Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Divine power to demolish strongholds
The Dordogne river that flows through Bergerac towards Bordeaux has shallow upper reaches guarded by watchful castles, some built by the Black Prince who knew this turbulent area better than his manor in Risborough
THE Old Testament is full of battles and military strategy, and every military action has an offensive element and a defensive one.
The stronghold of the Bible is what we in Britain would call a castle – a strong place, and if there is one of those in the area, it serves both as a warning to the opposition and as a relatively impregnable, defensive position. You may have visited the Dordogne area in France, or seen pictures of the huge (mainly English-built) chateau castles watching each other across the deep river valley.
So what is a spiritual stronghold? This is a castle which is flying a different flag to the one expected. A spiritual stronghold is any thought, belief, philosophy, value and consequent action that opposes God’s knowledge, or opposes living life according to His design and truth.
It is any reasoning raised up against the truth of God. And reasoning, by definition, takes place in the mind – in our thought life.
Past experiences can leave these little “castles of revolt” as places in our thought life where an opinion or mindset has taken a fortified position against an area of truth.
- A relative or friend’s death can leave a stronghold of unbelief against healing;
- A car accident can leave a stronghold of fear that disallows trust in other drivers;
- Unresolved hurts can leave strongholds of control that fight relationships that could result in hurt again;
- Memories of financial hardship can leave a ‘poverty spirit’ stronghold;
- Church leaders who are a ‘mixed message of being remote, uncaring or unkind, with little evident faith, produce strongholds of ridicule at the Christian message of unconditional love, grace and hope.
We could go on. Every move of God invites a counter-move by the enemy who delights in stifling expressions of the life of God and finding ways to undermine faith – and our thoughts are where it happens, especially if there are already foothold places for that to happen.
The good news is, the Holy Spirit is very good at shining a light to show up the hidden ‘castles’ and explain how they came to be built. We ask and He reveals. We ask Him how to procede with the demolition and He gives us the spiritual equivalent of a Royal Engineers corps.