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Destroying Strongholds: Smashing Thoughts That Bind Pt 2

Last week we looked at the weapons the enemy uses to build strongholds in the minds of people. This week we look at the wonderful weapons God has given us to destroy the works of the enemy.

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This blog post is part 29 of the series Seven Invisible Barriers to Spiritual Growth.
To see all the posts in the series click here
.           To listen to the audio version click here.

The Weapons of Our Warfare

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. (1 Corinthians 10:3-6)

Are Divinely Powerful

The first thing that Paul makes clear to the Corinthians is that the weapons he uses to fight against the enemy are not of the flesh.This is vital to remember since we are not fighting against people. The battle we are waging is against the demonic forces that are creating strongholds in the minds of people through speculations, lofty arguments, and thoughts.

We cannot fight a spiritual battle in our own strength. We would lose every time. The devil had been around for a long time and has perfected the schemes he uses to entrap mankind. We can see the evidence of his skill all around us.

The weapons we must use come directly from God, our commander and chief. Just as our current military issues soldiers everything they need for battle, God Himself equips us with everything we need to wage war against the works of the enemy.

We are not as helpless as we feel sometimes. The weapons that God gives us are powerful. They are not dependent upon our strength or ability. They are dependent upon what Jesus has done and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We have a big part to play in that we must be willing to pick up and use the weapons God has provided. God has provided everything. We must use the weapons by faith and destroy the works of the enemy.

One of my favorite ways of understanding God’s part of the battle and our part of the battle is the words that Moses and God spoke to Joshua as he was about to go into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 31:3-6; Joshua 1:1-9). God promised that He would go before Israel and drive out the inhabitants of the land. The next thing he does is tell Joshua to be strong and courageous.

God is the one driving the people out of the land, but Joshua must be strong and courageous and fight the battles that needed to be won. God said that He has given them every place that Joshua would set his foot.

In my mind this means that God gave Israel the whole Promised Land, the only requirement was for them to step forth in faith and take it. Wherever Joshua would lead the people by faith, they would possess it. If they did not step out in faith they would not possess it and the enemy would still be in their midst,.

Jesus has done everything that needs to be done on the cross and in His resurrection for salvation. We are saved by His great work. Now we are called to take the land that God has given us.

The lies of the enemy are blinding the minds of men. They will not be set free by worldly wisdom or the strength of men. They will be set free by the powerful weapons that God has provided for us, that is if we are strong and courageous and use them by faith.

The Gospel

The Apostle Paul boldly proclaims, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

We can have great confidence in the gospel revealed in Scripture. The gospel is not a man-made message. It originates from the heart of the Trinity before the world was created (Ephesians 4:1-4; Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20).

This message, which speaks of Jesus being with God, His incarnation, His sinless life, His suffering and death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and His second coming has the power to save. It is the only true message of salvation.

Biblical Truth

In addition to the gospel the bible is full of the truth of God. It reveals God’s point of view on many topics.

Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,For He will abundantly pardon.“
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:7-8)

God informs us that His thoughts and ways are not ours. We must see things as God has revealed them in Scripture. God has chosen to show us who He is through revelation from the Scripture and through the person of Jesus Christ.

We do not have to guess about who God is because He has shown us. Too many of the strongholds holding people are false pictures of who God is and what He is like. Romans Chapter 1 shows us the effects of men rejecting the picture God gives of Himself (Romans 1:18-32).

The only source of truth concerning this world and salvation must come from the word of God. Anything else will lead us astray from the truth. God has given us everything we NEED to know for life and godliness in His word..

Obedience

Obedience may not initially seem to be a weapon, but it is. When we obey God there is a releasing of the power of God both in our lives and through our lives. Disobedience gives the devil a place in our lives. Obedience breaks the back of the enemy.

Every time we disobey God it gives place to the enemy and affects us negatively. Remember the story of Adam and Eve. They were in the garden naked and unashamed before they chose to disobey God.

The effects we far reaching from one “simple” choice. Once they made the choice to eat the fruit they saw that they were naked. Here is what took place:

  • They were now filled with shame and attempted to cover their nakedness.
  • Fear entered into their lives and they ran and hid when they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden.
  • Both Adam and Eve refused to take responsibility for their rejection of God’s command.
  • Adam blamed God and Eve for his disobedience.
  • Eve became a victim and said that the serpent deceived her.
  • The ground was cursed.
  • Women would bring forth children in pain.

The importance of obedience can be seen in the life of Jesus. Here are a few passages that describe His response to God and the Spirit:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. (John 8:28)

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.(Hebrews 4:15)

I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; (John 14:30)

Jesus never disobeyed and rebelled against God. Even though He was tempted and struggled in the garden knowing He was going to the cross. He always fully obeyed God.

Did you notice what Jesus said in John 14:40? The ruler of this word, the devil, was coming and he had nothing in Him. He was squeaky clean and the devil could not influence His life at all. Disobedience gives place to the devil.

Prayer

Once we are armed with a knowledge of the truth of the gospel and God’s word, we are now ready to put into use the weapon of prayer. Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons that we have in our arsenal.

It is through prayer that we exercise the authority that God gave us to bring this world under His authority. John Wesley said, God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” God is waiting for us to pray in order to move in this world.

Jack Hayford put it this way in his excellent book on prayer called Prayer: Invading the Impossible. He has a chapter called “If We Don’t, He Won’t.” In it he discusses the very concept we are considering.

He reminds us that God put man in charge of this world. Man is responsible to ask, seek, and knock for the things God desires to do in this world. Prayer is the thing that moves God’s hand in this world. Pastor Jack says:

Prayer can change anything. The impossible doesn’t exist.
His is the power. Ours is the prayer.
Without Him, we cannot.
Without us, He will not.

The concept is clearly taught by Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). They were to ask for heaven to come to earth.

As believers in Christ we are to stand in the authority of Jesus and pray for His power and might to come into situations we face on this earth. In the context of dealing with strongholds, we are to take authority over the lies that are blinding people from the truth and pray for revelation to come to a person so they can respond to the truth. We’ll see how powerful prayer is later when we deal with the actual process of destroying strongholds.

Prayer releases the power of God into a situation and into the lives of those captured in the strongholds of the enemy. Our prayers have the power to change the lives of individuals, neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the world.

Next week in part three we will look at how we use our divine weapons to destroy strongholds. Hope to see you there!

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About the Author

Terry Tuinder is the co-founder of Experiencing His Victory. His experience includes thirty-one years of pastoral ministry, an earned Doctor of Ministry degree from The King’s University, and nineteen years involvement in deliverance ministry. He helps people grow in their relationship with God.

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