Freedom into Joy through Spiritual Warfare

    I.    WE MUST PULL DOWN SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLDS
A. Paul gave us understanding on how to we can pull down spiritual strongholds in our life.  Most believers think it’s normal to walk in condemnation because they don’t feed their heart on God’s word of the Father’s love for them and the Bridegroom’s desire for them.   Many walk in anxiety, depression, a critical spirit, covetousness, jealousy etc, because they have not brought every thought into captivity, with a tenacious commitment to declare the Word of God over themselves and fill their mind with His truth, with confidence.

Jesus said we love others like we love ourselves.  If we have a critical spirit to others, then we almost always are 3x critical on ourselves and it all goes back to whether or not we are keeping in touch with how God feels about us, the initial hearing of His love is not enough.  Feeding our hearts is key.  Many don’t stay steady with this, but it is so very mighty over time.  We can renew our minds, a declare ‘it is written…,’ like Jesus did.

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the natural) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity [a tenacious commitment] to the obedience of Christ… (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

B.    A stronghold was a strongly fortified defensive structure. It was a fort or fortified city that often included a large stone wall surrounding it. Some of these walls were as high as fifty feet and were ten feet thick. Their purpose was to keep an invading army out of the city.

C.    Paul used the analogy of an ancient stronghold or fortress to teach a spiritual truth describing how Satan attacks us and how we overcome it. He used a positive word picture of a stronghold (wall of stone) that protected a city to illustrate the negative way in which Satan as a strong man seeks to “protect” his house from being plundered so that he may hold people in bondage.


28But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (Mt. 12:28-30)

D.    Satan seeks to establish spiritual strongholds in our mind to keep God’s presence out of our life, so as to keep us in bondage to him. He works in us to establish “stone walls of accusation” in our mind against God to keep His liberating presence from invading our life and freeing our heart.

F.    A stronghold of the mind, is a lie or accusation against God, lies like He doesn’t desire you, or care what you are going through, or want your whole heart, or isn’t better than the worldly pleasures.  Strongholds of the devil try to keep the presence of God touching your mind and healing your emotions.  It tries to keep His presence from releasing the tenderizing affection on your emotions and transforming effect on your character.

G.    When I feel desired by God, I walk in joy, and it changes my outlook, things are really good!  When I touch the tenderness of God’s heart, then I see how valuable I am to Him.  You have indescribable value to God.  He has power, but He has deep desire.  The angels are servants, but we are His cherished Bride.  Decreeing/Praying/Singing the Word demolishes strongholds.

H.   His Desire changes the way we approach our weakness, struggles ministry and others.  He cares so much, He just ordains difference paths to mature us, the prunings and sufferings of the cross mature us, just like seasons of favor do.  We are not what we do, but we are created to love and be loved by God, what we do and our skills are so totally secondary.

    II.    DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRONGHOLDS

A.    Personal strongholds: Strongholds in our mind are a collection of ideas that are in agreement with Satan. These lies accuse Jesus and His leadership; then they accuse our standing before Him. They are arguments or lies about His character, power, and wisdom and our relationship to Him. When we believe lies about God, then we believe lies about who we are in Christ. Renouncing wrong ideas or lies about God is foundational to dismantling personal strongholds.
A.    Strongholds are established by opening doors to Satan through sinful actions and belief systems. Satan’s sphere of activity is the domain of darkness. Wherever there is darkness, he has legal access. If darkness is in our hearts, then he has legal access to us. Jesus had no place of darkness or agreement with Satan in His life. Thus, Jesus gave Satan no legal access points into His life. 
30For the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (Jn. 14:30)
B.    Sometimes we feel an irrational heightened lust, fear, oppression or anxiety. We resist these demonic influences by committing to obey Jesus and declaring the truth of God’s Word. In this way, we can quench all the demonic missiles with their heightened energy against our lives. 
16You will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one… (Eph. 6:16)
C.    When we sin, we give Satan legal entry into our lives to work in a greater way in us. Satan adds a heightened demonic energy to our sin as we yield to it. He wants our weaknesses to escalate to wickedness. Lust does not stop with one act, but continues to grow until it is full-grown (Jas. 1:15). Sin that is not rejected continues to increase in our life. Augustine said, “Lust yielded to becomes a habit, and a habit not resisted becomes a necessity.” 
14Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires…15When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (Jas 1:14-15)

III.    PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS OF THE MIND


4The weapons of our warfare are…mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

A.    Every high thing: This speaks of demonic activities and ideas that are like a high or powerful wall that hinders God’s blessing in our lives. Demonic powers exalt themselves by seducing us to believe their lies that attack the truth about God and who His people are before Him.
B.    We must pull down, cast down, or dismantle these strongholds one by one. The spiritual stone wall in our minds must be dismantled stone by stone. Every single stone of accusation in our mind against God and His salvation must be cast down. God’s Word is like a hammer that strikes the “demonic wall” in our minds and demolishes it stone by stone, or idea by idea.  We declare it with faith speaking it and/or singing to demolish it.  Singing is powerful as the truth goes down even deeper.
C.    We cast down lies by bringing our thoughts into captivity to God, into agreement with His Word. We fill our mind with the Word and make it a slave that is captive to the truth. We do this by breaking our agreement with false ideas, arguments, against God.
D.    Three ways in which we cast down arguments against God in our life.
E.    We expose the lies that are lodged in our mind by identifying them. Right thinking is the place we begin to dismantle personal strongholds. Renewing our mind by the Word soon leads to emotional change, which in time results in the transformation of our behavior.
F.    We renounce our agreement with those lies. Sin gives demons the legal permission to operate in our lives. We shut the door by repentance and the renewing of our minds.
    G.    We resist Satan and his heightened energy against us (Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9). 7Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (Jas. 4:7)
ARGUMENTS AGAINST GOD THAT MUST BE CAST DOWN: TWO ESSENTIAL TRUTHS
A.    To understand how to overcome strongholds, we must see 2 Cor. 10:3-5 in relation to 2 Cor. 11. In 2 Cor. 10:3-5, Paul called us to spiritual warfare and gave an application of it in 2 Cor. 11:2-4. Paul declared two truths that are foundational to disarming personal strongholds in our mind. 
2For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity [led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ] that is in Christ. (2 Cor. 11:2-3)
B.    Betrothed to one husband: He desires you. You are the one that He wants! He wants you as His eternal partner. You are beautiful in His sight. The beauty that He possesses is the beauty that He freely imparts to us in salvation (Isa. 61:3). Jesus has deep emotions for us, and is committed to share His heart, throne, secrets, and beauty with us. In the ancient world, a couple was legally married on the day they were betrothed. We were betrothed, or “engaged,” to Jesus on the day we were born again. The consummation of the marriage is in the age to come (Rev. 19:7-9).
C.    A chaste virgin: We stand as a chaste or pure virgin in God’s sight by receiving the gift of Jesus’ righteousness the moment we were born again. We are declared as righteous or as clean before God as Jesus is. The righteousness we receive cannot be improved on because it is God’s own righteousness. Everything that legally hinders us from receiving God’s affections is removed. 
17If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
D.    Many mistake their spiritual immaturity for being a hopeless hypocrite that is rebellious. The Devil wants to confuse weakness for rebellion so that we give up with despair and hopelessness.
E.    Our core spiritual identity: Are we slaves to sin who struggle to love God? Or are we lovers of God who struggle with sin? Are you a hopeless hypocrite or is your weak love authentic?  We are lovers of God and our weak love is authentic.  When we get this, it is so exciting, Jesus you really like me like this!!  And then we love others with His love.

These songs are scriptures which are powerful for agreeing with truth

http://archive.org/details/ScriptureMeditation

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