IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES:
TOPIC: DISMANTLING DEMONIC STRONGHOLDS
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Dismantling means: “the act of causing an organization or system to stop functioning by gradually reducing its power or purpose”
“Strongholds” don’t necessarily refer to something as extreme as “demon possession,” but can merely be a “strong” influence or grip, persistent oppression, obsessions, hindrances or harassment. I do not believe that a child of God, in whom Christ’s Spirit dwells, can simultaneously be demon possessed… but without a doubt many Christians are frequent victims of Satan’s strongholds.
The devil’s primary strategy is to disguise his activities so that it appears that someone or something else is to blame. He wants us to get our attention on his surrogates, his instruments, his hindrances and “wrestle” with them, so that our battle will be directed against the “symptoms” instead of the “real source.”
We all know that a decongestant will help relieve a stuffy nose, but it will not cure a cold. Likewise, you can fight with the symptoms of the Devil, but you will not end the problems until you deal with the source and bind the “strong man.”
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
— 2 Corinthians 10:3
“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal yet the spiritual weapons which can be wielded by the Christian minister, and indeed by every Christian man, are not to be despised, for while not fleshly, they are mighty through God. God is in them; God is with those who use them. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, the arrows of truth which pierce the consciences of men, the weapon of all prayer, the influence of the Holy Ghost— that divine power— such weapons as these are by God’s power made mighty to the overthrow of spiritual principalities and powers.
There are three things in the text worthy of our observation. The first is fortresses demolished— “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God”; then, secondly, prisoners seized— “bringing into captivity every thought”; and thirdly, prisoners led away captive— for such is the force of the Greek “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,”— as if the captured ones were taken away and put under new service to the anointed Prince.
When the gospel endeavours to penetrate the human heart it meets with earthworks of prejudice, which men have cast up to screen their minds from the force of the truth. Many things are opposed to the knowledge of God. The object sought for is that men may be brought to know God, to know who he is and what he is, to know their relation to him as fallen men, to know his plan of restoration, to know him in Christ Jesus, and so to know as to love him, to obey him, and to become like him. This is the great object for which the gospel is sent into the world, that the knowledge of the glory of God may cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. But men desire not the knowledge of God’s ways, and shut up their hearts against the entrance of divine light by many reasonings and imaginings.
What I want to do this day is serve notice to Satan and to all his angels and to any of his servants (2 Corinthians 11:15) that the children of God will not be intimidated. “We have not been given a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-control!” (2 Timothy 1:7). On the contrary we are renewing, here and now, our dedication to the command and the promise of the Lord Jesus when he said: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you!”
We have to rededicate ourselves to fight back, and not only to defend the spiritual ground we have gained, but to go on the offensive and to take new territory for Christ from the strongholds of the devil. We don’t say this with a cocky or presumptuous spirit, as though we in ourselves were stronger than Satan. We say it in the name of Jesus Christ—the one who has sent us into the world under this banner: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; go therefore. . . and I will be with you to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
Where the presence of the Lord is, the Devil isn’t!
Satan doesn’t want to hang around where people are lifting up Jesus in worship, in singing and prayer.
“…where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.”
– 2 Corinthians. 3:17
We Must Resist the Devil and He Will Flee
Take upon you daily, the full array of God’s spiritual equipment that you may maintain battle-ready status.
With the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) and the other links of armor Ephesians 6:13-17.
You will be ready to resist any satanic assault, and will be ready to engage the strongholds in others.
FOUR Central STRONGHOLDS OF THE MIND
- FEAR – The debilitating sense of anxiety that restricts.
- CONFUSION – That causes double mindless and restlessness.
- ANGER – Producing frustration, agitation and harm in your life.
- DESPAIR – Making you believe that life is not worth living.
I believe without question that this STRONGHOLD is referring directly to the mind which is located in your soul. The human being has three parts the SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY and your SOUL is made up of your mind, will, and emotions. It’s in the area of the SOUL that most inner healing is required.
The word STRONGHOLD is the Greek word ochuroma 3794 a fortified, military fortress. In ancient times is was used to denote a safe place but also referred to a person attempting to escape reality.
It’s a term similar to today when someone say’s ‘he’s lost his mind’ or ‘he’s gone out of his mind’. A STRONGHOLD in a person’s mind is when a thought which is usually easy to dismiss evolves into a reinforced combination of entangled thoughts that become stuck like an incorrect knot that is not easily loosened.
The person with a mental stronghold finds it almost impossible to shake off or dismiss from their thinking and it begins to overwhelm their mind to the point where they are controlled by it.
Everything begins to be played out through the lenses of the stronghold for example if it’s fear then everything is viewed through the prism of fear or it could be confusion, anger or despair.
The stronghold affects their speech and communication. The person struggling with the stronghold perceives everything which happens to them through the twisted and knotted thought pattern.
They become angry at everything. They despair life. They are confused on almost all matters requiring decisions and are forced into paralysis because of fear.
Strongholds of the mind if left unchecked and untangled become a magnet for demonic power as Satan seeks to trap the person in a mental seduction of being imprisoned by their own thinking.
I am no psychologist or therapist but as a Minister of the Gospel for over twenty-five years and ministering to thousands of people I can tell you that this has been my careful observation and study of what the Bible calls a stronghold.
Put simply it’s an imprisonment of thinking. In other words, you have incarcerated yourself and only you hold the key to unlock the cell that has imprisoned you.
A stronghold in the mind is a spiritual fortress made up of wrong thoughts it’s a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide and operate. A stronghold of the mind is a lie that Satan establishes in our thinking. It’s a statement that we count as true but is actually false.
Broadly speaking the mind is the brain. The mind is the psychological term whereas the brain is the physiological term. The mind is unusual as it is the battlefield where Satan and evil spirits crave to capture. They know that if they can control the mind they can control the person.
The Bible pictures the mind as being held by the enemy it must, therefore, be be broken into by waging war. The Bible says that many rebellious thoughts are housed in the mind in what it calls a stronghold and this needs to be taken captive to the obedience of Christ.
A person who is unregenerate or is not Born Again has their mind already held captive by Satan. This may surprise you but it is exactly what the Bible say’s.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-4 “If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan who is the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ who is the exact likeness of God.”
Satan holds on to man’s mind by making it blind to the truth.
According to the Bible, the mind of an unbeliever whose mind is unrenewed to God’s Word is already held captive and this is what is known as a stronghold a fortified place which Satan has established.
Through the mind evil spirits are able to transmit poisonous thoughts to corrupt a persons thinking. When you read 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 NKJV now you can see exactly how all arguments and high things are actually the fortresses of the enemy let me ready it again…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Up, thou mighty man of war, for thou art such, and come thou to the battle and then the battlements of sin will fall. “The Lord is a man of war: Jehovah is his name.” Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab and wounded the dragon? Because of truth and righteousness, ride forth in thy majesty. For peace on earth and glory to God in the highest, come forth in the glory of thy might with the everlasting gospel, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
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O YE DRY BONES, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD
THERE IS HEALING IN HIS WINGS
WHEN THE HEATHENS RAGE, THE LORD LAUGHS