I spent this weekend at a local mountain retreat, listening to a psychologist/pastor talk about defeating strongholds in our lives. I wish our time together had been longer. I barely knew any of the participants or the speaker, and it takes time to break down barriers to communication and intimacy.
The scenery was beautiful too, but it wasn’t until the drive home that I noticed just how beautiful. My character needs time to loosen up and let down my own barriers. I need to spend time seeing, feeling, thinking, praying, and just being there to absorb all that God has for me in each situation. I don’t do well with superficial encounters. I don’t much like them.
But this “strongholds” thing has deeper meaning for me. I struggled for years to get free of strongholds and bondage passed on from my own family’s sin. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve understood what the Lord has been demonstrating to me my whole life — that His grace is sufficient for me. I am totally free of these strongholds as long as I stay connected to Him and let Him deliver and protect me! On my own, I fail consistently, but His grace faithfully delivered me and preserves my freedom! That’s been a powerful life lesson for me.
The Lord also gave me an assignment about 2 1/2 years ago–to pray a scripture from His Word over everyone in my world. It’s 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
He said “live in this world, but don’t act like its people or fight battles with the weapons of this world. Instead, use God’s power that can destroy fortresses.” (2 Corinthians 10:3)
The tools of your trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing the entire massively corrupt culture. Use your powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Your tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6–Message Bible)
That’s an awesome promise! So I’ve been faithfully interceding, “clearing the ground” every night, for my family, my friends, my church communities, my country, and my world. It’s an endless assignment, I think. Strongholds are everywhere, bondage is rampant, anti-God, anti-righteousness belief systems, arguments, and thoughts spring up in all of us, at one time or another. Seems like all God’s chillens got strongholds…
Trouble is, most of us don’t exercise the authority we have as believers and disciples to tear them down. We whine about them, lament their existence, snivel over the hopelessness of change, but we don’t do what He’s commissioned us to do–use the authority of His name and the power of the Word of God to remove them!
And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them. (Matthew 18:18-20)
So why don’t we use the Word of God to “prohibit” or bind all those strongholds? I’m not sure why, exactly, but we’ve abandoned our God-assigned stewardship responsibilities. It’s time we stopped cursing the darkness and started acting like disciples again! We’ve been given clear instructions, a job to do, and the authority to do it!
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible … for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” (Genesis 1:28)