As Christ followers, we strive to be more and more like Christ. However, we all face our own spiritual battles or strongholds as we grow in the likeness of Christ. A stronghold can be anything that takes our mind off Him. Strongholds can present themselves as bigger or more powerful than God. They steal our focus and distract us from what Christ would have us do. They cause us to feel controlled and overpowered. Whether our stronghold is an addiction, unforgiveness, selfishness, pride, or something else, it can consume us and steal our joy and effectiveness in ministry.
2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to demolish strongholds.” The word “demolish” in the Greek is a combination of two words meaning “against, contrary to, opposed and to choose.” So we must make a conscious choice to go against the strongholds that keep us from growing in Christ. We must choose truth. We must “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”- 2 Cor. 10:5. This means every time our stronghold comes into our mind we choose to turn our thoughts to the things of Christ. The battlefield of the mind is the place where the enemy attacks us first. Overcoming strongholds is not possible to do by human effort alone. No amount of will power will be sufficient. We need a supernatural strength from God to demolish them.
God has given us access to two weapons with “divine power” to help us in the battle: the Word of God and Spirit- empowered prayer. In Ephesians 6, Paul lists the armor of God. All of the pieces of armor are defensive pieces for protection except the Sword, which is the Word of God. The Word is our offensive weapon and prayer gives us access to power. Prayerful lives are powerful lives. I think it is so cool to note that the Greek word for “power” in 2 Cor. 10:4 is “dunamai” which is the same root word our English word for “dynamite” comes from. God has essentially given us two sticks of dynamite: His Word and prayer to help us demolish those strongholds in our lives. Strap those two sticks together and ignite them with faith that God will do what he says He will do.
Over the course of several months, God revealed one particular stronghold in my life that I simply didn’t want to release to Him. I was stubborn. However, God also had a way of revealing these sticks of dynamite to me to overcome it. He doesn’t just convict; He also empowers. He wants to bring healing and freedom to our lives. Connecting to Him will give us strength and power to fight off the enemy’s strongholds. Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36.