2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – For the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
What is a stronghold?
A stronghold is a thought that is thought over and over again until it takes hold deep in your life and penetrates even your unconscious mind and becomes an inner image or mindset that controls your life. It can be either positive or negative.
Thoughts are planted like seeds, and the more you think them (tend them, nurture them, water them), the more they grow. This is why we are to meditate on the Word day and night. Then you will build strongholds of God’s thoughts that will cause you success and prosperity in all you do. You will only prosper and succeed to the degree you think like God.
There are also corporate strongholds or group strongholds. A corporate stronghold would be the ways of thought prevalent in the current time or group of people. According to the word, these thoughts and ideas are according to the course of this age, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. This is why we are to not be conformed to the present world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Sometimes strongholds are forces of evil that set up strongholds in the midst of people who perform certain practices. There are things mentioned in the Bible that will defile the land. I believe this means that these practices release demonic activity that may remain even after the people move on – and continue to try to have the same influence on others who later live there.
Individual thoughts and strongholds can be pulled down, but so can ways of thinking that prevail in a group of people. Even the evil forces in the heavenlies that have gained a stronghold in certain areas or places because of the practices and thinking of the people who live there can be pulled down.
Any kind of stronghold can be torn down through the mighty weapons that God has provided. Some of these are prayer by the help of the Holy Spirit, replacing the stronghold with truth from the knowledge of the Word. These are both mighty weapons of God given to tear down strongholds. God also gives us gifts of the Spirit as weapon to identify and tear down strongholds.
Thoughts are planted like seeds and the more you think them, the more they grow. Thinking them over and over is like watering them or tending them.
By the time a thought becomes a stronghold, you are usually not even aware that you are thinking it. But every stronghold can be traced back to a thought or thought habit. Sometimes we feel the effects of some thought stronghold in our outward lives and emotions but don’t even realize that it connects back to a thought or idea that at some time we accepted and thought until it became a stronghold.
How Do You Tear Down a Stronghold?
You are transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you change the way you see yourself, you change the way you are.One way it can be changed is the same way that it was planted, by what you habitually think., So if you habitually think the opposite of the stronghold, if change what you think to what the Word says about that area of life, it will tear down the old stronghold and replace it with a new one.
James 1:21-24 – The Word implanted is able to save (save, heal, make whole) your soul (your mind, your will, your emotions).
Feed on the Word. Get God’s thoughts into your mind. Fight off the lies of the devil with the Word of God. Pull out the sword of the Spirit every day and beat up the devil’s lies. Don’t entertain him at all in your thought life. Give him and his thoughts no place. There is no room for the devil’s thoughts when you fill your mind with thoughts from the Lord. Don’t accept the thoughts the enemy puts in your mind as your own and act on them. When you accept them as your own thoughts, you begin to say them; you begin to act like they are true – and they become part of your life.
Matthew 15:13 – Every plant which my heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up.
One way to root up a plant or tree is to speak to it. It will wither from the roots up. This is one of the weapons God has provided to pull down strongholds that remain in our lives, to root up the things planted in our lives that hinder and hurt us. SPEAK to the stronghold you want out of your life. Command it to be taken up by the roots and removed.
Jeremiah 1:9-10 – Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.
He put His Words in my mouth and appointed me oversight over the nations and kingdoms to root out, pull down, destroy and overthrow, and to build and to plant.
In my ministry of reigning and ruling over my life and the places of dominion He has given me, I have authority to speak the words He gives me.
These words will:
- Root out – I can root out the old plants in my life not of my Father as well as thoughts and ideas in the world around me.
- Pull down – I have weapons and authority to pull down strongholds and high places – also with the Words He gives me.
- Destroy – my words can destroy forces over the nations and kingdoms.
- Overthrow – I can overthrough dominions and principalities with my words.
- Build – I can build things God wants to build with the Words HE gives me.
- Plant – I can plant new
Mark 11:20, 23 – In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered. Jesus answered them, Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, be taken up and thrown into the sea, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you.
Hebrews 11:30 – By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they have been encircled for seven days.
Faith is also one of God’s mighty weapons that will pull down the strongholds. Every stronghold can be destroyed. Every thought pattern or mind set can be rooted up and replaced, but sometimes it takes time. We must look to the Lord for wisdom and continue to feed on the Word.
Jesus Came to Free Us From Every Stronghold
1 John 3:8 – …The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
Matthew 15:6, 9, 13 – So for the sake of your tradition you have set aside the Word of God (depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect). Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men. Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots.
I continue in His Word. His truth will make me free from all of these things! Every stronghold, every tradition, every plant, every thought not of God will be destroyed and replaced.
Is 49:24-25 – Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? Surely, thus says the Lord, even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued, and I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons.
… Is my hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? (Is 50:2)
Job 14:14 – … all the days of my struggle I will wait, until my change comes…
Anything thought, idea or mindset contrary to God’s purpose and truth is a stronghold.
God is mighty to completely and totally deliver me from all that the enemy has built into my life, from every negative thing and destructive thought habit (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 7:25).
I wait in His presence expectantly, submitting worshipfully to Him. From Him only comes my salvation. My hope and expectation are from Him. All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. And it will come! Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered.
Even the deepest stronghold in my life is not beyond the reach of His salvation. His hand is not shortened but can reach to the depths of my being and make me completely whole so that I can be the highest and best He intended.
Joshua 1:3, 5 – I will give you every place where you set your foot…no one will be able to stand up against you all the day of your life.
Psalms 40:1-2 – I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footstep firm.
Job 33:28 – He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, and my life shall see the light. (V 29-30)
Spiritual battle demands spiritual weapons.
Ephesians 6:10-18 – Be strong in the Lord and in His strength to fight spiritual enemies. Take up the sword of the Spirit (the revealed Word of God), praying always in the Spirit at all times. These are offensive weapons. The rest, truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, are defensive.
V 10 – All successful spiritual warfare is done in His strength.
V 11-13 – Since it is spiritual battle, only spiritual weapons will work effectively.
God’s armor is effective. It enables me to stand firm against all the schemes of the devil and to resist even when things are at their worst.
V. 18 – Praying at all times in the Spirit. This speaks of battle in prayer. (Romans 8:26-27; Psalm 44:6-8; Psalm 18:32-42; Psalm 144:-1-2; 1 Chronicles 12:8; Isaiah 13:3; 30:30-32).
Isaiah 54:17 – No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn. Every tongue or thought that rises against you bring condemnation, fear, torment and defeat – you shall condemn God has already defeated the enemy and given us the authority.
So take up your place in power and authority, praying with the help of the Holy Spirit in the strength and armor that God provides – and tear them down!
More Scriptures on Strongholds
Numbers 33:52-53, 55 – Then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you and destroy all their figured stones and all their molten images and completely demolish all their high places, and you shall take possession of the land and dwell in it, for to you I have given the land to possess it. at if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those you let remain of them shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land in which you dwell.
Deuteronomy 12:2-3 – You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place.
Psalm 89:40 – You have broken through all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
Proverbs 21:22 – One wise person went up against a city of warriors and brought down the stronghold in which they trusted.
Jeremiah 48:18, 41 – For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you; he has destroyed your strongholds… the towns shall be taken and the strongholds seized.
Ezekiel 19:7 – And he ravaged their strongholds, and laid waste their towns…
Deuteronomy 2:36 – From Aroer which is on the edge o the Armon Valley and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was no city too high and strong for us; the Lord our God delivered all to us.
NO STRONGHOLD IS TOO GREAT FOR GOD’S MIGHTY WEAPONS TO TAKE DOWN!
2 Chronicles 31:1 – Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars—from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh—until they had utterly destroyed them all…
Luke 11:21-22 – When the strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he takes from him his whole armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils.
Hosea 8:14 – Israel has forgotten his Maker, and built palaces; and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour his strongholds.
Amos 3:11 – An adversary shall surround the land, and strip you of your defense; and your strongholds shall be plundered.
Isaiah 45:1-3 – …I have appointed you to… subdue nations before him and to strip the kings of their robes, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut. I will go before you and make the rough places smooth, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, to that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel who call you by your name.
Amos 1:7, 14 – So I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza which shall devour its strongholds…So I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah and it shall devour the strongholds of it, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind…
Zephaniah 3:6 – I [the Lord] have cut off nations; their battlements and corner towers are desolate and in ruins. I laid their streets waste so that none passes over them; their cities are destroyed so that there is no man, there is no inhabitant.
1 Chronicles 14:11-12 – Then David said, God has broken my enemies by my hand, like the bursting forth of waters. Therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim (Lord of breaking through). They left their gods there; David commanded and they were burned.
Thoughts from Others:
Norman Vincent Peale
Your life or mine is not determined by outward circumstance but by the thoughts that habitually engage the mind. You create your own world by your thoughts.
Beneath all your outward thoughts is one basic primary thought. All other thoughts and feelings and emotions are colored by this.
For example, some people allow fear to become their primary thought. Fear usually begins as a thin trickle of worry across your mind. Repeated over many days, it becomes a habitual thought until it cuts a deep channel across the consciousness. Every thought a man to whom this has happened thinks – about his family, about his business, about his health, about the world – is colored by the basic and primary thought of fear and comes up tinctured with anxiety and insecurity. No matter how he resists the persistent thought of fear, he cannot escape it. He is what he thinks about all day long; he is a man of fear. To counteract this condition – substitute a different and stronger basic thought. The only primary thought that can successfully oppose fear is faith or positive thought. Only faith is stronger than fear.
But what is the technique for developing faith? It is to affirm the positive thought. Faith, too, begins as a thin trickle across the mind. Repeated, it becomes habitual. It cuts deeply into the consciousness until finally you have two basic channels of thought – one of fear and one of faith. But fear can never defeat faith.
As you deepen the channel of the faith thought, the channel of fear thought finally dries up. The faith thought overflows and becomes the deep, flowing primary thought of the mind. Then every thought whether about business, about your family, about the world is touched by the thought of faith and comes up bright, resplendent, optimistic and positive.
As a result of your new and positive caste of thought, you will learn to believe in yourself, in your country and in the future of mankind. You will now have a deep, positive conviction that life is good. Shadows which once frightened you and obstacles which once defeated you flee away and are overcome.
Physically you may be the same person, but mentally you are living in a different world. Actually, you are a different person because you are thinking differently. You are what you think all day long. But your thoughts now give you power and are leading you to happiness and success.
Thinking Ruts (Roy Hicks)
When you think a certain way for a time, you create “ruts” in your mind. Only by exerting a great effort will you be able to discipline your mind into making “new tracks” of thinking patterns. It takes time to “reprogram” your thought patterns from negative to positive, so don’t be discouraged if good results are not immediate.
Casting Down Strongholds – John Osteen
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the pulling down of strongholds (the destruction of fortresses), casting down imaginations (destroying speculations) and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and taking every though captive to the obedience of Christ.
It is not will power that brings these thoughts captive. It is not good intentions or diligence. It is not weapons of the flesh in any way. It is only God’s powerful divine weapons that can destroy a stronghold.
Warring after the flesh cannot get me out of a mind battle. Reasoning and logic cannot defeat a thought stronghold. But God’s weapons which are not fleshly can. They pull down any stronghold, destroy any fortress of the enemy in my mind, cast down the imaginations, and destroy the speculations. These weapons are also powerful enough to bring every thought captive (implies winning over it in a war) to the obedience of Christ.