"The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?"Ps 27:1 NIV
All of us who follow Christ have great peace of mind knowing that God is the stronghold of our lives. However, there are strongholds of the flesh that can intrude into our lives and disturb our peace. By definition a stronghold is something that has a strong hold over us. It is a mindset contradictory to the will and character of God. Strongholds can squelch the life of the Spirit in us and hinder our prayers.
The battlefield for strongholds is the mind. It is easy for us to become obsessed about something and to think about it more than we think about God. A stronghold can be an irrational fear, a dominating habit or sin, an obsession, an unforgiving spirit, etc. If not dealt with they can use up emotional energy and become all-consuming.
Strongholds can start by allowing the enemy to get a toehold in our life through some sin. If we don't nip this in the bud the toehold will become a foothold and if that is still not dealt with it will become a stronghold. We are insufficient on our own to free ourselves from the grip of strongholds and they don't go away by ignoring them. We need to renounce them and use the spiritual weapons God has given us to break their hold over us.
Some strongholds can have such a grip on us that we may need the prayers and counsel of mature believers to help us overcome them. We also need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (see Romans 12:1) Praying scripture and meditating on God's Word on a regular basis helps to transform our thoughts. These should become lifelong habits because being transformed into the likeness of Christ is a lifelong process.
There are also powerful strongholds in the spiritual realm that the Church needs to confront in order to advance the great commission. These strongholds fuel false religions and godless philosophies that try to exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. The enemy uses these to keep billions of people in spiritual darkness. Dealing with such strongholds is a topic for another day.
Global Prayer Coordinator