If you’re a Christian, a follower of Jesus, one who is living for the Lord, striving to obey Him day by day, moment by moment, then you’ll know what I’m about to talk about. Many of you don’t believe there’s a whole spiritual realm of angels and demons. You don’t believe there’s an enemy seeking you out to steal, kill, and destroy. That’s one of this enemy’s tactics: to convince humans, especially Christians, that he doesn’t really exist — and if he does exist, he’s not really out to get any one specific person.
Many who are believers don’t recognize the power and authority they have as a child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and because of that, they live lives of anxiety, depression, and defeat. They look at other believers who are thriving and wonder why they can’t be as good a Christian as that one. Mind you, not all anxiety and depression come from this source. HOWEVER, the enemy is sly and very practiced. He will use all tools at his disposal to keep you in that anxiety and depression, to keep you from living as the redeemed and righteous person God made you through salvation.
Here’s some truth: God made you an amazingly unique person with a specific purpose, one that will build the Kingdom of God. The enemy of your soul sees that. He then sets out to keep you from that purpose. First he leads you away from knowing Christ. If he can keep you from salvation, he wins. If you do choose to believe in and follow Jesus, the enemy tries to keep you from knowing that you’re made righteous in Him. Once you realize that, he works hard to keep you from understanding that you hold authority and power born of the Savior, because the ancient twerp (I give him no respect) wants to keep his hold on you and keep you from living out your God-purpose in life.
As a believer,
you are a threat to
the darkness of the satan.
Satan isn’t his name, it’s his title. We can explore that more later. This enemy views your mind as a high-value target for his attacks. God wants to use your mind for His purposes. The satan wants to occupy it and use it to direct you away from God’s purposes. Thus he plants thoughts and ideas in your mind that are often just a hair off from the truth of God. That way it looks good. But it is still fully a lie. His biggest tactic is to cause you to question or doubt God and what He says about you.
What’s a stronghold you ask? Think back to that first time you felt the niggle of a thought that you weren’t good enough or that you needed that something extra to be happy. Got it? It’s likely that back then you brushed the thought aside like an aggravating gnat on a summer day. A while later, though, the thought came back. And it happened again. And again, with more condemnation and doubt piled on. Soon, it became the forefront of every thought and decision you made.
Like fortress gates, these lies became your truth. Everything you tried to do, every time you tried to step into your purpose, these gates closed you in, keeping you from experiencing the real truth. And you felt as though you’d never be free.
That is the ultimate lie.
The enemy attacks three major areas of life: worth, fear, and worry. If he can make you believe you’re worth less than you truly are, he counts that as a win. If he can make you fear or worry about anything and everything, he’s a winner.
So, I should deal with this fortress, right? I should ignore it and do what I know is right, right?
In a word, no. You should not deal with this stronghold. To deal with it, you continue to acknowledge its presence, it’s validity. You agree that it has some sort of authority over you and you’re just working out a compromise you can both live with. No. Do not deal. Your instruction is to tear the stronghold down. You have been given the weapons to do just that.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to protect our mind/heart. The power of our mind is what determines how our lives go.
That means we have to slow down and recognize what we’re thinking. We must identify the thoughts entering our mind and decide if they match God’s word or not. We must choose to restrict access to those thoughts if they are not congruent with God’s Word. (That means we have to know His Word, by the way.) We then decide whether to retain that thought or release it.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to make every thought give up and obey Christ. What? Yeah. See, we can’t control the thoughts that enter our minds, but we can decide what we’re going to do with them. You see someone who looks different or acts different than you. You think, “Well, that person should clean up and fly right!” The old you would have harrumphed and walked away, disgusted by that human. Then you realize that God died for that human, too and perhaps they need some attention and love. You take hold of that first thought and reject it as wrong and kick it to the curb. You refuse to let it take hold in your mind and you replace it with the truth that God loves that person just like He loves you. And that will guide your next actions.
Ask yourself what it is that occupies your thoughts? What is it that comes unbidden to your mind? What thoughts keep showing up? Take note of them. Are those thoughts that please God and align with His Word?
The negative thoughts or lies that you
continue to allow and believe
are the strongholds that direct your entire life.
It’s time to stop dealing with the strongholds in your life and start tearing them down. The original language of 2 Corinthians 10:4 for ‘knock down’ and ‘destroy’ mean to demolish, to make extinct, to take down, and do away with. Doesn’t that sound like something you want? Who wouldn’t want the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you from being who God died for you to be made extinct?
It’s time to take action:
- Identify the lies.
- Speak the name of Jesus over them and declare His truth.
- Pray. Get God’s assistance in helping you reject the lies and learn the truth.
- Open the Word of God and let it expose the lies before you allow them to stay in your mind.
- When a negative thought enters your mind, reject it and replace it with a positive one. Don’t wait!
Warning: The stinkin’ thinkin’ will return. The arrows of lies will continue to be aimed at your heart and mind. This is not an indicator that you have failed to pull that stronghold down. It continues because your enemy is relentless and will not give up.
Tear those strongholds down and begin to live forward in freedom!