What is a stronghold? A Fortress
Very easy to defend
Difficult for the enemy to attack
Lord of the Rings – Helms Deep
Satan can build a spiritual fortress in our lives
Starts with a foothold then becomes a stronghold
An area of our life where we allow Satan to enter
Then he sets up a stronghold
Then when we want to regain control, it is difficult and sometimes seems impossible to remove that sin from our lives.
Giving God your life but reserving one area for a favorite sin (Giving God the house but not allowing Him into one room)
Where do strongholds come from?
o Family life as a child -loved or not loved, alcoholic parent, abusive parent, the unchangeables
o Friends – values and peer pressure
The World – Sins that have become acceptable and even encouraged by the world.
o Cheating on taxes
o Selfishness – commercials – cost more/you deserve it
o Rebellion – unchecked in children
o Unresolved Anger –
Wrong doctrine – Genesis 3:3-5
1) Doubting God’s Word – 2 Peter 3:5-6
• Creation- Wrong doctrine of evolution says we are animals – not made in the image of God – No God. No rules. Do whatever feels good.
• The Flood
2) Twisting God’s Word – The most believable lies have a little bit of truth in them
What are some strongholds?
– some ideas from Chip Monck “Scoping out Strongholds”
Pride – Until we are willing to admit that we need to be set free, until we are willing to recognize our condition of helplessness without God, the stronghold of pride will keep us bound up. Do you think you need to be set free, at least in some area of your life? If your answer is “Nope. I’m okay. Everything is fine. I’m as free as can be. I am okay just the way I am, I don’t need God.” then you are probably being influenced by the stronghold of pride.
Don’t let Satan lie to you. You are not okay on your own! The minute you accept Christ, Satan will change his lie. He will tell you that you are worthless and there is no way God can ever use you. Put him to the test?
Unbelief – Telling ourselves that achieving true freedom and experiencing the nature of Jesus is impossible. Telling ourselves we can never be like Christ. As a result, we excuse the sin in our lives. So we call these sins “Personality flaws.” We don’t have to take responsibility for that, right?
Can’t be done, can’t be won, can’t be changed
It will never get any better than this anyway.
I will always be a failure.
I tried walking in the Spirit, but it didn’t work. (Probably depended on your own strength instead of depending on God.)
Fear – of rejection, of failure, of ridicule.
Cold Love- Revelation 2:4
What are the results of strongholds?
1)Unsaved – Satan’s strongholds prevent many from coming to Christ
2)Ineffective Christians – Satan’s strongholds prevent many from becoming effective Christians for Christ
How do we get victory over a stronghold?
Freedom starts with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is completed with the nature of Jesus in our hearts.
Making God your STRONGHOLD!
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress…my high tower. Psalm 18:2
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
What are our weapons against strongholds?
We wrestle not with flesh and blood. We can’t use earthly weapons. It is a spiritual battle. We need to use spiritual weapons.
Word of God – Ephesians 6:17
Prayer – Ephesians 6:18
Repentance – Confess and Turn – Luke 5:32
Take every thought captive – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Facing the Impossible: Exodus 14:13-14
Be still, Don’t be afraid, God will fight the battle for you.
What do we gain by defeating Satan’s strongholds?
1) Salvation – Coming to Christ
We may desire to avoid the battle. But I think God wants us to have victory over those sinful areas of our lives. God might allow situations in our lives to ensure that we face the enemy and allow us through Christ to have complete victory over these areas of strongholds. The first victory is coming to Christ for salvation.
2) God’s lordship – Matthew 22:37-38
Many times a person wants a Savior, but not a Lord.
3) God’s sufficiency –2 Corinthians 3:5, 12:9
God is sufficient for all our needs
4) Testimony/ministry – Your experiences in overcoming strongholds will be your testimony and the foundation of your ministry to others.