We all have mindsets, belief systems, and strongholds in our thinking. Many of them have been established by our early life experiences, our unique perceptions of events and through “life-conditioning” – training by parental figures, teachers, television, culture etc.
Many of our beliefs are not accurate. They are skewed in wrong directions and not built upon truth. (Truth is a person who is revealed in the scriptures. John 8:32 “Know TRUTH and you will KNOW FREEDOM”. John1:1 tells us that Jesus is “THE Word”.)
God desires that all of our mindsets that are opposed to the truth be transformed. To do so requires a desire as well as a commitment to learn the “language of heaven”. It does take a significant investment of time to remove old thought patterns and to bring our thinking in line, in agreement, with God Himself and His word.
WHAT IS A STRONGHOLD?
Stronghold defined: A stronghold is an established way of thinking, or a habit pattern of thought. Strongholds can be individually personal, familial, or corporate [societal]. The Greek word (Strong’s #2192+3794) means fortress or castle. So it is a fortress, castle or wall built with thoughts (either lies or truth).
In a positive sense, the Name of the Lord is a stronghold and the Word of God is a stronghold to those who believe. This is why we must meditate on the truth as found in scripture: Joshua 1:8; Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:2. (Meditate on relevant verses from the whole bible, from Genesis to Revelation related to whatever issue you are facing such as hope, or fear or loneliness etc. and what God’s solution is.)
As stated above, on the negative side, or unhealthy side, a stronghold can be formed by believing anything that was taught us through our parents, siblings, media, friends, society and/or repeated traumatic experience.
Examples of negative strongholds include: racial and denominational prejudice, anorexia, bulimia, poverty, sickness, homosexuality, “get rich quick schemes”, unworthiness, rejection, fear, even infirmity etc. etc. etc.
A stronghold is not a demon, but demons can empower a stronghold/fortress/castle to stay in place. Demons can, and do, often hide behind the fortress walls of a stronghold.
Read: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, learn, believe, speak these scriptures until they are well established in your mind.
The weapons we have been given are supernatural. Fleshly strength and wisdom cannot free us for wrong thinking.
“Supernatural weapons” (tools to war with) mean that the “super” is the God part. Super means beyond the natural realm and abilities: His Word + His power.
The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:14) and is supernatural. When Jesus faced the devil prior to beginning His ministry, He used the sword to speak to him. He said “It is written…..” Matthew 4:4 The Holy Spirit empowered Word of God defeated all lies and temptations thrown at Jesu and will do so in our lives as well.
The “natural” part is my part: My voice speaking + my heart believing. See how believing and speaking are connected.
Read: Romans 10: 9-10
Read: Deuteronomy 30:14
Read: Luke 6:45; 2 Corinthians 4:13 We believe therefore we speak.
We must use our voice – our words. Imagine going into a restaurant and not opening your mouth to place your order. Nothing would happen. You would not get what you want. It is the same with dealing with the enemy and with your own soul. Your voice must be used to “place your order”
Look, according to the 2 Corinthians passage noted above, we are to v.4 pull down, v.5 cast down and to bring every thought into obedience of Christ. (Our words should line up with the Word, John 1:1 Jesus is the living Word of God.)
Practice saying: “I take this thought, this lie, captive.” [Say aloud whatever the “thought” happens to be.]
Example: “I pull down this thought of ___________________”
“I bring this thought into the obedience of Christ, to the Word of God which says_______________________[this should be a relevant scripture like “God has not Given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind”. Or “I am favored by the Lord”.]
In preparation to take thoughts captive read and meditate on: Romans 1:25 then exchange lies for truth John 8:32. Also, meditate on Philippians 4:8
Purpose in your heart to make the exchange from wrong thinking to right thinking. (Think God thoughts, which equal what the Word says.)
(Read Isaiah 61– See that you can exchange – beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, garment of praise for the spirit of depression…) Practice making the exchange of lies for truth until it becomes habit.