Let’s take a look at the image first.
In this picture, God pours out the blessings of abundant power, intimacy, and revelation like a waterfall. However, it shows that we are receiving and enjoying only drops of His grace, and not the whole waterfall of grace.
Why do we not fully enjoy intimacy with God and experience His power? Why do we not hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, understand the Lord’s words deeply, and enjoy the Lord’s joy and peace abundantly? It is because the strongholds of darkness and sin, such as the flesh and my will, block God’s blessings.
In order to be intimate with God and receive all the blessings and powers that God wants to pour out, you will have to remove this stronghold filter.
Through today’s message, I want to share with you how to destroy this stronghold that hinders the heavenly power and intimacy that God wants to give you.
Let’s look at the text first.
The apostle Paul is writing a letter to the Corinthian church people who rejected Paul’s apostleship under the influence of false teachers. So, Paul is in a fight and conflict with those who do not recognize his apostleship. But Paul says here that this fight is not a fight of the flesh. A weapon that an apostle can use is God’s ability to break down strongholds. With this weapon the apostle can break down the defenses of self-confidence and self-exaltation built up by the self-praise of those who stand in the way of the progress of the gospel. The apostle Paul will tear down strongholds that have been built up against the theories and the knowledge of God. The apostle Paul wants all their human and God-defying thoughts to come to the point of submission to Christ. When the fighting is over and obedience is complete, disobedience will be punished.
What is a stronghold?
In a positive sense, God is a strong fortress and refuge from which we can escape. The strong camp in today’s passage is like a strong castle used by the devil. A strong fortress can be difficult to find, and even if found, it is difficult to destroy.
Spiritual strongholds are also very difficult to find and destroy.
The stronghold in 2 Corinthians 10 is the arrogant heart, theories, and thoughts that oppose knowing God.
Strongholds are made of sin, expressed in a person’s thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, philosophies, actions, and values that oppose God’s truth. A stronghold is made of a variety of sins. In particular, the representative stronghold is pride and unbelief.
A stronghold isn’t made overnight. A stronghold is built progressively, starting with our thoughts and ending with bondage when we agree with the enemy. As we read in 2 Corinthians 10, a stronghold is described as any theory, assertion, or idea that goes against the knowledge of God. If we allow unchecked lies in our lives, this gives the enemy an opportunity to gain access to us. That is why Paul says that our new life in Christ begins by renewing our mind.
We make decisions while dwelling in our thoughts, and those decisions become actions, and actions soon become values in life. These values define who we are and eventually become our lifestyle. When our thoughts do not match God’s truth, our way of life is against God. Then, as Satan builds his strongholds in our lives, we come into varying degrees of bondage. However, that responsibility does not lie with the enemy. The old adage “the devil made it” is unscriptural and transfers the blame away from ourselves. The devil builds strongholds by securing the jurisdictions to which you are personally invited through disobedience. ригласили своим непослушанием).
What role does a stronghold play? Here are the truths we must know for a life of spiritual victory.
Eph 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph 4:27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
On the cross, the devil completely lost his power and was defeated, and Jesus was victorious. But why is the devil still at work in the world today? It is because where there is sin, the devil has proper authority. If there is anger in us, it is like inviting the devil into our lives due to the dark power of that anger. Strongholds are built by allowing the enemy to gain a place or opportunity in our lives through sin. “and give no opportunity(topos) to the devil”. The Greek word topos is translated in Ephesians 4:27 as 1) place, 2) opportunity, or 3) foothold. A word with a wide range of meanings, but essentially defined as: “territory, land: in the singular, the oldest and most clearly used word, it means ‘an appointed place’ определенное место.”
Therefore, the devil exerts his influence through strongholds.
Although we are born-again children of God, when we have sins that are like strongholds within us, the devil gives us a foothold. Even though we have lived a life of faith for a long time, why is there sometimes no change in our lives? It’s because of strongholds within us. We often stumble, falter, and remain unchanging in our religious life because of strongholds such as false thoughts, viewpoints, and attitudes that are nestled within us as lies, not the truth.
So how do you find a stronghold? This is a very important question.
When we talk about sin—whether our sins or the sins of others—we often focus on outward behavior. Whether it’s words or actions, what’s full in the heart comes out. Our actions, whether for sin or for righteousness, always flow from the inner heart. If you want to get rid of a stronghold, you have to find its root. If you cut off just the leaves or branches of a tree, the tree will just grow back. But if you cut the root of a tree, the tree will fall.
In other words, you need to be able to look not only at the outward behavior, but also at the root that causes such strongholds and behavior.
What are the invisible roots that make a stronghold?
Please take a moment to look at the picture.
The branches are strongholds. You will see strongholds such as pride, fear, bitterness, rejection, and rebellion.
For example, which leaves—symptoms and behaviors—are the strongholds of fear? Anxiety, apprehension, perfectionism, restlessness, skepticism, and a tendency to control appear. A stronghold of rejection will have symptoms—leaves of distrust, defensiveness, depression, competitive attitudes, self-injury, and anger.
But what we must know is that the rugged stronghold and actions that are revealed on the outside are born due to invisible roots.
Therefore, in order to discover a stronghold, we must first know the root of that stronghold.
See the following picture
The roots of a typical stronghold are open doors: habitual sin, unrighteousness, intergenerational patterns, and curses.
Among the roots that make a stronghold, let’s look at injustice first.
What is injustice? Injustice is a lack of truth and love.
Every relationship or situation in our lives that does not reflect God’s perfect truth or love gives the enemy an opportunity to build a stronghold. The injustice of not receiving pure love and truth permits this approach. Where love or truth is lacking, the void will be filled with lies instead.
God’s truth brings peace and fruit into our lives. To the extent that we deviate from this truth, we may be controlled by various strongholds. When truth is withheld, patterns such as unhealthy and destructive rebellion and unforgiveness grow.
Also, a lack of perfect love from God can lead to unhealthy and destructive patterns in our lives.
God created us to be loved by God and to love God. We express love and blessings through our words and actions. But when truth and love are not enough for us, it negatively affects our identity. A person who is not loved sees himself as worthless and inferior. The more you lack love, the more you don’t know how precious and meaningful you are, and you don’t feel secure.
As we looked at the roots of the stronghold, we saw that injustice can be the root of the stronghold. We come to know how desperately God’s love is in the field of our lives and in the relationship between parents and children at home in order not to give these strongholds and demons an opportunity to work.
Another root of a stronghold is a pattern passed down from generation to generation.
We need to look at our lives with a humble attitude, knowing that the family patterns passed down from our parents’ generation, grandparents’ generation and later generations can create strongholds.
For example, there are families in which parents do not express their blessings and love to their children well through their words and actions. There are families who love money and wealth and prioritize worldly values without being interested in God’s truth.
Families experiencing frequent resentment, divorce, alcoholism, rebellion, verbal or physical abuse, etc. You should know that these traits that are passed down through generations can become or create strongholds.
Therefore, it is necessary to look at the roots while looking at the branches and leaves to identify a stronghold.
Since the root is invisible, we must observe ourselves closely with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Look for behaviors that try to control others because of the stronghold of fear (false). And at the root of this is injustice and abuse.
Underneath the act of viewing pornography can be lies and strongholds of self-abuse. And at its root is abandoned injustice.
Underneath the acts of anger are unforgiveness and lies. And at the root of that injustice is rejection.
I hope that you will identify your strongholds by first finding their roots. Furthermore
Through your reactions to various things, look closely at what spiritual bondages you may have. Oftentimes, strongholds can lead to cases of spiritual downfall and loss of grace.
Or see if you lose grace spiritually because of judging, condemning, or being angry. See if fear causes you to lose the presence of the Lord.
If you have found such a false stronghold, I ask you to specifically pray to destroy and remove it.
Use God’s weapon.
In order to destroy strongholds, as Paul said, we must use God’s mighty weapon. What are God’s weapons?
Be sure to memorize and use God’s weapons to break down these ‘strongholds’.
1. The weapon of truth – the Bible
Everything starts with truth and ends with truth. The stronghold of sin is the absence or distortion of God’s truth. John 14:6 says Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The Bible is the written truth of God. The Bible exposes and corrects inconsistencies with God’s truth found in all areas of our lives. Satan’s main weapon is lies. That is why we must be filled with the Word by reading, listening, teaching, meditating, and memorizing the Bible.
2. The weapon of the authority of Jesus Christ.
Nothing can stand against the authority of Jesus. You already possess the authority as a child of God through faith, and you just need to use it through faith.
3. The weapon of repentance.
This weapon is so powerful that even Satan’s weapons cannot overcome the power of true repentance. Repentance enables us to step out of darkness into light.
4. The weapon of forgiveness.
When we forgive, we heal and set ourselves free. The weapon of forgiveness is a powerful weapon.
Forgiveness is a double-edged sword. Sometimes we need to forgive people for what they have done to us and the injustice we have suffered, but other times we need to ask God or others for forgiveness because we have sinned.
5. Weapons of prayer and verbal declaration/proclamation.
Words are very powerful. A spiritual transaction takes place when we pray and declare something in faith and conviction. Just as there are business transactions that can affect our temporal lives, so too are spiritual transactions. A powerful spiritual transaction takes place when we proclaim with the authority of Christ grounded in God’s truth. You can destroy and overthrow the strongholds of sin with your words.
6. The weapon of a humble and obedient life.
This is the end product (byproduct) of breaking down a fortified fortress. A life that moves humbly toward God is a powerful weapon. We need the humble heart of Christ.
Lastly, we will share how to use the weapon of repentance through prayer, one of God’s many weapons, in order to destroy strongholds.
Please use this 4-step method of repentance often and repeatedly. It is a truth that should not be forgotten after hearing the sermon once. Please write it down and apply it through prayer.
Let’s apply the law of using the ‘weapon of repentance’ among God’s weapons to destroy the stronghold.
1. Repent of your sins. Please acknowledge your sins as they are. It can be an attitude of the heart, such as bitterness, rebellion, or pride. It could be behaviors like alcohol abuse, immorality, or stealing. It can be feelings like rejection, inferiority, or shame. (Note: In the case of abuse or hurt, these sins may not be your fault. Your sins are your reactions. Recognize and confess your sins: anger, fear, unforgiveness, bitterness, shame, etc!)
Acts 3:19 (NIV) Therefore, repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be gone and refreshing from the Lord may come.
1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, I am faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
2. Receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing.
Ask God to refill you with his Holy Spirit, to renew your thoughts, actions and feelings.
Psalm 103:8-12 (NIV) The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He does not always condemn and never harbors anger, He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him, and he has removed our transgressions from us as the east is from the west.
3. Resist and reprove the enemy who binds you because of your sins. Declare that enemies and sins have nothing to do with me and that they are cut off from me.
Matthew 4:10 (NIV) Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan!”‘
James 4:7 (NIV) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
4. Replace all lies with God’s truth! Declare that past attitudes, behaviors and emotions are dead and “paid for”. Fill your heart and mind with the truth that accords with the character of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Throw away all lies and fill your heart with the truth of God. Seek the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit to do so!
Galatians 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Now, to live in the body is to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) “… be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has set us free from all sin, curses, and the power of the devil. The Lord pours out and wants us to enjoy intimacy, power, and blessings like a waterfall today. But, like a filter, strongholds made of wrong attitudes, thoughts, and emotions within me can block these blessings. Therefore, please deal with all the strongholds and wrong attitudes and emotions that the Holy Spirit reveals to you. I hope that you will break these strongholds with repentance. Please deal with it quickly with repentance so that there are no negative emotions like worry, discouragement, criticism, fear, and unforgiveness within you. Let’s give ourselves fully to the Lord with faith so that Jesus can rule us as King through the Word and the Holy Spirit within us. Let us walk in the light. Let us walk in love. I bless you in the name of the Lord that you will enjoy this abundant and free life in this coming week.