Do you have a stronghold?
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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; (2 Cor. 10:4-5)
A stronghold is an imagination or thought. It is a belief system that is so ingrained in the heart and mind of a person that it colors their perception of themselves, others and the circumstances of life. A stronghold can be a cultural norm, a religious tradition, a political ideology or the latest social movement. It can include how we were raised and what we were taught by our parents and teachers. Strongholds can be impacted by music, movies and the latest political news.
In every case, a stronghold represents a belief that is against the nature of God and His purposes for man. The one who is holding to the stronghold may not wish to be against God in their thinking, but the stronghold is so deeply rooted that they aren’t even aware that they are filtering God’s Truth through the lens of the stronghold.
Strongholds allow deception. The fundamental characteristic about deception is that the one who is deceived doesn’t know it. The stronghold has become a part of their approach to life and their approach to Truth. Even Truth must be shaped and filtered to fit the mold of the stronghold.
Within the body of Christ there are many strongholds. Perhaps the strongest is the belief that God is controlling all things. The misunderstanding of sovereignty has paralyzed much of the body of Christ and left many living lives of passive resignation. This is hardly what God had in mind for His children.
The results of the sovereignty stronghold change faith from a proactive potential to destroy the works of the enemy into an inactive acceptance of loss and suffering as part of His celestial plan. Prayer becomes “wishful hoping.” The most popular Bible stories that support this stronghold are Job, Paul’s thorn, and chastisement (Heb. 12). While all these stories have powerful lessons for us, the person trapped in the stronghold cannot or will not see the truth. The Bible becomes a mysterious manual to explain human suffering rather than a divine revelation of redemption and the restoration of man’s authority and purpose.
Only truth can set the captive free. But truth must be desired and sought. This means that the stronghold must be allowed to be challenged. Rather than adjusting to strongholds, let’s move out of the darkness and allow His truth to tear down everything that holds us captive. If your belief system allows you to be a victim of fate, you have a stronghold.