PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ;)”
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
The apostle Paul writes this letter to the church in Corinth, an established church with many spiritual mature believers. Here Paul describes them as having strong holds which must be pulled down, destroyed – in other words, there were church going, Bible believing, Christ following, born again, Christians that somehow have been ambushed by the devil and made it possible for him to build up strong holds in their lives!
Now a strong hold is a type of fortress, places that has thick walls and are built up so that no-one should be able to enter or move beyond it, and that’s what the devil wants; he wants you to get stuck, frustrated and to move away from God instead of moving closer to your Creator.
To build a fortress doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and planning; it is build brick by brick, stone by stone.
The very first two Christians, Adam and Eve, were ambushed by the serpent!
Adam and Eve knew no sin; they enjoyed nature to its fullest, they enjoyed each other without prejudice, they enjoyed the presence of God without twisted feelings of condemnation or guilt – they were perfect. And then slowly the snake crawled in, unnoticed – quietly, waiting for the perfect opportunity to lay down the first brick of his fortress.
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Notice that the serpent was subtle; which the dictionary explains as “Hard to grasp; not obvious or easily understood; barely noticeable, and Cunning, skillful, insidious and crafty”. Don’t expect satan to knock on your door and say: Hey, I am satan – I’m going to make your life a misery and then destroy you!’, NO, he moves quietly, barely noticeable while skillfully crafting your insidious demise.
He carefully watched Eve, studied her eating pattern, her comings and goings, he waited for her to be alone; the perfect moment to lay the first brick of his fortress – and when the time was ripe, he planted a thought in her mind.
This is where he comes to build his fortress, in the mind of man. A thought becomes an idea, an idea becomes a word, and a word ignites an action that gives birth to either sin or eternal life.
I have seen so many Christians that struggle with strong holds which satan so cunningly has built up in their lives. Satan will dart into your mind thoughts of disbelieve, low self-esteem, unruly questions and many many other subtle little things, that if not dealt with immediately will become a fortress which you cannot move past.
To the Church in Corinth and to us, Paul explained how to get rid of these bricks and stones that build up this unwanted fortress: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:5-6
Every thought or brick or stone that satan comes to lay down as a fortress must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ by weighing it up against the Word of God. That’s what Jesus did. The serpent waited 40 days in the dessert, and then he tried to lay down the first brick of his planned fortress by asking the Lord to make bread of the stones. Jesus weighed the thought up to the Word, and replied in obedience: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.
If ever satan wants to build up a fortress of disbelieve in you, reply by quoting Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”
If ever the serpent wants to build a fortress of low self-esteem, reply by quoting Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
If ever the subtle snake wants to build a strong hold of unruly questions, reply by quoting John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Heavenly Father, I pray that every stronghold in my life will be broken down. I declare that satan has no right over me and that I can do all things through Christ, thank you that You strengthen and protect me.