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Understanding & Overcoming Strongholds.

To overcome strongholds, we must be able to fully understand what they are and how they operate in our lives.

Many, like me, walk with strongholds influencing them without knowledge of it. In this blog, I will discuss what I’ve come to learn about strongholds according to the Bible and my own personal experience of gaining victory over them with the help of God & his Word.

 

According to Oxford dictionary, a stronghold is a place strongly fortified against, a secure place of refuge or retreat. This definition is shown in Psalms 18:2.  

Another definition of a stronghold is a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld. This definition is shown in 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6. We'll be looking into this definition.

 

As human beings our internal world is made up by a belief system.

Our belief system is made of up messages we have about the world, ourselves, life & even God. Our belief system then becomes the basis in which many of our decisions & thought patterns are created from.

A stronghold then is a belief system made of lies that have been presented as truth because of one’s experiences in life. These lies than create a life of itself within us and are manifested in our thought life and executed through our actions.

For example- if one is bound by the stronghold of low self-esteem, they may find themselves constantly in broken relationships because deep inside they don’t believe they deserve healthy love.

 

Strongholds are formed through life experiences. From our formative years of life till now- our personal experiences have told us stories. The context of those stories is dependent on whether we had positive or negative experiences.

How many of us could think of moments in life where hurtful comments were made toward us from our loved ones, classmates, colleagues or even strangers that stuck to us? Ever been told that

·      ‘you’re stupid’

·      ‘you’ll never amount to anything’

·      ‘Who will ever choose you, you talk too much’,

·      ‘you’re a disgrace’

·      ‘you’re just like your father’ (and your father isn’t a honourable man)

·      ‘I’ll only like you when you become …...’

 Because I have.

 

We could add more to the list, and it’ll be never ending. When comments like this are made inside and outside the home- it causes us to believe that we are it. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

These personal beliefs we take on from those experiences causes us to begin to behave in alignment with such beliefs.

Our adversary- Satan; his job is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He destroys are identity in Christ by using the corrupted negative belief system within us as leverage against us. He does this by creating patterns of experiences that reinforce those ideologies we hold, and they become our truth.

For example, one might constantly find themselves in situations of consistent rejection. Unless aware of what is being at work spiritually- one may conclude that they will always be rejected wherever they go. This underpins the belief they already have within of being rejectable.

 

Our belief system also plays a pivotal role in how far we go and how much we achieve in life, even within the Kingdom of God. What you believe is what you will experience because signs will follow what that which you believe. So, to change your experiences in every or certain aspects of your life; don’t change the external but rather look internally to understand what exactly is pushing certain thoughts and behaviours.

 

The devil dances in our ignorance’s because he knows we can’t make out his dance steps which gives him a sense of victory over us.

However, when the Word of God becomes our lamp that guides our feet and a light for our paths (Psalm 119:105), it exposes the his dance steps.


The good news is that there’s hope! Our hope is in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death, life and resurrection- he has given us victory over sin and the consequences of our sin, and the sin of others done to us.

In 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5; we’re given the tool for overcoming mental strongholds. The bible tells us ‘The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’.

Firstly, it’s imperative to understand that the battles you’re facing is not carnal but rather spiritual. Thus, engaging in carnal activities such as ‘just thinking positive’, swirling sage around you (which Christians shouldn’t even be engaging in) or utilizing physical things to comfort your internal pain will not give you the victory your soul deeply longs for. Spiritual battles can only be fought with spiritual weapons.

Our spiritual weapon to defeating a stronghold is to cast them down and bring them to the obedience of Christ Jesus.

This is done through

·      Knowing what specific arguments (beliefs) are being presented to you in the mind and how it’s preventing you from truly knowing the truth of your identity in Christ.

·      Cast down these arguments to the obedience of Christ by replacing those thoughts (which are lies) with the truth of God’s Word that is applicable to your area of struggle(s).

 

Always remember, your experiences in life may be your truth but it’s not THE TRUTH. The truth is what the Word of God says. Therefore, if your past tells you of a story of rejection, abandonment, abuse, ridicule, reproach or anything negative- Gods Word makes it known you’re none of those things but rather loved, forgiven, renewed, accepted, cared for and wanted.

It’s a journey of unlearning to re-learn and deconstructing to reconstruct but you don’t have to do it alone. Turn to Jesus, give him your pain, learn and know what his Word says, take his word as the Truth in your life, meditate on it daily and by his grace- transformation can only be what you experience (Joshua 1:8-9).  


Whether or not we feel it, see it or believe it, we must learn to stand on God’s unfailing Word and allow that become our internal & external reality.

 

Show yourself grace as God shows you grace.

 

Have a wonderful week.

Esther Ruth x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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