“Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me (Psalm 144:1-2).
Our stronghold for victory will come in our standing in God’s word. Enemy strongholds bring serious devastation into our lives. They hinder our victorious stance in prayer by keeping us preoccupied with negative thinking. The devil has a strategy for his warfare, a well-laid out plan of deliberate deception. He hates prayer and will do anything to stop us, but Christ has brought the victory by the word of His power in truth and love.
How can we face and break free of enemy strongholds; how do we overcome these defeating thoughts? Always remember this: Our mind is the battlefield. How can we have God’s spirit flow through our lives unhindered by this negative and destructive thinking? The problems we are dealing with here are internal thoughts and attitudes. Satan knows that by controlling our thoughts he can influence our actions. Let us look at ways to face and overcome the enemy strongholds in our lives.
“It is so important for you to come to grips with the fact that your life will not get straightened out until your mind does. You should consider this area one of vital necessity. Be serious about tearing down the strongholds Satan has built in your mind. Use your weapons of the Word, praise and prayer.” Joyce Meyer
How to Face Enemy Strongholds
“One of your weapons is prayer (asking). You can’t overcome your situation by determination alone. You do need to be determined, but determined in the Holy Spirit, not in the effort of your own flesh. The Holy Spirit is your Helper – seek His help. Lean on Him. You can’t make it alone.” Joyce Meyer
- We must realize that we cannot destroy personal strongholds by ourselves – The battle is in the spirit realm. God’s divine power will demolish strongholds. Only He can do it. We often try to take surface thoughts captive, not knowing the root thoughts from which the surface ones spring.
“Lord, I realize that I cannot destroy the strongholds in my life by myself. I acknowledge my dependence on You to do it.” “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” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
- We must be determined to ask God to deal with the strongholds in our lives – He will not do it without our willingness and He is the only one who can demolish the strongholds, fortresses, vain imaginations and arguments. Our flesh doesn’t want to see them. Our flesh wants to live the old way. We need to invite God to show us the strong-holds and motivations of our hearts and to help us bring His victory to them.
“Lord, I determine to deal with the strongholds in my life. I ask You to get to the roots, the childlike thoughts. I ask You to show me the motivations of my heart and my hurtful ways. I invite You into the center of my life to reveal to me the lies I have believed.”
“Search me (thoroughly), O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way ever-lasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
- We must be aware of our thoughts – Is your self-talk like this? “I’m no good,” “I’m a failure,” “I never can do anything right,” “Life is hopeless,” Although they are simple thoughts, these types of thoughts can indicate strongholds. Get a piece of paper, put it near your bed, and write down your thoughts every time you start feeling down, discouraged, depressed, etc. Be aware of sudden negative emotions, as they can be your indication that you are touching a stronghold. As you practice watching your thoughts and looking for false mindsets, you are able to see them more clearly.
“Lord, make me aware of my thoughts. Show me my strongholds and negative thought patterns in my life. Help me to recognize these patterns very quickly. Open my eyes to see the lies that I have been believing and the truth of your Word.” “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” (1 Peter 3:1).
- We must be patient and persistent – It took you a lifetime to reinforce these strongholds, these negative thought patterns. It takes time and effort to be free of them. We all want a quick fix. The quickest fix is if you determine to deal with them on a daily basis. Don’t give up, but face them every time you start feeling down.
“Lord, give me endurance and patience to walk free of these negative thought patterns. I know that it is not a quick fix. I accept Your timetable in dealing with these strongholds. I choose to be persistent in dealing with them.” “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
- We must be alert and recognize these strongholds quickly –As you practice watching your thoughts and looking for false mindsets, you are able to see them more clearly.
“Lord, make me alert and help me to recognize these patterns very quickly. Open my eyes to see the lies that I have been believing and the truth of Your Word.”
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1).
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International