Summary: Paul's exhortation deals with those of us who are saved. He is speaking to the body of Christ. Therefore, when he spoke in regards to the matter of ‘STRONGHOLDS,’ he was speaking of an area that encompasses every one of us as God’s people.
TITLE: PULLING DOWN OF STRONG HOLDS
SCRIPTURE: II CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
I want to bring us another message this morning along the lines of last week’s sermon entitled “Saints with Sinners Problems” which I believe blessed many of us. This is the second message in a series that I will conduct on how to help strengthen our Christian Walk. Want to title this 3-Part Series “I’m Ok, You’re Ok.” All too often we believe because we have some issues in our lives that perhaps we really are not saved. I pray this series of messages will help us understand that we are yet “A Work in Progress – which will be the next message of this series. I want to challenge us not to attempt to gage our spirituality by viewing and watching the people sitting around us. Our only gage should be the Word of God. We are OK with God and God is OK with us.
I am sure you will agree with me that Christians can be very hard on other Christians who make bad and sometimes foolish choices. One of the ways we are hard on them is to immediately jump to the conclusion that they really don’t belong to Christ after all. We reason that people who experience some Strongholds are not really Christians at all. Those who haven’t experienced certain issues often condemn those who are caught up in the wiles of the adversary.
I don’t need to remind any of us that we walk (live) in the human flesh, and, like every other person, we have to deal with things on our Jobs – businesses – Families . I know I have been dealing with issues, seems like every time I turn around this year, that another family member is upset with me about something I said, Responded, or have, or have not done and they shut down -- stop speaking with me. On top of that, we have to deal with people we meet every day. In all of this, we have to know one thing -- we do not war according to the flesh or with natural weapons.
• Trying to wage war in the flesh will not produce good results
• You might win a battle by smacking someone in the mouth
• But you will lose the war by giving in to the negative spirits of anger, violence, and “getting even"
• Areas we should not embrace, that’s why God said look, you need to calm down -- “Vengeance is mine, I shall repay saith the Lord”
When Paul penned these fascinating words found in our text, his audience was a group of professing believers. He was writing to a congregation, and a fellowship of church people. His exhortation deals with those of us who are saved. He is speaking to the body of Christ. Therefore, when he spoke in regards to the matter of ‘STRONGHOLDS,’ he was speaking of an area that encompasses every one of us as God’s people.
• The word ’stronghold’ means "to harden, or to make hard"
• It describes an entrenchment, or fortress
• Thus, in the spiritual life, Paul is speaking of a hard place
• He is speaking of an unbending place
• He is speaking of an entrenchment, or a fortress fought over
• He is speaking of an area contended for
• He is speaking of an entrenchment behind the lines
Therefore, a stronghold is any place in our life that seems to be an area of contention.
• It is anything that poses a threat to our spiritual progress, or spiritual maturity
• It is any Person, Place, Predicament, or Problem that Hinders – Harbors - Holds us in its clutches, and impedes us from our full potential in Christ
When we don’t give attention to these strongholds, we give room to be used by the wicked one who is the source of violence and negative behavior. Just as our power for good comes from a source outside of ourselves, likewise, the source of evil is outside and comes from the realm of darkness.
• The outside source of all that is good is God
• Our power to make good decisions comes from God as He pours out His spirit into us
• Remember what we read: The “WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT CARNAL...”
• If they are not Carnal – must be Spiritual
Even when the Truth illuminates our Strongholds -- what’s inside of us, it's sometimes hard to accept. It’s a painful process to face our deceptions and deal with them. It's so easy to allow our past and how we were raised to negatively affect us for the rest of our lives.
• Our past may explain why we're suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage