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Strongholds and Footholds revised 9/5/14

                          Strongholds and Footholds

                                                                             Joyce Webb 2010

II Corinthians 10:4, 5 "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh) , but mighty through God to the pulling down of strtong holds ;

Casting (throwing) down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts (lifts up) itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivitity (control over) every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The New Living Bible says: "knock down the Devil's strongholds"

A stronghold is a strong  place   to go to be safe.   It could be a fort.   It would be a strong place where people went to be safe from the enemy.  It could be a fort   where soldiers fought from.

The Devil has "strong holds" too.    They are not safe places for us.   They are areas   or   things   the Devil uses to "hold" us in bondage   to something.      Strong holds against God.

 

The Devil's  "stronghold"   is a habit,     a weakness ,     a way of thinking or a behavior------that has a strong grip or hold on a person.

The Devil's strong holds     mean things that are not good for us---habits of acting or thinking that are hard to stop   and block out the Holy Spirit from being able to work in our life.

The Devil's strongholds    might be    fear    drug addiction    drinking    gambling   sexual things   anger   guilt   etc.

The Devil uses these things    as a "hold"   on us,   over us,   to keep us from   having peace    joy.    They keep us from having victory in our Christian life.   They keep us from being able to do God's work   in the way God wants from us.   They  keep us from growing   in the spirit.  

These things can   rob  us     not just from living in God's blessing     but they can grow   and choke out    the Holy Spirit and our ability to hear   God speak to us.

They become   things that  control us.   We are no longer in control     those things are in control.

As Christians   the Holy Spirit is to be in control of us.   Fear, drugs, drinking, gambling, wrong sex, anger, feelings of condemnation/guilt    block/stop   the Holy Spirit  from working in our life.

They block the Holy Spirit   like a strong hold fort   would block  arrows from enemy soldiers.

They hold us    so the Holy Spirit can not work in us.


A "foothold" is an opening into your life or thoughts.    It is something you do     that opens the door    so the devil can get into your spirit    and tempt your more    so he can lead you into more sin.

  It is like a person who comes to your door trying to sell you something. When you open the door, they put their foot in the corner of the doorway so that you can not shut the door on them. Then they keep talking.

Satan uses strongholds and footholds to get into our minds and spirits to control us        or to at least make our relationship to God     become weak.

Satan get into our life through our thinking. We make an "opening" and he comes in------he tries to make more bad thinking.

The wrong thinking gets stronger and stronger-----soon we feel we are in bondage to that thinking, or desire. We feel like we have no control. That way of thinking, or that desire controls us. It is a pattern, or a habit.

It has a strong hold on us.

Example of footholds: Looking at sexual pictures.   Telling dirty sexual jokes.  Reading sexual stories.

Fear----worry----worry is fear.   Anger    Not being willing to forgive   Being part of witchcraft

Being part of fortune telling   Being part of Devil worship or idol worship  Horror shows of cruel acts, killings, etc.

When we let our thoughts think things that are not pleasing to God’s spirit----we hurt the Holy Spirit in our life. The Bible talks about "grieving" the Holy Spirit---grief means great sorrow.

More examples of "footholds":

Letting your thoughts imagine sexual things with someone other than the person you are married to ------is a sin and will grieve the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is grieved---He will pull away from you-----He will not stay in the presence of sin.

Letting your thoughts imagine paying back someone because they have done wrong to you grieves the Holy Spirit. God says that "vengeance" belongs to him and he will repay those who do wrong.

Letting your thoughts run with fear and worry ( worry is fear) shows we are not in a mind of faith. Faith is not there, but fear is. You can not have faith and fear at the same time----you have one or the other.

Letting your thoughts of anger run over and over in your mind.

Letting thoughts of depression and discouragement and "beating yourself up" go over and over in your mind.

Letting doubts about God’s acceptance of you to go over and over in your mind.

Letting thoughts of "I can not do this", I am not good enough" to run in your mind.

Letting any of these kinds of thoughts to go over and over in your mind-----gives an "opening" for Satan to put more negative thoughts into your mind.

Satan’s aim is to destroy people. He looks for "openings" to get into your thoughts and try to add more bad thinking. He wants to control your thoughts. He wants to flood your mind with thoughts that will weaken the Holy Spirit in your life.

A stronghold is when Satan has been successful in getting you to think thoughts so much that is becomes a pattern of thinking for you. It becomes a habit. It becomes bondage. It seems that you can not stop the thoughts.

The thoughts and desire take control over you. You become under the power of the thoughts.

Thoughts have power over your spirit.

Thoughts that are full of anger, fear, worry, envy, jealousy, wanting to pay back, sexual desires, gambling, spending money you can not afford, even shopping when you can not afford it, drugs, drinking, eating too much----any of these things can control you and have power over your spirit.

Can your spirit have power over your thoughts? The Holy Spirit will warn you and speak to you, but you have to obey the warning. That means you have to use your will to choose to control your thoughts.

 

Satan comes to us through our thoughts. He often tempts us and tries to pull us by what we see. That is why it is so important to be careful about what we allow our eyes to see.

Things that we see stay in our brains. Even a long time later, those pictures will come back to our remembering.

Things such as sexual pictures, horror pictures, pictures of awful cruel, ugly killings, stabbings, etc.----these things stay in our minds.

These kinds of things do not honor God. They do not do any good for us. They do not please the Holy Spirit.

Sexual pictures and desire can become a stronghold. Looking at pictures on the computer or TV or movies can become like an addict.

The Holy Spirit will not continue to live in a person who continues to watch sexual pictures.

Sexual pleasure with your married partner is blessed of God.

Other kinds of sexual activities with others-----whether real or imagined-----are not allowed.

Fear often becomes a stronghold in people’s lives. There are all kinds of fear: fear of flying in a plane, fear of high places, fear of the water, fear of having close relationships with people, fear of loving someone, fear of being alone, fear of the dark, etc.

The more you let the fear go over and over in your mind, the more power it will have over you.

Fear "robs" people. Fear robs them of enjoying many things. Satan uses fear. Fear makes us miserable. Fear keeps us from enjoying life. Fear keeps us from trusting God.

We can not have faith and fear at the same time. We will have one or the other. Only faith pleases God. The Bible says that without faith we can not please Him.

Faith connects us to God. God works for us only by faith and trust in Him. God does not honor fear. God will not look at your fear and say, "Oh, poor person, I feel sorry for you. Here, I will answer your prayer."

God answers only to trust and faith. God is the power that can help us do things we can not do by ourselves. Faith opens the door for that power to flow into us. Believing God allows the power to flow into us.

Satan does not want this to happen. Satan does not want us to receive power from God. Satan does not want us to succeed. Satan wants us to stay in fear. He wants us weak. He wants to see us miss out on good things.

Anger is a feeling we have when things do not happen as we think they should have.

If people do not do things the way we expected, we get angry. If they do things that hurt us, we get angry.

If they do not do things as fast as we think they should, we get angry.

If they do not do things we expect them to do, we get angry.

Anger has much to do with our self and what we expect to happen. When things do not happen to match the picture in our mind---we get angry.

The question is----Is our expectation the only way things should happen? Is our mind picture the only way it should be? Other people have mind pictures, too, and they may have a different picture in their mind.

Who is right? Is any one right? Maybe there are many ways for something to be done.

Sometimes there is only one right way.

Anger is a natural feeling. It is disappointment for what we expected.

The important thing is for us to control our anger. To control our disappointment. We need to watch out for anger, and control it immediately.

Anger usually is not a good thing. When we are angry our brains do not think clearly. We make bad decisions. We say things we should not say. We do things we should not do.

If we keep thinking thoughts of anger, it will make us sad, it will make us depressed. It can makes us sick.

It will influence our relationships with others.

Anger is not easy to hide. People sense it. You do not have to say anything.

You have been with people when you have felt that the person was angry. They did not have to say anything. You could tell by their face and body that they were angry.

People can tell when you are angry, too. People do not like to be around anger. People will pull back from you .

Anger has power over our spirits. It breaks our connection to God.

It is hard to pray when you are angry.

Sometimes we are angry with God, because He did not make things happen the way we thought it should.

Anger makes us hard and bitter.

The only answer to anger is to give it up.

Anger is disappointment in large amount. Anger often wants to have the other person "pay" for disappointing us. Anger wants them to pay for hurting us.

Give up the anger. Give up the idea that the other person needs to "pay" for what they did. Stop trying to make the other person "pay" for making you angry.

Our anger is not their responsibility. Anger is our choice of feeling to what they did. We could choose to have other feelings other than anger.

Trying to get other people to "pay" for making us angry could be: Refusing to speak to them

Refusing to be nice to them    Doing something mean to hurt them back   Trying to get them to be sorry they hurt us

Trying to get them to say they were wrong  Trying to get them to ask for forgiveness

Trying to get them to change and do things differently

It is okay to try to work things out when someone hurts you. It is okay to say to someone "When you did that thing, I felt hurt. Please do not do that any more."

If that person wants to have a good relationship with you, they will be sorry and try to make things right.

Sometimes a person will not be sorry. Sometimes they will not be willing to say they did wrong. Sometimes they will be sorry, but they keep on doing the same thing.

Then we have to make a choice of what we will do.

Will we keep the anger? Will we forgive them, even if they will not be sorry?

It makes it more easy to forgive people if they ask to be forgiven and are sorry.

We have a hard time forgiving people who are not sorry.

Keeping the anger will not hurt them-----but it will hurt us. We often think that the anger hurts them. Most of the time it does not hurt them. They just go on with their lives and ignore our feelings.

But the anger we keep "eats" us. It makes our spirits hard.

You may think you have only a little anger about one little thing----but anger has a way of spreading in our minds and spirits. It does not stay in one little place.

Anger hardens. It is like glue. At first it is soft, but if you let it set, it will become hard and you will have a very hard time getting rid of it.

God is the best one to help us with anger.

We need to take our anger to God and tell him that we want him to take care of the other person for us.

We need to decide "make a choice" that we will forgive them.

Forgiveness does not mean that we think that what they did is okay. Forgiveness does not mean that we do not remember what they did. Forgiveness does not mean that we "accept" what they did as okay or they we are overlooking it.

Forgiveness means that we have made a choice about the way we will think. We will stop trying to make that person "pay" for what they did. We will stop trying to make that person "sorry" for what they did. We will stop trying to make that person say they were wrong.

We will choose to give what they did to God to take care of. He will see to justice.

We will remember that we need forgiveness ourselves for many things. We want God to forgive us. The Bible says that we must forgive others if we want God to forgive us. Matthew 6: 14, 15 "For if you forgive men their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you will not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Forgiveness does not mean you forget. You should not be trying to remember. You try to put it out of your mind, because thinking about it makes you upset.

People say "Forgive and forget". We should try to do that. We should try to forget. We may not be able to forget. But the important thing is that we stop trying to make the other person "pay" for his sin against us.

And that we ask God to help us give up feelings of anger about that person.

Forgiveness means you will stop "holding it against" the other person. That you will stop thinking about what they did. You will not allow it to go over and over in your mind any more.

When God forgives us, He does not remember it against us any more.

It does not mean that God "forgets". God cannot forget anything. But He chooses not to bring it up against us any more. The sin against Him is gone---because He wills not to bring it up to us.

That is what we are to do for others. We are not weak minded to "forget" what happened---but like God, we must decide that we will not bring it up against the other person any more---not even in our minds. That is forgiveness.

Your mind can not have peace until you decide to "let go" of thinking about it.

Anger is one of Satan’s favorite "footholds". It is a way he can get into our spirits and make problems for us. Anger will separate us from God.

Strongholds are paths of thinking that control us. Footholds are thoughts that open up our spirits to let Satan come into our minds to lead us into more thinking that takes us away from God.

Learn to guard your mind so Satan can not put more thoughts into it.

If you have a "stronghold" of something in your life, go to God and ask Him to help you break the power of that thing.

Strongholds can be broken. Ask someone to pray with you. Keep asking the Holy Spirit to help you. Obey the Holy Spirit when he speaks.

 

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