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Breaking Strongholds

18 June 2023

Woman sat on rocks at the beach looking into the distance

by Miranda Lester


Do you ever catch yourself thinking, ‘Where did that thought come from?’  Possibly you have a thought that says, ‘You’re not going to make it,’ or ‘Why keep showing up, no one will miss me.’  Often people express concern over the invading thought that tells them they can’t change.  


None of us are exempt from the cunning attacks of the enemy.  Many of the issues we face and the battles we fight are won in the realm of the mind.  Even the secular world admits that the mind is powerful.  


In 2 Corinthians 10:3, Paul speaks to the people of Corinth saying, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.”  Just like Paul, we are humans and don’t use human plans or methods to win our battles.  Paul was aware of not only the source of his strength, but also the source of his troubles (the devil).  Paul continues in verses 4 and 5, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.  We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”  


As children of God, His mighty weapons are available to us as we fight against the devil’s ‘strongholds’.  We have available to us either God’s or the world’s method of fighting, and we must make the choice as to which method we choose.  Paul says that God’s weapons are mighty and effective (Ephesians 6).  


Kenneth E Hagin wrote, “We need to realise that thoughts come into our minds from two different sources.  In other words, the thoughts that come into our minds do not always originate in our minds.  The devil puts many thoughts into our minds from outside ourselves.  That’s one source.  Then, of course, thoughts from God come from within us.  They come through our spirits to our minds.”  Our thoughts must continually be submitted to His control as we live for Him.  


The Spirit-empowered believer must capture every thought and yield it to Christ.  What does this mean?  We must run each thought by the Word of God.  If the Bible doesn’t say it, then it is not a thought that comes from God within us.  I have heard many pastors simply state, “You have to think about what you think about.”  


There is depiction of fiery darts that, I believe, accurately illustrates the devil’s assaults on our lives.  It comes from the Greek writer Thucydides.  He depicts a specially made, long, slender arrow that outwardly looks harmless.  However, the hollow interior of the arrow was filled with a flammable fluid that, upon impact, exploded into a raging fire.  This description of the fiery darts of the enemy explains the way he likes to attack.  


Just as with Eve in the garden, the devil didn’t drop a bomb that obliterated her life.  Remember, the Bible describes him as cunning and he doesn’t attack all at once.  After all, he has had thousands of years to practise his evil tactics.  He starts with a thought, a fear, a doubt, and like the arrows just described, they set their aim on your mind.  Quietly flying through the air, the arrow has its sights targeted on you and subtly they descend on your mind, penetrating your thought life.  Once the thought fires across your synapses the message has been sent and the seed has been planted.  The fire has started.  It burns slowly at first and as thoughts are added to nurture the fire, then the flames begin to burn becoming hot and angry.  If left unchecked, your mind becomes a blazing inferno that you have to battle even harder to extinguish.  


How do we emulate Paul and bring every thought into captivity?  When exposed to ideas or thoughts that might lead to wrong desires, you have a choice.  You can recognise the danger and turn away.  Otherwise, the stronghold will grow in your mind.  It is our duty to capture these thoughts and the desires that go with them and honestly admit them to God and ask Him to redirect our thinking.  Ask God to give you the sprit of discernment to keep your thoughts focused on His truth.  Read the Word of God make sure your thoughts are in alignment.  It is then we will experience battling with God’s mighty weapons from a place of victory.