Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday's with Jesus #112

#112 "Mission: Demolition"
September 11, 2007
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 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." (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5)
As I write this today, war is still on in the Middle East. True to biblical prophecy, our world is full of wars and rumors of wars. But are you aware that there is a war on in your life today?  Well, just in case your head is in the sand, let me assure you that there is a war. The enemy is Satan. The battlefield is your mind. Your enemy has conquered some territory in his quest for victory and has erected some strongholds right on your property.
If we are to demolish strongholds, let's first of all define what they are. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a stronghold is a fortified place, a place of security or survival. Satan is comfy cozy in that hard, unbending place that you may have allowed him to erect on the battlefield of your mind. He's sipping his lemonade, all secure and happy, because he has dominion in a stronghold, not God. In Old Testament times, a stronghold was a fortified dwelling used as a means of protection from an enemy. They were physical structures that were very difficult to assault. They were usually in caves high on a mountain side. It took violent counter attacks to bring them down. This battle is not for wimps. It's not just a skirmish or a disagreement. This is out and out war. The only way to win is violent demolition of the strongholds of the enemy. Mission: Demolition.
Demolition of strongholds is not for the faint of heart. Demolition is destruction. It is putting an end to, exploding, laying waste to, utterly ruining and completely devouring the enemy's hold on your mind. Looking over a few different versions of the Bible gave me insight into just what we want to destroy. What are the strongholds that need to be demolished? In our text from the NIV, we are given the definition of exactly what a stronghold is. Verse 5 says, that they are "arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." The KJV calls them "imaginations and high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God". I love this next one. The Message calls our strongholds "loose thoughts and emotions and impulses." You know that saying, "It's all in your mind." Well, sadly.....the strongholds of the devil are in your mind. Plain and simple.
Strongholds can be addictions. They can be habits or compulsive behaviors. Things that are so entrenched in your mind,  and with roots that grow so deep. The enemy hold could be in an area of sin. Maybe it's bitterness or anger. Maybe it's long standing prejudice. Do you feel unworthy of anything good ever coming your way?. You're too far gone to change? You don't deserve mercy or grace or forgiveness? That's a stronghold. Are you confident in your low self-esteem? Do you feel that the only way to be accepted is by people pleasing? Stronghold again, my dear friend! Has a past history of abuse of some kind set up it's place in your mind, causing you to live with a victim mentality? These are just a few examples and you will need to put your hard hat on and ask God to help you discover just what it is in your mind that has become a stronghold. That particular something that you need to demolish.
Since the war is in your mind, it would seem logical that the battle strategy would be to take your thoughts back. We know that our thinking determines our behavior. What we believe governs how we act. Proverbs 23: 7 tells us that "as a man thinks within himself, so he is." Where the mind goes....the man follows. The Bible tells us that we must "cast these thoughts down" (KJV). "We must fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ" (The Message). The NIV says to "take captive every THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ." And we can't do it the way the world does it. Remember? "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds." Notice...mighty IN GOD. The Amplified Bible says not to use "mere human weapons." Our best efforts won't do it. But the weapons that we have in Christ have "divine power". 
The weapons of our warfare are the Word of God, the blood of Christ and the Name of Christ. We need not put any confidence in human methods. That's a stronghold again. Our confidence must be in the Word, the Blood and the Name. Our own minds can't be used to defend ourselves against the outside opposition of the enemy. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We must be made new in the attitude of our minds (Ephesians 4: 23). And the only way to do this is by implementing what I call the "Replacement Theory". Replace your own thoughts with God's thoughts.  When was the last time that you made a determined effort to study and memorize the Word of God? To find out what He has to say about you? To find out who you are in His eyes? To examine what Christ has to say about your own personal situations and problems and how to handle them...His way? God's Word is alive. It accomplishes what it is sent to do....always and every time! But for the Word to work, you have to work. Work at reading it, studying it, memorizing it. Speak it aloud out of your mouth when the enemy tells you another lie about yourself or about your problem.
Revelation 12: 11 says that Satan is overcome by "the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony." That's two direct hits to the enemy camp. I can just hear the accuser of the brethren and his minions screaming now. The final blow is the Name of Christ. The Name saves (Acts 2:21; 4:12). The Name heals (Acts 4:10). The Name of Jesus Christ subjects everything....every demon, every devil, every problem, every circumstance. Every illness, every broken place, every bondage, every addiction. The Name brings all things in subjection to Him (Philippians 2: 9-10). Pray in the glorious and matchless name of Jesus Christ.
The battle rages on. Your mind is the battlefield and your enemy is Satan. Messing with your thoughts is his favorite battle strategy. Understand who your enemy is. Know that he is out to steal, kill and destroy you. Do not let him outwit you in the battle. He'll only outwit you if you are unaware of his schemes (see 2 Cor 2: 11). I've heard it said that knowledge is power. You know the truth, deep down. And Jesus said that the Truth will set you free. You have your weapons...the Word, the Blood and the Name. Psalm 27: 1 says, "The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" Don't be afraid. Head out and demolish those enemy strongholds. I can hear the victory chants off in the distance. Mission: Demolition : Successful! Hail to our Commanding Officer!
Donna Schultz
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