Summary: The destruction of Satanic strongholds is a spiritual battle that can be won.

Something’s Got a Hold of My Life

II Corinthians 10: 3- 5. First Baptist Church September 26th , 2001 P.M.

In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed in America. The word spread from Capitol Hill down into the valleys of Virginia, and the Carolinas, and evens into the plantations of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. The headlines read, ’Slavery Legally Abolished!’ However, the greater majority of slaves, in the South, went right on living as though there had been no emancipation. They went on living like they had never been set free. In fact, when one Alabama slave was asked what he thought of the Great Emancipator, whose proclamation had gone into effect, he replied "I don’t know nothing about Abraham Lincoln except they say he set us free. And, I don’t know nothing about that neither." How tragic. A war was being fought. A document had been signed. Slaves were legally set free.

Yet most continued to live out their years without knowing anything about it. They had chosen to remain slaves, though they were legally free. Even though emancipated, they kept serving the same master throughout their lives. Yet, so it is with many believers today. They have been set free, yet they have chosen to remain slaves to the same strongholds that have gripped them all of their life.

Edward Sanford Martin, in ’My Name is Legion,’ said it best:

"Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd; There’s one of us that’s humble, and one of us that’s proud.

There’s one that’s broken-hearted for his sins, There’s one that unrepentant sits and grins.

There’s one that loves his neighbor as himself, And one that cares for naught but fame and self.

From much corroding care I should be free, If I could once determine which is me!"

The fact of the matter is that every one of us, whether big or small must combat the hold that habits can have upon our life. In the text before us, the Apostle Paul speaks of these habits in the life of the believer. However, the word ’habit’ is not found in the verses of this passage. Rather, he uses quite a graphic word to describe that which harms us, hurts us, and hinders us, harbors us, and holds us. He does that by referring to these matters as "strongholds."

There is a warfare raging in our souls and in our minds. Satan is out to destroy you and your witness for Jesus Christ. He is out to capture, corrupt and control your mind. He tells us that sexual impurity is ok, just this once. Then we see the devastation in lives and children when marriages break up. He tells us what matters the most is what we do today, don’t worry about tomorrow. So we get deep in debt and it hinders our ability to sacrifice for the Lord.

Too many times Satan is laughing at us all the way to the spiritual bank. It is time we stop letting win the battles for our minds and our lives and our families. It is time to identify his wiles, and his schemes and defeat them with God’s weapons. Definition of Strongholds: “Patterns in your life that are deeply entrenched and habitually perform them that you don’t even recognize how they are hurting our spiritual lives. You don’t even recognize that you have the power to do anything differently How long have you been struggling with your sinful habits? If it is more than 6 weeks, it is a stronghold.

Are there situations in your experience as an individual where evil is entrenched in your life. Long-standing evil, protected, and resisting all attempts to overthrow it, persisting in holding you in bondage, darkness and despair? We know there is. What can be done about it?

I.) The Definition of Strongholds.

Notice verse 4. We’re reminded that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." When Paul penned these words, 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 any thing that poses a threat to our spiritual progress. It is any person, place, predicament, or problem that hinders us, harbors us, hinders us, or holds us in its clutches, and impedes us from our full potential in Christ.

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Talk about it...

William Austin

commented on Feb 7, 2009

This message is righ on target...

Larry Brown

commented on Aug 17, 2010

Wow...what a great sermon. Have not heard one from you in a long time.

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