What is a Stronghold?
In worldly parlance a Stronghold = fortress
For our purposes today…
A sin or a sinful attitude that is fortified or strengthened until you can’t overcome it
Sin – evil action or habit
Sinful attitude – a worldview The OED defines worldview as “… [a] particular philosophy of life; a concept(view) of the world held by an individual or a group …”
It is the lens through which you see and filter everything in life
If the worldview is Christian and Godly… your thinking, conscience, and actions will be
IF the worldview is worldly, unchristian, materialistic… your thinking, conscience and actions will be
Sadly, I believe the most common worldview in America today is ENTITLEMENT… that we are entitled to certain things, whether or not we deserve them, and the government is the source.
Another common and unfortunate worldview is POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
These worldviews cause their adherents to make spurious assessments of things and act in ways that are ungodly, unbiblical and unchristian
Ed Silvoso defines a stronghold as a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept something that we know is contrary to the will of God.
Either the sin or the worldview can be deeply entrenched and nearly impossible to demolish
A stronghold is a besetting sin, can’t get rid of it = stronghold
Strong hold = fortress
Fortified area in our life, where Satan has built a wall around a sin, it has us in its strong grip
Powerful, vigorously protected spiritual realities.
I have listed a few strongholds that are common to most Christians.
Where do strongholds come from, how are they established, what is their purpose?
Before we get saved, come to God, we are carnal and at enmity with God
We have a worldly, carnal, sinful nature
Our heart and mind are polluted by sinful strongholds that Satan has established in us
Footholds are territory that you surrender to Satan.
No matter what Geraldine told us in the 70’s, Satan cannot rob or steal any of your territory… he cannot make you do anything.
Satan has no power to take your territory… your mind or your heart
BUT… he can squat on any territory you willingly surrender, and when you do, he gets a foothold, an opening, you surrender an area of your mind or life to him.
When Satan gets enough of these footholds in your territory, your nature, your worldview, your conscience become evil.
When we get saved, we get a new nature and a new mission… go and TAKE the Promised Land… take possession of our territory and bring it under the rule and reign of God.
Satan, the former inhabitant of those footholds, that territory which you surrendered, has no intention of being forced out without a fight, so back before you became a Christian, when you were living in the flesh and putting up no resistance, he established FOOTHOLDS in your life, your mind, your territory.
Now, I believe that Satan possibly knows who will be saved. I have no scripture either way, I just think he might.
If he does not; it changes nothing.
He knows you MIGHT become a Christian. He definitely knows if you become a Christian, there is nothing he can do to snatch your soul from God’s hand. He knows YOU ARE LOST TO HIM when you get saved.
BUT… and this is huge… He knows that though he has lost your eternal soul, your flesh is still very much at his disposal.
So, while you are still lost and carnal Satan establishes FOOTHOLDS in your life… areas where you give him an inch, where you open yourself to sin without any long-range thoughts.
Once Satan has a foothold, he knows the Holy Spirit is lurking around trying to woo you to God… so he fortifies his footholds and they become strongholds.
>>>Ironic: God sees Satan as a roaring lion, stalking about, hiding, seeking to jump out and devour unwitting souls.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.
If Satan has a bible for his demons, there is probably a verse in there that says, “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the Holy Spirit, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may deliver.”
If you get saved, Satan loses your soul… but not your mind or flesh
These footholds in the mind and flesh are all Satan has left… and He knows the Holy Spirit is going to convict you to get rid of these footholds.
So… as soon a Satan gets a foothold in your life, he immediately sets about turning the FOOTHOLD into a STRONGHOLD
How does a foothold grow into a stronghold?
ILL: The cavalry move into new area inhabited by hostile Indians. They pick a place to camp… water, high ground, cover
They drag up some dead trees for cover, pitch their tents and place sentries on guard.
That is a foothold, it is a temporary place of relative safety.
But that will not do, because the Indians can over run them.
So they FORTIFY the site… cut trees and build tall, strong log walls.
NOW… the foothold has become a stronghold.
Fortification means REINFORCING… STRENGTHENING… THICKENING
Fort gets its name from FORTification or FORTified place
How does Satan fortify a foothold and make it a stronghold.
This is the most amazing part of the story.
Remember, Satan cannot take any territory, he just squats on territory you surrender.
So he gets the land for free… talk about a carpetbagger!!
Then when he wants to fortify the foothold, he is so slick, he gets you, the rightful owner of the territory, to do the work for him!!
Now, before you got saved you did not have any conflict with this… you were doing what made you happy, what you wanted to do.
You did not see Satan as a squatter, or a land thief. He was just a welcomed guest.
But when you got saved and the HS began to convict you of these strongholds, you no longer wanted this stronghold here.
You saw it as an encroachment on your territory, affecting your happiness and YOU WANTED SATAN OUT
And you went to serve him an eviction notice… and what happened… somehow not only did you not serve the notice… you actually laid a couple of bricks while you were there.
Every time you commit the sin you lay a brick… fortify the stronghold
Paul painted the picture in Romans 7… I don’t understand what I am doing, I don’t want this stronghold here but yet I just keep laying bricks. I want this thing to be gone but I am actually making it stronger.
That is why in verse 24, Paul cries out in exasperation, “O wretched man that I am!”
OK… now we see what a stronghold is and how it grew from a foothold to a stronghold.
The next, and most important question is… How are we going to get rid of the stronghold?
Well, let’s be real honest… the first step has to be…. STOP LAYING MORE BRICKS
You have to stop strengthening the stronghold.
You say, I can’t! I don’t understand why I do it, but I do. And I can’t just stop!
You have to do something that is counter to fortifying… YOU HAVE TO DEMOLISH!
Strong holds cannot be reasoned away, will not just go away, they cannot be cast out
They have to be torn down, demolished, brick by brick
The plan is found in James 4:7-10 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Be wretched and mourn and weep Confess
Article by Rick Pendleton
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