The apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:4: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
The strongholds Paul is referring to here are intellectual arguments and reasonings by human effort AGAINST the word of God. These are false barriers thrown up against the truth. Today, we call them lies. But these are much more than lies. These are fortified lies. When a lie is fortified, it becomes a mindset.
Once this mindset is engrained, it becomes a stronghold.
A stronghold in the mind is a spiritual fortress made up of wrong thoughts. It then becomes a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide and operate. Strongholds of the mind left unchecked, become a magnet for demonic forces to work in your life. In essence, you become trapped by your own thinking.
Think of it this way. Lies are how demons get in; strongholds are how they stay in.
These lies can be fears, emotional struggles, despair, exaggerations, confusion, and half-truths, just to name a few.
They sneak in during your most vulnerable times and all they need you to do, like Eve, is to take a bite—listen to the accusation, give in to the temptation, come under the intimidation, dance with the depression….
Once that lie is in, the enemy begins his fortification process.
These strongholds can be developed from past pain, toxic relationships, temptation, religious spirits, accusations, mental struggles, and addiction, just to name a few.
Paul goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
How do we take a thought captive that we don’t know is a lie?
If you want to be free to live the life for which Christ died for you to have, you must stop trying to change the behavior with your own strength and address the stronghold.
If you are struggling with pleasing people to gain their approval, no 5-step formula is going to break that until you address the lie that you’re not good enough.
If you’re battling with temptation that you can’t stop no matter how hard you try, no meeting or prayer is going to help you until you break the lie that believes this will satisfy you.
Behavioral changes are good but unless you demolish the lies behind them, they won’t stick.
So, how do you break mental strongholds?
Get in the Word.
God’s Word is life and light. Proverbs 4:22 says:
“For they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.”
There was a time when the congregations knew scripture just as well (if not better) than their pastor. Today, we think diving into a 10-minute devotional or liking a passage on Instagram constitutes time in the Word. Yes, friend, that’s a great start and it’s certainly better than nothing, but it will not sustain you and it certainly won’t cause you to grow. Imagine if all you ate every day was a handful of nuts and an occasional glass of juice–would you be healthy?
God’s word removes the lies that are bouncing around in your mind. The more you obsess in your thoughts, the more you need to be in the Word. So many Christians long to hear a word from God. That word is in the Word.