truth of Jesus. All sin comes straight from our strongholds and all sin comes from and causes a hard heart. 

Strongholds harden our hearts against hearing the voice of Jesus. Strongholds keep us from hearing and obeying Him. We don’t, won’t and don’t want to hear His voice. 

I was reading the story of Moses before Pharaoh in Exodus 7:13-14. These verses say much the same thing, so you know it’s important to note that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. We know from this story that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart so His wonders, His power could be seen clearly. The Lord did this according to His will and purpose. It was for, according to and fit His plan. 

In my studying I began wondering what else causes a hard heart.  Jesus, ever faithful to speak to our hearts, directed my thoughts to see that our hearts are hardened because of the following:

  • Sin hardens our heart away from the things of Jesus.
  • A lack of trust. We don’t trust Him to know what He is doing. So we harden our hearts against His life in us. 
  • Pride. We think we don’t really need Him because we know better. We believe we’re smarter than Jesus.

Strongholds harden our hearts and they exchange the truth of God for a lie. (Romans 1:25). When we operate in our strongholds and hold tightly to them, we worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. (Romans 1:25)

Strongholds allow us to know God, but not to honor Him as God. Strongholds put us firmly in the driver’s seat and there is very little room for God in our lives. (One could say in this instance, very  little equals none.) We honor Him as best we can when the strongholds are not being pushed, but when they are, out goes the honor and in comes the anger and the futility of our speculations. Our heart gets a little darker and harder. 

We soon deem Christianity and Jesus a failure. We still go to church, we’re still doing the “right things” because “it’s the right thing to do”, and we hope it will all pass. We love the verses that say, “and it came to pass” and we cling to that while we shove every hurt down deep because “real Christians don’t do that, don’t feel that”. And we’re baptized in pickle juice. Because all of life hurts. And we’re sure we’ve missed the boat on the whole Jesus thing. Because life isn’t pain-free and easy.

This is not freedom! Freedom is taking all those heart and soul hurts to the cross of Jesus. Freedom is digging deep to find the lies we’re believing, asking Jesus to come and speak His life-giving, life-sustaining truth into the hurt, the lie. It is His voice alone that shatters the strongholds and sets us free to be who He created us to be and find our identity in Jesus. 

We don’t have to chant or memorize identity statements and declarations every day. We don’t have to try so hard. We don’t have to work and wonder. We don’t have to keep trying to fix ourselves and remember verses about who we are. We don’t have to slap half-believed Bible verses about who we are over our pain.

We get to run to Him with it. He is so faithful to speak truth to it and then we have the abundant, full life He promised. 

It is possible for someone to know God and choose not to honor Him as God and refuse to give thanks.This leads to a hardened-foolish heart and all our speculations become futile.

To not honor someone is to treat them as common. When we do not honor God we do not make Him glorious. We treat Him as common, we bring Him down to our level. 

In essence, we become our own god. To persist in this, hardens our heart, makes our thoughts worthless. 

We exchange His glory for our own. And He won’t share His glory with anyone. 

So, dear reader, take your hurts to His cross, confess them. Admit the lies you’ve believed about Him and allow Him to whisper His truth to your soul. 

As always, your comments are welcome. If you would rather not use the comment sections of this blog, you are free to email me. Simply use the Contact Me! link at the top. If you need help understanding strongholds more, or need prayer, feel free to contact me! I would love to help you!

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