Thursday, December 13, 2007
How are Strongholds in Our Lives Torn Down?
"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 Cor 10:3-5
We choose to loose our minds from strongholds that lodge in our imaginations, pretensions, arguments and intellect, renouncing the belief that we are helpless to come into agreement with God's will and way again. We can bind our minds in joyful obedience to the truth that makes us free from captivity. The passion of Christ is to set the captives free and release us from our bondages!
Satan knows what hurt and trauma will activate our strongholds, trigger us to fortify them and to erect new strongholds to protect our deceptions. Of course, demons are drawn to strongholds, like vultures circle death. We need to get rid of the death.
Matt. 16:19 " I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." It is very interesting to actually look at the Biblical definition of binding and loosing. It is often the opposite of the way western Christians use the words.
The Biblical definition of bind is to tie, gird, join together for the effectual working of every part, knit together. I bind my soul to the will and heart of Jesus Christ.
The Biblical definition of loose is to smash, crush, destroy or lacerate.
According to the Biblical use of these words, we loose our souls from indulging in self-deception and pretending that we are free already. We repent of pretending that the problem is in someone else or ALL THE DEVIL, so that it is not in us! We bind ourselves to the truth and heart of God, recognizing the areas where we are not lined up with God's truth and or choosing God's will and way for us.
Key: Flesh cannot be cast out, but must be brought to Jesus and taken to the cross to be crucified. We choose to repent and to bring every fleshly pattern to Jesus so that He can crucify it on the cross. We choose to follow the strategy for combat that Jesus gave us in Matthew 4. We commit to you, God, to pray: "It is written ..., It is written ..., It is written ..., " in corporate agreement, for our freedom from strongholds!
We receive your truth about our identity in Christ from your Holy Word and your purposes and plans for our life in you. We choose to allow you to live through us with Godly responses to hurt, trauma and offense. Purify our hearts and minds, Lord, from every sinful pattern of sinful thinking and sinful behavior.
Jesus demonstrated the use of spiritual weapons by praying scripture. We choose to swing the sword of the Spirit, the truth of God's Word, in faith, receiving the riches of the gospel of peace and His gifts of righteousness, with my salvation. I pray under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and declare and decree God's Word!
Jesus said, "But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21 "When a strongman, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the strongman trusted and divides up the spoils." Luke 11:20-22
What is the armor of a strongman that Jesus will take away? His armor is made up sinful reactions that we choose to indulge in. For instance, Christians don't start out to build a stronghold of bitterness. We put on his armor piece by piece.
unforgiveness - "until they realize how badly they hurt us and ask for forgiveness"
resentment - we savor and rehearse our resentment of that hurt or trauma
judgment - we judge them with condemning and judgmental attitudes
anger with sin - our anger involves sinful thinking and sinful behavior
wrath and hatred - we lash out in anger that is out of control
self-hatred - we hate ourselves for our reactions and behavior yet tolerate it
violence - threatening behavior: throwing, slamming, hitting, punching, fighting etc.
elimination - hoping they disappear, resign, are fired, divorce, die, commit suicide
passive aggression - aggressive behavior that is planned to look innocent
murder - thinking about taking or actually taking their life
Now a stronghold of bitterness has been built. We have bitter root judgments and bitter expectations that have not only sprung up but are well lodged and protected in our mind. Lord, show me how the strongman has taken my house and my goods; show me the pieces of armor that I have allowed to make up the bitterness stronghold.
Eph 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Heb 12:15 ... looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Our strength is in our power to choose. We can choose to pray "It is written .... " like Jesus did in Matt. 4. We can pray scripture in corporate agreement with others in the Tearing Down Strongholds class. We can choose to allow Jesus to demonstrate Godly responses through us in the future. We can resign from being their judge and surrender them to God, since He is the judge of all the earth. Our greatest weapons are our own repentance, God's Word and prayer.
It is important to learn to forgive 5 ways in order to dismantle the stronghold of bitterness. We need to 1. forgive them, 2. forgive ourselves, 3. release God from all blame, 4. ask forgiveness for our sin and 5. ask God to forgive us for acting as judge and jury over our brothers. Now we can bring our fleshly stronghold to Jesus to bring it to death on the cross for us. He will then be free to restore all the blessings and rewards that we missed while we were protecting our stronghold.
Rom 12:18-19 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Lord, we choose to trust you to avenge every wrong. We choose to love our enemies, take our house back and to enjoy our goods in peace, submitted to the stronger Man.
In our strongholds class, we take our 74 page scripture manual and pray scriptures in corporate agreement, tearing down our mental strongholds with God's Word. Jesus demonstrated that it is not enough to know God's Word; we have to declare the Word or "swing the Sword of the Spirit" to defeat the strongman.
Guarantee: I will teach on each stronghold so clearly that you will be able to see how each one operates in yourself. We will expose bitterness, jealousy, unloving spirits, rejection, fear, accusation, charismatic witchcraft, religious spirits and Leviathan or King of Pride.