Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Knocking Down Strongholds

One of the more picturesque expressions in the Bible is the word “stronghold.” When I think of the word stronghold a number of images come to mind. I see a well-secured fortress that can hold prisoners, or enslave the vanquished in battle. I imagine an impenetrable structure rendering no hope for escape.

Have you ever dealt with strongholds in your life? Have you ever struggled with things in your life that had such a strong hold on you that you felt as if you were in its grip and couldn’t get free?

Strongholds can be material, physical places, like fortresses, castles, or prisons. But they can also be behaviors, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs.

Fear and anxiety can be strongholds. Unbelief, and wrong belief, can be strongholds. Other things they can have a strong hold on people are alcohol and drugs, compulsive gambling, greed, eating disorders, sexual disorders, and emotional outbursts like anger, rage, and temper tantrums.

When I think about it, literally anything they can have a strong hold on a person’s life can be a “stronghold.”

The apostle Paul writes about strongholds in his second letter to the church at Corinth. He writes these words: “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy faulty arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” {2 Corinthians 10:4-5}

The good news is there is hope in the face of strongholds. Paul tells us that God gives us “mighty weapons to knock down the strongholds of life.”

One of the mighty weapons we have to knock down the strongholds of life is Jesus Himself. Jesus is a powerful Savior!

Jesus said, “Who is powerful enough to enter the house of the strongman and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.” {Mark 3:27b}

Jesus declared he is stronger than the strongman!

Another of the mighty weapons we have is prayer. When God’s people pray powerful things happen! In fact, Jesus said there are some strongholds that are only knocked down through prayer. Jesus disciples ask him one time why they had not been successful in freeing a young boy from a stronghold in his life, and Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” {Mark 9:29}

Another mighty weapon God gives us to knock down strongholds is the strength to stand against them. In Ephesians chapter 6, the Bible says, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground…” {Ephesians 6:13-14a}

I am encouraged, and I encourage you in return, to refuse to give in to the strongholds that attempt to limit us, and hold us back from God’s destiny. Put to use the mighty weapons God gives us to “knock down the strongholds” that are obstacles in the way of our knowing God and His good purposes for us.

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