Thursday, August 16, 2018

Why Battle Against Strongholds?

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.  John 9:3
This week we have been focusing on strongholds.  Satan loves to get a stronghold on our lives.  He loves to render us ineffective for the Kingdom, but God can tear down the strongholds.  How can we be on the defensive?  We need to gear up, take every thought captive and be on guard.  

           To be free from the destructive power of Satan. 
           To know the sanctifying work of Christ in our lives.
           To know God’s victory in your life.
           To know peace with God.
           To be free to share Christ boldly.
Satan wants to trick us into feeling like we are powerless and weak.  Strongholds are not always addictions or what we think they may be.  Many strongholds are from our history of family, childhood or early experiences.  These may be messages of worthlessness, shame, ignorance, ugliness, wrong values, or other demeaning and destructive content that is stored in our brains.  They are reasonings within man that are opposed to the truth of God’s Word.  By building these strongholds over our way of thinking, Satan controls our mind and if he controls our mind, he controls us.  Christian warfare is aimed at pulling down these deceptive rationalizations within each of us that stand against the truth.  
Recognizing Strongholds
  • Check your lifestyleto see if there is a consistency to the things you see as wrong in your life.  Look for those places where God has lost control.
  • Check attitudes- see if there are those that clearly differ consistently from God’s design and desire for your life.
  • Check your relationshipswith others to identify possible sources of bitterness, lust, envy, or even hatred.
The Danger of “COMPARTMENTALIZATIONHow can a Christian who is faithful to study and worship commit certain things we would see as serious sin and seemingly not be affected?  In psychology, compartmentalizationis the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person's having conflicting values, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves.  In order not to be affected by guilt or pain we separate our lives into compartments.  A person with an abusive childhood may emotionally detach from the family to stop being hurt.  That’s not necessarily bad.  A woman who compartmentalizes her husband’s abuse, however, is merely in denial and the consequences will come. 
With compartmentalization we can do some things in secret so there’s no accountability.  The result of this is - We can do certain things in certain environments without feeling hypocritical.  But Jesus reminds us, “The truth will set you free.” 
So, each of us has good and bad within us but failing to deal with our wrong can let it grow out of control and change us into someone we don’t want to be.  The battle is on for our lives and only God can defeat that which seeks to claim us.

Scripture to Claim:
But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.   Romans 5:3-5  

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