Whether we realize it or not, we all have areas of our lives that are not conformed to the standards of the Bible. These thoughts, emotions, and attitudes can become strongholds that keep us bound to the old way of life–the world’s way of thinking. Living free from the shackles in our minds should be the goal of every believer who desires to be transformed into the image of Christ. And that is God’s will for each one of us! He has provided us with the Truth which is able to demolish any and every lie that the enemy would try to perpetrate against us. Demolishing strongholds is a huge part of our spiritual warfare strategy and must become mandatory teaching for all believers. After all, we are admonished in Romans 12 to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Living a transformed lifestyle is contingent upon us renewing our minds, and this, of course, is a life-long process. Acknowledging the fact that the mind is the battlefield and understanding that we have powerful, spiritual weapons with which to wage and win, we must be trained in the art of war. In any type of combat, it is essential that we know the type of weapons and strategies our opponent uses. Recently I read a book by Ed Silvoso, “That None Should Perish,” which talks about the three types of weapons our adversary uses. The first two weapons are the temptation to sin and the accusations hurled at believers. The third weapon is described in the following passage from the book:
The Church in general is very much aware of these two weapons. Adequate Bible teaching helps to deal with their effect on us and how to defend against them. The fact that the consequences suffered by the victims are visible—death and spiritual paralysis—acts as a motivator for people to seek help. However, Satan’s third weapon is the most dangerous. This particular weapon is virtually unknown to the average Christian. It is neither active nor passive, but dormant. Like an underwater mine, it can be planted and left undetected, waiting for the ideal moment to be activated. Because it is dormant, it is easy for the devil to conceal it from us. We usually find out about it when we survey the destruction it has wreaked on us. This devastating weapon is called “spiritual strongholds” (see 2 Cor. 10:4,5). It allows Satan to control Christians and make them do things that bring great damage to themselves and to others. He uses it to impeach our testimony, much like the DA in the opening story. It exposes a severe inconsistency between who we say we are and what we believe. Spiritual strongholds represent a state-of-the-art manifestation of deceit. This is consistent with Satan’s treacherous character because he is also called the deceiver (see John 8:44; Rev. 12:9).
The “mind games” that our enemy uses against us are potent, but as we become trained in warfare and proficient with our own powerful weapons we will be victorious no matter what tactic is employed.
What is a stronghold?
Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, a 24-hour-a-day prayer ministry says:
A stronghold in the mind is a spiritual fortress made of wrong thoughts, a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide and operate in power against us. The ideas and thoughts that make up the stronghold are based on lies that challenge the truth of what God has revealed about Himself.
Bickle further says about Satan’s goal:
Satan’s goal is to keep us in darkness by keeping us deceived about what God is like. His strategy is to distort our knowledge of God’s personality so that what we believe is erroneous and inadequate. Thus we are emotionally weakened and held in spiritual bondage. This is what Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 10:5
“We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God.”
A stronghold can also be any mindset that is contrary to God’s Word. 2 Corinthians 10:4 in the Voice translation says,” The weapons of the war we’re fighting are not of this world but are powered by God and effective at tearing down the strongholds erected against His truth. Our enemy wants to keep us from the Truth because it is the knowledge of the Truth that makes us free!
Establishing demonic strongholds in our minds is what the enemy loves to do, but we have the God-given ability to demolish strongholds with the weapons of our warfare!!! But it’s up to us to learn how to use our weapons effectively! That’s why the Word says we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God. He created us to be free from the enemy’s devices and deceptions!!!