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Strongholds: The Scheme of the Enemy

 “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” Apostle Paul (Romans 1:25)

One of my least favorite memories from high school was running hurdles for track. It was difficult to lift my legs high enough to clear the hurdles so I could get to the finish line. Frequently the hurdle would fall over, or worse yet, I’d fall over! Life is like a track meet. We start at point A and desire to get to point B. But sometimes there are obstacles that get in our way, preventing us from reaching our destination.

Continuous lies in our thought life, planted by our enemy Satan, eventually become strongholds in our life. Strongholds can hold us back from becoming who God created us to be. They are barriers, or erected walls that prevent us from hearing God. Strongholds are like hurdles, causing us to either fall or fail in our attempt to be obedient to God’s call. They stand in the way so we don’t fulfill God’s will for our life.

A stronghold is a fortress, a fortified place. Each lie we believe is like a brick and one lie added upon another lie and another lie can eventually build a wall or a stronghold in our thinking which results in disobedience. Adolf Hitler said this. “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” We act out of our beliefs.

One reason it’s taken me so long to fulfill God’s call to write is because of my faulty belief systems, or strongholds that have blocked the pathway to get to where God wants me to be. Some of the lies I’ve believed are: “I’m not creative. I don’t have a voice. No one wants to hear what I have to say. I didn’t do well in English.” And the list goes on and on.

The purpose of lies is to deceive and the purpose of deception is to hold us captive. The father of lies wants us to live in bondage so we disobey God. His plan all along, since the garden of Eden is to cause us to not trust God and to rebel against Him.

II Corinthians 10:4-5 describes the antidote for the deadly virus of lies, or patterns of thoughts, which turn into strongholds. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Just as light dispels darkness, truth dispels lies. Strongholds are taken apart, one lie at a time, by telling yourself the truth with the Word of God. Romans 12:2 instructs us to “not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Scripture meditation and memorization are ways to renew our minds. The lies we believe need to be replaced with God’s truth. Our primary weapon to tear down strongholds is the Word of God.

The more I repeated aloud God’s Scripture and His truth about me, the more I believed His call on my life. If I’m struggling in a particular area and desire victory in it, I’ll copy Scripture verses that pertain to that on 3×5 cards and place them throughout my house as helpful reminders. It’s even more effective to memorize the verses, so that when I need to remember it, the Holy Spirit can bring it back up.

Lies hold us captive; truth sets us free. Lies promote disobedience; truth promotes obedience. Are you going to allow the strongholds in your life to keep you from reaching your God given destiny, or will you allow the Word of God to help you hurdle over the obstacles in your mind and heart? The choice is yours. Race you to the finish line!

“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Jesus Christ (John 8:32)

Relevant Reflections: 1. What strongholds are preventing you from fulfilling God’s call on your life? 2. Identify the lies you believe which have erected those strongholds. 3. Replace the lies with God’s truth. Memorize Scripture.


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