Daily Devotional | Overcoming Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

See it at YouVersion.com:http://bible.us/2 Corinthians 10:4.NKJV

Hello readers! Today, I’m going to discuss the strongholds in our lives. A stronghold is a faulty thinking pattern based on lies and deception. Deception is one of the primary weapons of the devil, because it is the building blocks for a stronghold. What strongholds can do is cause us to think in ways which block us from God’s best.

Paul defines strongholds as an “argument or high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”.  A stronghold is a point of operation from where Satan can keep the unbeliever captive or the believer incapacitated. See 2nd Corinthians below. 

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 

When Israel entered the Promised Land, it is an illustration of the faithful entering the land of promise and rest.  We see from Israel’s example, a nation, who because of unbelief was not able to receive the promises of God, because they lacked faith.  Only when they believed, could they enter, but the faithless generation was kept out. In the same way today, many “born-again saints” fail to receive the blessings promised because of disbelief.  We do not believe God is strong enough, to overcome the strongholds in our life.

Israel’s plight illustrates a point, when we reject God’s promises because of unbelief; we end up wandering in a wilderness, because we refuse to take God at His word. This is the reason we need to put on the whole armor of the God.  Joshua and Caleb were able to see victory despite the strongholds in the Promised Land.  Joshua and Caleb were wearing God’s armor.  They were willing to wage war on the Canaanite cities, because they knew it was not them, but the Lord who would give them victory.

Israel sets the example for the faithful; within the nation were two groups, those who believed the Lord and those who did not.  Because of the unbelief of the majority, the nation was forced to wander in the dusty and rocky Sinai desert for 40-years.  We (the saved), grafted into the covenant of Israel, should take notice, why did Israel fail to enter the land?  Was it because God was unfaithful? No, it was because the people would not trust Him.  Why did Israel tremble in fear at Goliath, and David boldly wanted to fight? In both cases, the faithful trusted the Lord, Joshua and Caleb saw God open the Red Sea, they saw Him in the cloud and fire, they knew their God.  David too, knew his God; He was more than capable of giving David victory(1 Samuel 17). 

Before the battle took place in the field, it was in the mind.  The army of Israel before the Philistine Goliath, a giant, was defeated in the mind, before an arrow flew. The battle began in the mind, just as it does for us. 

The armor of God gives us the ability to be victors in the battle of the mind.   Putting on the full armor of God, allows us to stand against the schemes of Satan, whose goal is to pin the faithful to the ground.   

Here we stand, God’s warriors about to enter battle, how are we to wage war?  First, we must remember Paul’s instructions, we need to put on the full armor God, having done that, we need to make the conscious decision to stand.  We need to choose to stand, as opposed to being taken down by our opponent Satan.

We must prepare for battle, in the spiritual war; our objective should always be victory through the Lord’s strength, not our own power.  Look in verse 10 and 11 of Ephesians, what is the key to success? 

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 

The key to Joshua, Caleb and David was their reliance on the Lord’s ability, His power and might. They were strong in the Lord.  In verses 10 and 11, our part is to make a conscious effort.  Verse 10 tells us, be strong, verse 11, says put on. Are you willing to move forward in battle trusting the Lord? 

Using Israel as our example, what was their first action before they entered the promise land? Moses told them to spy out the land, to survey it, locate the stronghold.  We need to do the same; we need to locate places where the enemy has strongholds in our life.  Remember our battle is not physical but spiritual.  In Ephesians 6:10-18, only two pieces of the armor are offensive in nature, what are they?  They are the sword (vs. 17) and prayer.  In describing the armor, many times people stop at verse 17, but verse 18 is just as much a part of the armor. 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints Ephesians 6:18 

The sword of the Lord, the word of God and Prayer are offensive weapons against the strongholds, which allows Satan to keep people captive. With these two weapons, we can take the offensive, rather than being defensive.  We can pursue our strongholds, to pull them down.  We need to enter the battle wearing our armor, prepared to assault the stronghold with our sword and prayer.

Take a personal inventory of your life. What areas of your life cause you to fail? adultery? lust? idolatry? anger? negative thoughts? depression? addiction? jealousy….? Determine where Satan’s strongholds are and remove them because this is where he will wage a war!  Our goal is to enter the “Promised Land” of God’s promises. 

Only through the Lord’s power will we be able to break free from Satan’s control.  We have no power from within or without, except for the Lord.  God’s word reveals the control of Satan in our lives, through strongholds. Satan knows if we are able to remove these strongholds, a mighty warrior will emerge.  His goal is to prevent the victorious spiritual warrior from taking the field. Just like an ancient army first had to remove strongholds, to hold the land, we need to do the same. 

Believers prepare for combat! In Jesus Name. Amen.

Scripture of the day: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV

From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
TLWMI. Copyright Reserved, 2011.
(must be used with written permission)



About thelivingwordministries

The senior pastor and overseer of The Living Word Ministries Evanston, IL since 2010, the author of 'Living Victoriously' by Author-house publishers. My passion is present and lead others into Pure Praise, Pure Worship and Pure Word. This means that at our Church, the integrity of the Gospel is held to the letters, just as Jesus Christ preached and lived it. Come and join us, and God will surely Bless you mighty!
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