Spiritual strongholds: What does the Bible say about it?

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Strongholds are: “reasons and ways of thinking, heights, systems that are elevated and that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of God to be saved and live the fullness of God. They are present among Christians as well as among pagans. These strongholds can be spiritual, emotional, etc. The Bible has only one answer regarding strongholds. They must be reversed.

Why overthrow the strongholds?

Ephesians 3:19: And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Anything that stands in the way of our knowing God, and being filled with the fullness of God, to live as He would have us live, is a spiritual stronghold.

The reason we need to break down strongholds is that they are limitations to our full growth in God. One of the greatest strongholds we have to break down is the belief that we are not worthy of God’s love, or that God is not that good if bad things happen to us, or yet we can live our lives without Him.

Imagine your life deprived of the most beautiful, true, and powerful love there is because of these kinds of fortresses. We have to knock them down because they are toxic to our lives. A person who lives far from God lives without the main purpose for which he was created, which is to live for His pleasure, to adore Him, to love Him, and to glorify Him.

From this flows all the other things we do on earth. Spiritual strongholds thus come to corrupt our conception of God and prevent us from living according to His truth. They keep us in standard life, nothing more from God. We can live with these strongholds, but without toppling them, we will not be able to fully achieve God’s purpose for our lives.

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Prayers for strength and courage in difficult times

How do you overcome demonic strongholds?

The idea of ​​demonic strongholds is found only once in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 10:4 declares, “The weapons with which we fight are not of the world, but have divine power to tear down strongholds.” How can such demonic strongholds be overcome?

Paul begins by instructing believers to use the correct weapons. 2 Corinthians 10: 3 says: “[…] although we live in the world, we do not fight battles as the world does.” We do not use human weapons; Believers depend on the power of God to overcome the powers of evil. How? Through prayer for God’s help and dependence on the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer.

Verses 5-6 offer details on how to overcome these spiritual strongholds: “We destroy arguments and every proud thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to submit to Christ. And we are ready to punish any act of disobedience once I can count on your complete obedience.” Our dependence on God includes dealing with false lies or ideas of evil, taking “every thought to submit to Christ,” and being willing to confront evil when it occurs.

Dealing with false ideas or “destroying arguments” involves identifying the lies that Satan, demonic forces, or the world around us may present. How can we identify these lies? We compare the beliefs with the biblical teachings of God. The Bible provides a clear basis for right from wrong to help us determine if an idea could be from God or if it is a lie from Satan.

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Second, how do we take every thought captive to obey Christ? This happens when we both identify the right thing and then apply it. James 1:22 teaches: “Do not be content with just listening to the word, for in this way you deceive yourselves.”

Third, how do we oppose evil when it occurs? In Paul’s original context, he commanded the Corinthian Christians to oppose a sinful sexual practice taking place with a member of his congregation. This is one of many examples of dealing with sin when it occurs. When we see another Christian living in sin, we are called to lovingly confront them and help them turn away from evil. In doing so, we must also evaluate our own life (Matthew 7:1-5) and be careful not to fall into the process of helping someone else (1 Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 6:1-5).

Overcoming demonic strongholds is not really about casting out demons or other spiritual encounters like someone might see in a movie. Instead, it involves identifying sinful lies, comparing them to biblical beliefs, opposing evil, and doing so by the power of God’s Spirit.


How to overthrow the fortresses?

2 Corinthians 10:5: We cast down reasonings and every haughtiness that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 

Hebrews 4:12: For the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the feelings and thoughts of the heart. 

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As we draw near to the Spirit of God in prayer, we must ask Him to reveal to us all that constitutes fortresses in our lives; then we must feed on the Word of God. Let the Word of God break down in us the toughest falsehoods, walls, and fortresses. The Word of God preached by His servants also destroys strongholds. Also, by remaining in a permanent atmosphere of praise and adoration, we are changed and transformed into new people.

We must ask God to renew our minds, to make us see ourselves as He sees us, and to allow us to fully accept His truth. Let us refuse the words of the world which want to set themselves up as a fortress in our hearts, let us pray for the revelation of the Spirit in all things. Let us walk by the Spirit with mentalities free from any type of fortress. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and our loins daily, in order to remove what does not come from Him.

Let every kind of stronghold be overthrown in our lives in the name of Jesus! Amen