21 Days in the Word - Tool 3 - Demolishing Strongholds
“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 pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
One of the greatest gifts that comes with studying and memorizing Scripture is the renewing of our minds. Next to having a reborn spirit, receiving a renewed mind is the greatest thing that can happen in a person. Having a renewed mind involves replacing false beliefs that the Bible describes as fortresses in our minds. With new beliefs that come from the truth that God’s Word reveals about us. What people don’t realize is that if the false beliefs aren’t confronted the new beliefs can’t really take deep roots within us.
A stronghold not only is a false belief but a means by which demonic powers hold us back. When we demolish the strongholds the demonic activity of the enemy is defeated. Depending on how long this stronghold has been there it might be broken immediately or take a dedicated assault of the word over time.
We demolish these strongholds by taking thoughts captive. That means we recognize mindsets, beliefs, and thought patterns that we’ve had that are rooted in lies. We reject those thoughts and replace them the truth of Scripture. We declare, imagine, meditate, and celebrate the truth in this area until the old thought is brought down and the new thoughts are established.
We must first recognize false beliefs. A great way to do that is to consider as you study God’s word how a truth that you read stands out to you as a different way of thinking. Perhaps you read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Suddenly, you recognize that that is different than you usually think when you think about your ability.
The second thing you do then is ask yourself what is the lie, or false belief that you’ve held in that area. Steve Backlund, who along with his wife Wendy, developed the negativity fast, recommends that you think in terms of a question that God asked Adam in the garden. “Who told you, you were naked?” When you begin to think or speak a negative declaration, you ask why do you believe that? Did God say that? If you recognize that it is a false belief you challenge it. Steve likes to recommend that you “just laugh at that lie.”
For example here are some beliefs that I’ve had to expose and I’m learning to laugh at:
-“As a person gets older it becomes too hard for him to change and learn new things.”
-“I just don’t have the kind of personality that is joyful.”
-“I’ve always been disorganized, so that is the way I probably will always be.”
-“I just can’t remember names.”
Do you see how these thoughts contradict God’s Word that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?” It is easy to see, that God didn’t tell me those things.
Where did I get those thoughts? Some come from my experiences in the past. One of the ways the enemy creates strongholds is to get us to let something that happened or was true in our past, be the basis for what we believe is going to be true about our future. The enemy loves to use the proof of the past to bring doubt and unbelief to what we think of our future. But we don’t have to let that pattern continue. We can just laugh at that. We can reject and shrug those old verdicts off as cancelled and false. Paul said, “forgetting those things which are past we press on for what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)
In some way or other, we need to decisively bring down that stronghold and tell ourselves and the enemy that we don’t believe that anymore. We can do that by laughing at the lie and/or by declaring Scripture. I find it effective to turn the new belief I have from Scripture into a declaration of praise. I like to also repeat with my name in it God’s promise over and over. For example, “I praise God that I, Dale Walker, can and will learn new things and be able to grow and change towards my full potential because God says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I like to write my declarations in my Bible Study journal. I also like to prophecy to myself. Prophecy is declaring your future in advance based on the promises of God.
For example, I just declare that I will continue to learn and develop new skills in every area of my life until the day I go home to be with Jesus. I know because I have the mind of Christ and my mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit that it is quick, sharp, and bright. I praise God that I’m going to remember hundreds of names and get better at learning. Hallelujah!