Through this article, you will learn about spiritual strongholds. You will know what they are, how they are built, their characteristics, and how they can be pulled down.
This will eventually empower you with the weapons you need to wage war against strongholds in your life.
Are you ready to receive this empowerment? If you answered yes, I urge you to keep perusing this article as I expose to you the ways of overcoming strongholds.
May every high wall that resists God’s knowledge in your life be pulled down in Jesus’ name, amen.
“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)
Have you ever thought about the reasons many children of God still find it easy to engage in sin?
Although they profess their love for God, they find it hard to resist sinful acts. They indulge in several acts that cause them to transgress God’s law.
They see the reflection of truth in their leaders and other people around him.
Nevertheless, they themselves have refused to yield belief and obedience to God based on the truth spoken to them. This makes them appear as non-Christians.
But are they really non-Christians? The answer to this is no. You can’t say these people are not Christians, nor can you blame their leaders for their plight.
The reason they are like this could be traced to a law at work within.
They keep falling into sins because they have an in-built wall of resistance in their lives—a fortress that makes them stubborn and resistant to change.
This fortress is what Apostle Paul called “strongholds” in his second letter to the Corinthian Christians.
Strongholds are those areas of people’s lives that refuse the direction of the new-born human spirit and truly love God.
They are those stubborn attitudes of mind, emotions, and will that wrestle with the Lordship of Christ just as Jacob did with God at the river Jabbok.
To be quite honest, we all have some areas of our lives that are not yet obedient to Christ.
These are areas that have refused to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They usually remain unexposed and undefeated for years in their hidden places if we don’t wage war against them.
Their presence and influence in our lives may continue if we don’t face up to them and pull them down.
What are Spiritual Strongholds?
The word stronghold is coined from the Greek word “ochyromaton.”
“Ochyromaton” is derived from the root word “Ochyros,” which means “halt bar” or “roadblocks.”
Hence, spiritual strongholds are roadblocks to the effectiveness and fruitfulness of God’s word in the soul.
They are manned guard posts that hinder the truth of God from penetrating into the bones and marrow of the heart.
The wall of Jericho, “where no one went in and no one went out,” and the tower of Babel, “a fortress or a high tower whose top may reach into heaven,” are two good physical representations of what strongholds are.
In the apostle Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians, he gave a vivid explanation of what these strongholds are.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.”
From this scripture, we can say that strongholds are imaginations and high things that set themselves up against the knowledge of God in our hearts.
They are pretensions and arguments that raise themselves high above the truth of God’s word in the soul.
They are the lingering baggage we bring into the new life after the salvation experience.
Although many of these bags get destroyed at conversion, a great number of them refuse to come out of their hiding places.
The Four Walls Of Spiritual Strongholds
Strongholds are built with four walls. These four walls, as revealed in the Bible, are imaginations, arguments, pretensions, and disobedience. Let’s quickly take a look at each of them.
1. Imaginations :
These are mental pictures and thought patterns that voice and replay themselves in your head and mind. They influence the way you think.
They make you think selfishly and negatively. It is in these imaginations that fears, lusts, envy, and immoral acts are produced.
Philippians 2:10 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
God wants you to have the mind of Christ, but these vain and vile imaginations won’t permit that.
These are the reasonings and rationalizations you build as defense mechanisms against the truth of God.
They are those thoughts that make you habitually picture yourself the way you are and not how God wants you to be.
They help you to rationalize some of your bad habits and often make you give excuses for any of your mistakes or wrongdoings.
“I can’t change. That’s the way I am,” you continue to argue.
“I couldn’t help it,” “I couldn’t resist the temptations,” “That’s my weakness,” you give excuses.
This wall makes you resistant to change. In fact, in some cases, it won’t make you see the need for change.
These are the masks you wore in public to cover the ugly frogs in your life. There are those fronts and fake images you erect for the public to see.
Examples of these images are pride, fake smiles, coolness, stubborn defiance, and all-togetherness.
There are those sickly smiles that make you say, “I’m OK, you’re OK.”
These are the responses you give to people when they try checking on you.
“I’m doing great” or “I’m good,” you say so that people will think you are actually impregnable and unreachable.
All of these are defenses you build around your strongholds.
They are what the Bible calls “having the form of godliness and denying the power thereof.”
This is the strongest of all the walls. It ties the first three (imaginations, arguments, and pretensions) into a knot of willful acts of saying no to the will of God.
It makes you rebel against the instructions and commandments of God.
This often makes you disobey God, as obedience becomes a difficult thing to practice.
These four walls must be pulled down in order for you to find your path in life.
Characteristics Of Spiritual Strongholds
Strongholds are spiritual walls of resistance built in the soul. These entangled roots of bad habits are difficult to deal with.
Their difficulty is revealed through their characteristics. I will share five of these characteristics with you.
- They are Stubborn:
They are aspects of your life that are not willing to change. They remain in the soul even after the new birth.
Religious activities, such as preaching, prayers, bible studies, fellowships, etc., do not have the power to demolish them.
- They are Irrational:
They are things you do without thinking clearly. Those unreasonable acts that are constantly rationalized by arguments and excuses.
They defy logic, reasoning, and common sense. Examples are: drug addiction, fears, lying, etc.
- They are Resistant to Control:
No matter how you try to control them, they won’t yield. That is why you will keep making new-year resolutions each year but end up not following them.
Every attempt to turn a new leaf through discipline or force will usually prove abortive. Examples are anger and sexual immorality.
They present themselves with traits inherited from their parents hidden behind temperamental weaknesses and personality disorders.
They appear as personal weaknesses and are often termed “That’s how God made me,” so that God ultimately gets the blame for them.
- Difficult to Pull Down:
Self-invented measures of discipline may not deal with them. So, they cannot be pulled down easily.
This explains why a person can make up his or her mind to change after listening to a sermon, but after some minutes, he or she returns to his ways.
Can These Strongholds Fall?
Having looked at the meaning, the four walls, and the five characteristics of spiritual strongholds, I am convinced the question you are asking is “Can they ever be pulled down?”
My answer to this question is yes.
These high walls of resistance can be pulled down. Those fortresses that stand against the knowledge of God in our lives can be destroyed.
If the physical wall of Jericho could fall flat, these walls could also fall flat.
However, they cannot be pulled down through human wisdom and sensuality.
Worldly wisdoms or methods derived by psychologists and psychotherapists cannot be pulled down.
Behavioral therapy, hypnotism, drug treatments, counseling, etc. cannot scale and pull them down.
The least they can do is create an anaphoric (surface) change. This explains why a drug or sex addict may relapse after going through several counseling sections.
The Bible has revealed to us how to cast down the walls.
2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
Since strongholds are spiritual fortresses built in the soul compartments, the only way to pull them down is to embark on a holy war.
That is, a spiritual battle against the entangled roots of bad habits and warped thought patterns.
In this war, we made use of spiritual siege engines to storm the fortresses. These engines are what the apostle Paul called the weapons of our warfare.
With the aid of these weapons, we fight these soulish giants through the divine power of God.
God wants us to overcome these strongholds. He wants us to pull them down so we can live the good life he intends for us.
This is why He has given us these weapons, and we are expected to use them.
Ways To Pull Down These Spiritual Strongholds
1. The Sword of the Spirit:
The sword of the spirit is a metaphorical expression for God’s word. It is one of the weapons you need in order to pull down strongholds.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Also, Jeremiah 23:29 says, “Is not my word like a fire? Saith the LORD, and the hammers that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
God’s word is powerful and capable of destroying longtime habits, negative thoughts, or any form of stronghold in your life.
This is because His words are spirit and life. This is why you should cultivate the habit of reading, studying, and meditating on God’s word, respectively.
As you do this, the revelation and understanding you get become power in you.
This power will then pull down the strongholds in your life. Therefore, you must make the word of God a meat you eat every day.
When you begin to gain understanding of God’s word through meditation, it becomes an x-ray that exposes the hidden areas of your life.
You begin to see the need for change and transformation in your life.
This self-discovery and understanding produce real regrets and a genuine desire for change in you.
After seeing the loopholes in your life, God’s spirit inspires you to turn away from them. You genuinely turn your back on the old sinful habits.
This is different from the feeling of remorse or thoughts of suicide. It is a willful act of change that comes through sobriety and sincerity.
Once this sets in, the foundation of the strongholds shakes, and then God comes in to pull them down.
Here is another weapon that helps to cast down the fortresses. After genuine repentance, you make up your mind to stay away from sin.
You cast off the filthy clothes of old and bad habits and want to do nothing with them anymore.
Ephesians 4:22–24 says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lust. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
This is a weapon that makes you exercise authority and dominion over the strongholds.
Phil 2:10 says, “At the mention of Jesus, every knee should bow.”
When you pray earnestly in understanding of God’s word, strongholds bow their knees to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life.
Therefore, you must keep on praying without fainting.
John 8:36 says, “If the son of God make ye free, ye shall be free indeed.”
No matter how long strongholds have stayed in the squatters of your soul, Jesus has the power to give you freedom from them.
He has what it takes to deliver you from these fortresses. He can cast them out.
So, you should look to Jesus for your total liberty.
7. Holy Spirit:
After the strongholds have been casted out, the Holy Spirit enters your heart and fills up the vacuum.
He makes you walk in the will of God and say no to sinful desires.
He mortifies the desires of flesh in you and also gives you the strength to walk in God’s words.
Conclusion On Spiritual Strongholds
Strongholds are spiritual high walls built in the soul. These walls are imaginations, arguments, pretensions, and disobedience that resist God’s knowledge in our lives.
They comprise entanglements of bad habits, negative thinking, beliefs, and reactions.
They make you build defense mechanisms and strategies to protect yourself from discomfort and interference, even from God.
In a nutshell, strongholds are hidden, warped beliefs and stubborn attitudes situated in the soul.
These warped beliefs and stubborn attitudes use your mind, emotions, and will for their wicked operations.
They make you resist the Lordship of Christ and are often at war with God’s word.
That aspect of your life that makes you say, “That’s the way I was born. I cannot change” is called a stronghold.
They cannot be easily pulled down through man’s effort. It takes the ultimate power of God to pull them down in our lives.
Hence, you should cooperate with God so that those fortresses in your life can fall.