The default response to me saying what I actually think, for most people, is to either go nuts or go silent. People don’t really know what to say to me and in turn I’ve really never figured out what to say to them either. God has put me in some amazing situations and those things have helped me gain understanding of how things work. That often leaves me up against strongholds.
Once I realized what a stronghold was, I started to spot them in people and occasionally even in myself. Although our own strongholds are hard to recognize, I think the Bible gives us some tips on how to locate and rid ourselves of strongholds. A stronghold is basically a way of thinking and it has zero grace for any other way of thinking. Let me give you an example from Jesus’ life.
Matthew 12:9-14, “Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” ( They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.”
It wasn’t because Jesus healed someone’s hand that they decided to kill him. It was the stronghold they had believed. At one level they believed they knew the law better than anyone. Because of that their interpretation had to be right. They had decided healing on the Sabbath was work and thus illegal. So if they weren’t right about that it would have broken down their entire system of thinking. John says that Jesus is the logos, that is the logical system that founded everything, the system that undermines all strongholds. Everything was created by and through Him in the beginning. Stronghold are systems of thinking that hold themselves up against the knowledge of God, AKA the logos or Jesus. Jesus is the only perfect system of logic or way of thinking.
Through false ideas we all get from one place or another, we understand things in a way other than through Jesus. In pride, we hold on to those wrong ideas as if they are gospel. That is the root of the entire kingdom of darkness, pride that keeps lying ideas in place. The Kingdom of God is inside you, it has the power to break strongholds and the Spirit of Truth is a gift from God for believing in His system. The He will guide you into all Truth so you can align your life with he logos which is Jesus Christ who is with God and is God.
In this example they (the Pharisees) held on to their pride. They would set aside their system of false logos that would harm a person for helping a person on the Sabbath because they had deemed it work and work was illegal. My wife sometimes jokes about the kind of people who may work at a fast food place and when you ask them to put the fries directly into the bag, they can no longer function. They have been taught to always do it a certain way, you gotta put the fries in the box. To ask them to put the fries right in the bag is a simple request but it isn’t what they were taught to do. So they have a little mini melt down and still put the fries in the box. That’s a stronghold.
The truth is we all have them and God wants us to get rid of them. The root of perfect faith is understanding the system. That is understanding the logos of God, Jesus; and walking or living in the truth of that system on which all things were founded. It’s how it was all made to work. The fry guy was so beholden to the system that he couldn’t help a customer by putting the fries in the bag. The Pharisees were so beholden to the system that they couldn’t let Jesus do the will of God on the wrong day of the week.
Strongholds are why people always kill the prophets. They just can’t function outside of their system. That’s slavery. The truth is each and every imperfect system that we live by enslaves us to it and is demonic in nature. Jesus sets us free by letting us know the truth and giving us the Spirit of Truth and being the Truth! I am the way, the TRUTH and the life. The thing to do, the understanding of why and the eternal resurrection from the slavery of the system of death and darkness.
Whenever you catch yourself getting angry or sad or ‘getting all in you feelings’ over something, recognize that you need truth poured into you. This is how we can spot our own strongholds. They make us pretty darn emotional because our beliefs don’t match reality. God wants to break down strongholds, free the slaves, and teach you the truth that sets men free! May you recognize your strongholds as they arise! May the Lord teach you the true and perfect Way! May He take you back to what you were made to be in the beginning! May the Lord Jesus be your example for living! May you follow Him around imitating Him like a child follows a parent who is vacuuming with the child’s own toy vacuum! Just try to do what He does! He loves it! May you be holy because He is holy and you are following Him to be like Him! May you live in the Joy of the Peace that comes with understanding and may God bless all y’all.