Breaking Strongholds - Daily Devotional
What’s a stronghold? A negative spiritual stronghold is a habitual pattern of thought, built into one’s life that is often influenced by demonic activity. It’s a mindset where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld. Strongholds like these are hindrances in the lives of believers because they restrict them from living out the full will of God for their lives.
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Episode Notes & Bible Verses
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
When Paul mentions strongholds here he isn’t talking about a physical fortress but a destructive pattern of thought that is holding people hostage in their minds. Strongholds can only be demolished by the knowledge of God’s word. Taking every thought captive to the word of God means to measure that thought against what the Word of God says. If it doesn’t measure up then don’t think of it any longer.
At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. – Daniel 10:2-3 NIV
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. – Daniel 10:12-13 NIV
Here we are given insight into the warfare that takes place in the spiritual realm. A figure called the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed the angle sent to help Daniel for the entire time that Daniel was fasting. Then Michael the archangel was dispatched to break the hold that was restricting the answer to Daniels prayers. We can pray and ask God to release his angles to fight on our behalf to break strongholds that are keeping us from seeing the answers to our prayers and to allow us to be free from any strongholds.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36
The living word Jesus, provides us with legal freedom from sin through his atoning death on the cross. Thus we no longer stand condemned before God. But we must continue in his written word in order to enjoy freedom from the sin to which we can be enslaved in our daily lives. So breaking strongholds requires us to be obedient and follow Gods written word.
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:9-11
One way to resist the devil is to be firm in faith. Remember you can conquer the devil and break strongholds with your faith in and obedience to Jesus.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:13
These verses in Ephesians are connected to spiritual warfare. Standing doesn’t seem like the right action to take when in a war but when we are fighting against a spiritual enemy, standing obediently to what the Word of God says is one way that you can break strongholds in your mind. So read the word of God, plant it in your heart and obey.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Strongholds are not only addictions to alcohol or drugs. They can take the form of anxieties or worries as well. These type of strongholds keep you from fully living by faith and stepping out of your comfort zone. So if you are constantly worried or always anxious, then that is a stronghold that is keeping you bound. Cast your worries and anxiety on God for him to help you deal with them for good.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
Complete submission to God is a prerequisite to breaking any strongholds in your life. It’s only then that you will weaken the strongholds that may exist in your mind that are keeping you bound. As you submit to God then the devil will flee from you.
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. – Luke 10:19
Jesus said this after he commissioned 72 messengers to go out and preach to prepare for Jesus coming. The 72 returned saying that even demons were subject to them in Jesus name. We need to remember that the demons that are influencing a persons behaviour or reinforcing that stronghold is subject to Jesus and we have a responsibility to pray for others who are bound to make way for Jesus to enter the lives of those people and make them free.
Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. – Matthew 12:29
In order to bind the strong man as mentioned in this verse you have to starve it. If you are addicted to something that is causing a stronghold on your life, feed your mind the word of God that is the opposite of the strong hold. Then the addiction will be weakened and through powerful prayer eventually it will be bound and removed from your life for good. This is how you plunder a stronghold and evict it from your mind and life.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. – Matthew 16:19
To bind and to loose means to restrain or set free. The church is to use Heaven’s keys to operate according to that perspective and then to call on heavens authority to bind and to loose. Binding and loosing doesn’t imply you can make God do whatever you want first it must be done in accordance with gods well. You can only bind and lose what has already been bound and loosed in heaven. And breaking demonic strongholds in the mind is Gods will.