Last week, I wrote about some ways to pull down spiritual strongholds in our lives. I'll complete that topic this week.
Whoever heard of going against a castle alone? King David had his mighty men; King Arthur had his knights, and even Prince Caspian had some help. The most important thing I can tell you about demolishing strongholds is, "Don't try to do it by yourself!" The best place to find fellow soldiers or accountability, ready to stand by you and help you demolish strongholds, is in a local church where the Word of God is preached without compromise.
For individuals who struggle with the stronghold of pornography, there's help through programs such as Celebrate Recovery, where you find others who will be an accountability partner with you.
Once we've identified a stronghold, we're ready to attack. But what weapons do we use? Paul writes that a Christian's weapons are not of this world, but mighty in God for the demolishing of strongholds.
Some of our weapons are protective, or defensive. Of the six parts of the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6, five are protective. First, we put on the belt of truth. A soldier's belt is the part that holds a variety of other important weapons and gear. We must also put on the breastplate of righteousness - in today's termsm that would be like a Kevlar bullet-proof vest. It is our righteousness in Jesus that protects and covers our heart. Next we put on the battle boots of the readiness to carry the gospel of peace to every person in every place.
Then we must take up the shield of faith to deflect all the fiery attacks of the enemy. Finally, we put on the helmet of salvation - that's to protect our mind from the enemy's attack
Our first offensive weapons is our sword, the Spirit-inspired Word of God. The second is Spirit-empowered prayer. The Bible says, "And pray in the Spirit." In other words, prayer is the attack itself. The way to demolish Satan's strongholds is by using the combined explosive power of the Word and prayer.
The mission is to liberate thought patterns that have become taken prisoner by the enemy and bring them back into obedience to Christ
If there is a stronghold the way we know it has been demolished is when we start looking differently at our sin. We must agree with God that this sin is wrong, instead of trying to justify it.
For instance, if there is a struggle with the stronghold of pornography, it must be understood that Satan tries to make one think it's harmless and everyone is involved with it. He tries to capture the mind like a prisoner of war. With God's weapons we can storm that mental fortress and tear it down, recapture those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
We primarily pray for the strongholds of faulty thinking in our own minds to be demolished, but we must also pray that strongholds in nations, in churches, and in other people's thinking be demolished.
We need to pray long and hard that the people of our cities, our nation would repent and turn to God.
Remember, the word "repent" basically means to "change your mind."
We should pray that the stronghold of abortion would be demolished. We must beg God to tear down the stronghold of pornography; pray that the stronghold of sexual perversion would be removed; Pray that the stronghold of materialism, the stronghold of racism, the stronghold of greed, and the stronghold of pride would be abolished.
God never intended the church to be a "sanctuary" where Christians could hide from the temptations of the world. Jesus has called us to be Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. The war is against against spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, not against other people. Therefore, the Bible says, "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) Jesus also said, "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it!" (Matthew 16:18)
The Rev. Tim Bruner is pastor of New Beginnings Chapel. Call him at 509-527-3385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a column, call Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312 or email email@example.com.