Summary: Strongholds are built when we accept and receive error and begin to meditate on them. It forms in our minds what is known as an imagination, that is, a false concept that we believe to be true, but in reality is not.
What exactly is a stronghold?
A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that has molded itself into our way of thinking. These strongholds have the capability to affect our feelings, how we respond to various situations in life, and they play a large role in our spiritual freedom.
Where do strongholds come from?
Strongholds are built upon deception and error. These errors and deceptions which form strongholds can come from a wide variety of sources, including our environment, those around us, our parents or even demon spirits. I have seen where people have picked up a demon, then the demon quickly builds one or more strongholds in their mind that must be later torn down.
Demonic bondage and strongholds
A person who has a demon behind their stronghold(s) may find it nearly impossible to tear them down and keep down. This is because the demon will be working hard at rebuilding and holding those strongholds in place. They will be countering that person's efforts to tear them down. It will seem as if they are hitting a brick wall, and even if they seem to make progress, it seems like their efforts are in vain because it keeps coming back. If this is the case, then the person likely has a demon which is inside them rebuilding and trying to hold that stronghold in place. The demons should be driven out in Jesus' name, then the stronghold will come down much easier and not be so quick to return.
How do you tear down strongholds?
Since strongholds are built upon error and falsehood, it is through the truth that you tear down such faulty thinking patterns. Strongholds are built when we accept and receive error and begin to meditate on them. It forms in our minds what is known as an imagination, that is, a false concept that we believe to be true, but in reality is not. The Bible speaks about these imaginations clearly, and shows us how they can be torn down:
2 Corinthians 10:4, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) 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."
The renewing of our minds and strongholds
We know that strongholds and imaginations must be cast down, but how? By being transformed through the renewing of our minds:
Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
As our minds are renewed, we may prove (discern) what is good, acceptable and perfect, and the will of God. These things are some of the very things that strongholds rise themselves against! Many people who are caught up in shame based thinking do not realize that it's God's will and it is good for them to disassociate themselves from their past. Their minds need to be renewed, and as those strongholds come down they will be able to see God's will and respond.
How are our minds renewed and cleansed? Through the washing of the Word our minds are transformed and strongholds are torn down. Spending time and meditating on the Word of God washes our minds and corrects our false thinking patters (strongholds).