A stronghold is a mental or emotional fortress the enemy of our souls creates to keep us trapped in sin. He will use any means necessary to ensure that these walls are never broken down.
We all have these strongholds of the enemy. We all have places we run to when life bumps and bruises us. We have strongholds that have been built over time to keep us safe and secure from anyone and anything that would cause us pain. Every time we are hurt by someone we either add a brick, or wall to our fortress or we join forces with our enemy and just start a whole new stronghold.
Since most of these stronghold fortresses are began in childhood, by the time we are adults we are so full of strongholds we can’t see through the gun sight, we keep the drawbridge up almost all the time. The times we lower it and let someone in it tends to end badly for us.
People use the access they have gained into our lives as an opportunity to launch arrows right at our painful memories. Most of the time we aren’t even sure what they said that made our heart hurt so much, but it does. Often time we’ll launch an arrow right back.
Some arrows launched are obvious and intentional. “You’re ugly!” There is no question that an arrow was thrown. And we lob one back, “Yeah well you’re stupid!”
Some arrows though are not intentional, sometimes our friends and family members will launch an arrow without ever intending to hurt us. We still react and act out in pain but we might not know why what they said hurt us.
Each stronghold is based on a message we received either intentionally or unintentionally about who we are. From these messages we act out, or walk out our identity. In this living out what we believe to be true about us, we teach those around us how to treat us. Every single stronghold is a lie, planted by the enemy of our soul, and designed to keep us in bondage to him.
Strongholds begin with “I am”. I’ve stated it before and I’ll state it again, when we make statements about ourselves beginning with “I am” what follows is our identity. Some examples of identity strongholds.
- I am bad.
- I am too much.
- I am not enough.
- I am at fault.
- I am responsible.
- I am dirty.
- I am disposable.
- I am not important.
- I am wrong.
- I am invisible.
- I am stupid
- I am a bother.
- I am a failure
- I am a screw up.
- I am nobody.
- I am inadequate
There are many more, the list could stretch on forever and still we would have more strongholds to add to the list.
Strongholds can make us believe that they have written the final word on our life. They can speak to us that this is just the way we are, it is the way we have been and the way we will always be. There is no hope. The pain in our life is forever and it is all we can ever hope for.
We find different ways to mask the pain. But just let someone launch an arrow and we are reduced to lobbing our own back or a puddle of tears.
And we think that is all there is.
to be continued…