Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Ultimate Battle

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.  2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Salvation and walking with God is a journey that is full of obstacles designed to take us out.  The devil has every intention of throwing us off if he can. God knew we would need help along the way and He provided plenty of examples for us in the Bible.  In the Old Testament our salvation and walk with God is exampled through God’s relationship with His chosen people, Israel. He chose them and then gave them a promise of a land of abundance which was called Canaan.  They were rewarded with that land and hold it even until today. For the children of Israel to claim their promised land, they had to overcome some strongholds, some sins in their own lives as well as some challenges with the people in the land God had promised them. Our lives are filled with sin patterns that must be overcome as well, and at the end of the road is our promised land; we only have to claim it.  
Our new life is God’s gift, but Satan must be run out.  Old patterns of sin and relationships that are toxic must be exchanged for a new walk with a new people. Some old bad habits quickly disappear as we turn our lives over to God’s control, but others are extremely difficult to remove because they are so deeply ingrained in our personality.  Our new heart and quickened conscience direct us to our new life, but the flesh is still alive and fighting.  No matter how far you go in the Christian life there still room for growth.  We will not be perfect until we get to heaven!  Satan wants to steal our new land!

The Christian life is not a passive life, but a life of victory marked by ongoing battles against the power of evil.  How can you have a victorious life if you never have a victory and how can you have a victory if you don’t have a battle.  All around us there are believers who have quit the race, they have left the course and the enemy has taken hold once more.  Ephesians 4:27 tells us that we can’t give the devil a place of opportunity to destroy our lives.
Just as God has His strongholds in our lives where He has defeated the enemy, Satan has strongholds as well.  God has His strongholds in our lives where He has done a work. (Salvation, Comforting, Forgiving, etc.)  These are things God has done never to be undone.  Satan’s strongholds exist wherever he has ruled in place of God and kept us from knowing God.  It’s something we have fortified or built up in our lives and now think we cannot remove it. 
The Greek word for stronghold is ochyroma, meaning a castle, fortress, or anything on which one relies. In ancient times if an army wanted to overtake a city, it had to conquer that cities fortress. If the army could conquer the stronghold, it could take the whole city.  
Here our mind is compared to an enemy's stronghold or fortress. The mind is where the battle begins. Every sin begins as a thought, and many of them have been rolling around in our minds for a while. Developing a stronghold is like planting a tree. While it is still small it is easy to bend and mold, but that tree gets to be 25-30 years old it can’t be bent, the roots are deep, and it becomes a major project to move. Some strongholds are from our history of family, childhood or early experiences.  These can be even more difficult to overcome, but with the help of God, all our strongholds can be overcome.  Scripture to Claim:  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

Devotional Archive