Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, August 29th. Satan can take advantage of our sinful choices to create strongholds. Today we continue the How to Talk with God series by helping you know what to do when it's spiritual warfare. Now if you're in a war and you don't even know that you're in a war, more than likely you're going to get wounded. And if you're in a war and you don't know who the enemy is, you're working at a terrible disadvantage.
And if the enemy has a power base right in your front door and you're not even aware that it's there, you're bound to be defeated. Well that is exactly what Paul is dealing with in 2 Corinthians chapter 10. In this passage Paul deals with a basic problem that every lost man has and every Christian has to some degree at some time or the other.
And I'm afraid far too many Christians all of their life. And that is Satan's strongholds in their life. So I want to deal with five aspects of this and the first one is to define what we mean and what Paul means here when he speaks of a stronghold. He says in verse 4, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but rather spiritual but mighty, strong, powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Now a stronghold in the Greek is a fortified castle. Now of course when he talks about strongholds, he's talking about spiritual fortifications in our life.
So let me explain what I mean by that. A stronghold is a power base. It is, as he says, a place of fortification. That is, it is an area of weakness in our life or something that we have not yielded to God that he has required and we're yet to yield it to him. It is an area of weakness or it can be error in our thinking. Satan is the father of all lies and if Satan can get you to believing a lie about yourself or about God or about someone else, he can take great advantage of that. So when he talks about a stronghold, he's talking about a power base that Satan has set up in our life.
Now that can be more than one thing. If it is an area of weakness, if it is a stronghold of an action or habit that's developed in your life, whatever it may be, it didn't come all of a sudden. And it can develop in a young person's life, it can develop in an adult's life, but you see what you and I have to remember is once a thought comes through our mind, listen, watch this, once a thought comes into your mind, every single evil thought carries with it the potential of becoming a stronghold from which Satan will harass and defeat and divide and disillusion your whole Christian experience.
Ruin your testimony, ruin your usefulness before God, limit your usefulness before God, embarrass you before others. That's why we have to be very careful what comes through our mind that we grab and begin to consider. Many things come through and keep going. Many things ought to come through and keep going that we oftentimes grab and say, well, let me just think about this. It certainly isn't going to hurt me to think about it. And all the times we are considering it, what's happening is it's like the roots are beginning to grow.
If it just comes through and keeps going, nothing happens. But if we grab it and consider it, while we're considering the little roots that begin to grow into an attitude, the attitude becomes an all consuming thing and before long the body has reached out or we have moved out or have spoken or done something which is the result of an attitude, the action and then what? Not one time, but twice, five, 10, 20 and then there becomes the habit and then there's the stronghold. Satan has a power base that began with a simple thought that you considered at first simply for a moment you would think about it. As you think about the stronghold or strongholds and you see somebody said, stronghold, man, I got a whole bunch of you.
You can have a cluster of them, not just one, but many. You can have several areas of your life or several situations where when Satan hits you that it's just like you just automatically down and you may have resistance in some areas, but you think, why is it in this area I have no resistance? Why is it in this area Satan hits me and down I go. I promise God I plead, I beg, I pray, I do all of these things and still to no avail because you see it isn't just an act my brother, it is a stronghold. Satan has a power base and when that thing explodes, down you go.
So that is the way a power base, a stronghold develops in our life. Now the next thing I want us to see is this, how do you detect one of these things anyway? You say, well, do I have one of these or do I not?
Well I think there's several things that you and I can ask ourselves. First of all, listen, the area or the act or the thought in your life about which you make this statement, I don't know why I keep doing that. I don't know why I keep thinking that. I don't know why I seem to be weak in that area. Friends, you have identified right then and there a stronghold or anything that we do to excess, anything that becomes excessive in our life regardless of what it may be becomes a stronghold. Anything that we do to excess, it can be pleasure, it can be eating, makes no difference what it is, anything that becomes excessive in our life is an indication that's a stronghold and so Satan, he just works us over in that area. So when you begin to look at your life and you think, well, do I have any strongholds?
Are there areas that I have to keep battling? Areas of weakness that just keep coming up. Things that I keep on confessing, the same old thing over and over again. Keep on repenting of the same thing and listen, the 149th time you repented of it, you were just as sincere as you were the first time and God knows that.
Now watch this so you won't misunderstand what I'm saying. Listen, God has forgiven his children of all their sin past, present and future. So when you and I say, Lord, I'm just coming to confess this thing to you again. God understands, but listen, God does not condemn us even for our wrong because we're his children. He knows our heart. He knows how many times you have bent, how many times you had yielded and in the very process you said, God, you know, I don't, I don't want to yield to sin.
I want to be obedient to you. God knows your heart. God isn't condemning you. Listen, the reason that God, humanly speaking gets upset if you and I could put in those terms, is not because of what we're doing to him. It's because of what he sees sin is doing to us. God's anger is at the devil. God's anger is at sin. God does not condemn his children. He sees our weaknesses.
He's not disappointed. He knows our faults, our failures, and God is never going to heap condemnation on his children. The thing that disturbs the heart of God is that he sees that Satan has a power base in our life and God sees how effective Satan is in limiting our reaching the potential that God has for us. He sees what sin does to us. He sees what it does to relationships. He sees how it limits us. He sees how it steals our joy. He sees how it makes us miserable and unhappy. God sees all of that and that is what grieves God's heart. God isn't in heaven angry at his children. He's in heaven grieved over seeing us allow and continuously allow Satan to hinder his will in our life.
That's what disturbs God. So if you see an area of your life that Satan keeps on having the victory in, you just put a big circle around that and write in capitals across it, Satanic stronghold, because that is exactly what it is. Now, the big question is, what do I do to eliminate that stronghold?
How do I get the victory? How is it possible for me to be able somehow to be delivered from a satanic stronghold? I want you to go back to this passage for a moment because I've hardly mentioned it, but I want you to see something. In verse four, he says, the weapons of our warfare. So we're talking about spiritual warfare are not carnal, they're not fleshly, but they're spiritual.
He says, not carnal, but mighty, that is strong through God. That is, they are divine. Listen, they are supernatural weapons. They're not human weapons. They're not fleshly weapons.
They are supernatural weapons. He says, by these weapons, we can pull down, demolish, destroy, root out those fortifications, casting down, same Greek word, pulling down, uprooting, demolishing. Listen, imaginations, that is wrong reasoning, imaginations, wrong reasoning. If I reason the way Satan wants me to reason, I'm going to reason myself right into his trap. He says that he wants to pull down the stronghold, the wrong reasonings and every high thing, every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Listen, watch this. Oftentimes believers have attitudes and thought concepts about God that are erroneous. And he says that the weapons of our warfare will pull down, demolish and root out these reasonings and wrong thinkings and wrong attitudes that are contributing to Satan's continuing his power base in our life. That is, we've got to root out the wrong thinking.
So he says, we must pull them down, those things that are against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought that is every, every human device in obedience to the desire and to the will of God. Now listen, how is it possible for a child of God to be delivered from a stronghold? First of all, number one, I've got to acknowledge that I'm in a warfare. If you just say, well, I don't see any war going on, then friends, you are deceived. We are in a spiritual battle continuously. First of all, I've got to acknowledge the fact that I'm in a warfare. Satan is doing everything in his power to defeat me, harass me, divide my mind, destroy me.
He's trying to do the same thing to all of us. All right. Secondly, I must identify specifically and call it by name, identify that stronghold. It may be one or two or three. It may be pride. It may be greed. It may be a sense of rejection. Nobody likes me. Nobody loves me.
I'll never get anywhere in life. Whatever it may be, you've got to be willing to be honest and identify. If you don't identify it, Satan will keep on trip you up. So first of all, I got to acknowledge that I'm in a warfare. Secondly, I've got to be willing to identify what that particular stronghold is.
The third thing is the source. Now watch this. If you can trace the source of that stronghold, it is absolutely amazing what will happen. And my friend, if you'll take the time to get on your face before God and tell him that you want him to straighten out your life and you want him to remove any and every toe hole, foothold, stronghold, fortified castle in your life, you want him to do it, I guarantee you, you will be amazed and surprised what he'll carry you back to. Now they won't all go back to your childhood.
Some of them may go back six weeks or two months or three months or six months or five or 10 years. You don't have to always find the source, but I'm telling you, that is a tremendous help because you see the real problem of where it all started. Okay, the next word, not only must I acknowledge I'm in a warfare, I must be willing to identify it for what it is.
I must be willing to trace it back to its sources if I can. Number four, I need to go to God in prayer. Now under that, I want you to put four words because these are the weapons of our warfare. And if you just say, now, Lord, bless me, it's not going to work. He said the weapons of our warfare for number one, the word of God, and you find a passage or a series of passages of scripture that deal with the stronghold of strongholds that you are trying to deal with. If you'll do that, God, he'll just bring the scriptures to your mind, get in the scripture and just tell the Lord, you want to deal with that area, so you want the scriptures to deal with it.
So first of all, get the word of God in your heart, begin to read it and search the scripture. Number two, you recall, he said in the name of Jesus, the name of Jesus is a second part of our weaponry. We are to come to God and to face the devil, listen, with the word of God and secondly, in the name of Jesus Christ, which the devil cannot tolerate. The third part of that weaponry is the blood of Jesus, which is like a shield to cover us because you and I are facing Satan and I want to tell you, if you think Satan's going to give up the stronghold in your life easily, you got another thought coming, he's not going to do it.
Man, that's his power base, that's where he works from. It says in Revelation chapter 12, by the blood of the lamb, they overcame the evil one. You and I face Satan in warfare, rooting out, pulling down, demolishing strongholds under the protection of the blood of Jesus Christ. And the last weapon is the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit. He says, he that is within you is greater than he that's in the world.
So that the Holy Spirit within us under the canopy, the blood of Jesus Christ in the name of Jesus Christ and the authority of his word can demolish, pull down, uproot and destroy any and every single stronghold in our life. And God is willing to do it when you and I want to face Satan with those four weapons, Satan's going to run every single time. But I want to tell you, it's going to be tough and it's going to be difficult and he's not going to give up easy.
He's going to fight you to the bitter end with your doubts. And that's the next word I want to give you is faith. You just got to believe if you do what God says, listen, it is the will of God not to have strongholds in your life. It is the will of God to root them out. It is the will of God to have victory. It is the will of God for him to have his way in your life.
First John chapter 5, 14, 15. It is the will of God and you and I can come to him and plead the blood of Jesus Christ in his name of the power of the Holy Spirit based on the word of God, specific word of God about specific strongholds and praise God and thank him for the demolishing, the overthrowing and ridding them out of your life. The biggest battle you'll have is the battle of faith. Now the next word I want to give you is this and that is vigilance because here's exactly what will happen. You ask God to remove a stronghold.
I've had it happen to me and many other people have. You ask him to remove a stronghold in your life and then listen, if you just walk away and say, well, I'm glad to get rid of that one. Praise the Lord. What's next? I want to tell you, you give Satan a few days and he'll be right back with a toe hole that'll fill up into a foothold that will become a stronghold right in the same place. So I kept asking myself, Lord, how is it that Satan can come? What is that we must do?
Here's what I think he showed me. Once you ask God to remove that stronghold, then you must, you see, then that leaves a void. There's got to be healing in that area. How do you heal the place of a stronghold? You heal it with the word of God. So you begin to meditate upon the scriptures that deal with that stronghold. You begin to fill your mind and your heart. What you're doing is you're building up your defense so that you become sensitive in that area, keenly sensitive in that area so that what once before Satan would trip you up, you can see him coming a mile down the road. And what happens is little by little, as you and I are diligent and vigilant in that area, God just heals that area. But you cannot ask him to remove the stronghold and walk off and forget it. The healing process must take place.
It takes time for it to take place. And the thing that heals it is the saturation of the mind of the word of God about that particular area. And my friend, regardless of what the stronghold may have been, God will move it out, root it out, defeat the devil. But if he's going to remain out of your life in that given area, my friend, it all hinges upon your willingness to saturate your mind and heart and thoughts with the word of God until that area in your life is healed.
Now, I can share those things with you, but I can't make them work. You have to decide if you're willing to yield that area of your life and if you're willing for God through you to root out those strongholds in order to free you to become the person God wants you to be. Now, Father, we thank you and praise you that you've not left us to Satan's tricks, his snares, his manipulations, his connivings. But you've warned us against him. You said we're fighting against principalities and powers, satanic power.
But you said he that is within us is greater than he that's in the world. So we want to thank you for the victory, for the liberty, for the freedom that is ours in Christ that we do not have to yield. We do not have to surrender to him. We do not have to give up.
We do not have to go down in defeat. But we can live moment by moment, day by day, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit, the living God who indwells us, for he is our victory. I pray, Father, that you will sink this truth deep into the heart of every hero and give them the initiative to put it into action in their life for freedom and liberty and power and usefulness are the results when Satan is defeated. And you, Lord Jesus, have freedom and total reign in every aspect of our life. And this is my prayer in Jesus' name and for his sake. Thank you for listening to part two of When It's Spiritual Warfare. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-29 03:25:27 / 2023-08-29 03:33:10 / 8