Friday, February 11, 2011

Spiritual Bondage and Strongholds

sS

Welcome friends! I am glad you found my blog and I pray that my writings will guide you to finding peace in the presence of God and thankfulness in your trials so that you can live an abundantly free life in Christ.

In my last post, I mentioned that God has given us weapons with divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).  As promised, here is the post about understanding strongholds of the enemy.

An enemy stronghold is something that holds us captive, keeps us in bondage or makes us a prisoner.  In the spiritual sense, strongholds are ideas, thought patterns, habits or sins that keep us in bondage to the enemy, Satan.

The Bible has so much to say about our enemy with his schemes and tactics.  I am writing this based on the assumption that you already consider yourself a Christian.  If you are questioning your beliefs, please read What I Believe to get your questioning mind settled.

Isn't it true that much stress results from wanting to make things happen before their times have come?  You've been praying for healing, but the waves of despair keep sweeping over you.  You have been deprived of peace and forgotten what prosperity is. Your heart desires rest from the oppression that surrounds you.  Does your heart echo the prayer of the Psalmist:
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
I say to God my Rock,
Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
Oppressed by the enemy?
Psalm 42:5,7,9
Satan is our enemy, the oppressor!  I believe that the apostle Paul was speaking to every believer when he said, "put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11).

Satan is the rebel holder of authority and the god of this world.  Jesus referred to him as the ruler of this world and the apostle John wrote that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19).  But Jesus came to destroy the devil's work (1 John 3:8).

When God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he made them perfect, in His own image, and gave them dominion and authority over the earth.  The earth was theirs to subdue and rule (Gen. 1:28).  Satan became jealous of the authority God gave to humans, so he sought to steal that dominion and authority away.

By deceiving Adam and Eve and causing them to disobey God, Satan stole their authority away from them.  They gave away their dominion and authority to the evil one without even knowing it.  That is why he is now called the rebel holder of authority and the god of this world.

Many believers think that the devil has no power or influence over them.  If he is not a force to be reckoned with, why would the apostle Paul write to believers telling them to put on their armor and stand firm?  We are in a battle!

The battle is real, my friend, and if you believe that the enemy has no power over you, you may have already given away territory in your own life to the enemy without even knowing it and, most likely, he has you in a stronghold (a.k.a. bondage, in prison, shackled).  Satan is a thief and he is stealing things away from you for which Jesus gave his life:  your freedom, your fullness, your healing, your forgiveness, your peace and joy and the list goes on and on!

"What does that mean for me", you may ask?  Satan has no authority over you, except what you give him, but he is so crafty and deceitful he can stick his foot into the slightest crack in your defenses.
In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:26
He a master at spiritual warfare and he is seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Satan is a thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy (John10:10).  Has he stolen your hope and peace and joy?  Has he destroyed your marriage?  Has he killed your dreams for an abundant life?  Has he stolen your health and wiped out your strength?  Is he threatening to destroy your children as well?

There is no need to panic or fear!!!  God says in His word,
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1). 
God is seeking those who will respond to Him.  He has called YOU to put on your armor, head out to the front lines and claim back the territory that you, unknowingly, relinquished to the enemy.  Remember, the weapons we fight with have divine power to demolish strongholds!!!
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 this world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ!
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Where is the battle?  It's in your mind!    Remember the song The Battle Belongs to the Lord?  To say the battle belongs to the Lord, does not absolve us of our responsibility to fight.  There is no stronghold which cannot be broken with God's help; however, YOU have to do it!  From what I have found, there are seven critical areas (territories) that one must reclaim in order to be set free from his bondage.

Seven Critical areas of bondage:
    1. FAILURE TO FORGIVE
    2. Following false GUIDES
    3. Believing LIES
    4. Living in REBELLION
    5. Responding in PRIDE
    6. Failure to acknowledge SIN
    7. Continuing in the sin of your ANCESTORS
I believe that failure to forgive is the #1 area where Satan has taken us captive.  Please, read my post called How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt Me and carefully go through the steps of forgiveness.  The Bible is very clear that if we do not forgive others from our heart,to He will turn us over the the jailer (Satan) to be tortured.  Isn't it torture to realize everything that is rightfully yours has been stolen away?  You might even lose your mind, go into a severe depression, become obsessive-compulsive or have a heart attack!  The torture is physical!

It would be necessary for me to write a whole book on each of these areas, but fortunately, someone else already has :)  If you believe the enemy has you in a stronghold, you MUST read Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson.  He has also written a step-by step guide to walk you through the renewing of you mind and experiencing victory as a child of God.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2
A prayer for you to pray:
Most High God, creator of heaven and earth, you have opened my eyes to see a glimpse into your kingdom.  Although you are the King of the Kingdom and are infinitely greater than your foes, you have called me today to stand up and fight so that I don't become a casualty of spiritual warfare.  
Empower me today to put on the full armor you have already provided for me and be strong in your mighty power so that I can take my stand against the devil's schemes (Ephesians 6:10).   Teach me how to use your weapons of divine power (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)  to reclaim the territory that is rightfully mine as your child with full inheritance and lead me to those areas that I gave to the enemy without knowing it.   
You say in your word that you came to set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1 ).   Give me the capacity to forgive others as you have forgiven me, knowing that when I do I will be set free from the jailer (Satan) and his torture chamber (Matthew 18:34-35).  
Hallowed be Thy name, O Lord.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give me today the provisions I need and forgive me of my sin in the same way I forgive others.  May I not be deceived by the evil one, but deliver me from his bondage.  
For yours, O Lord, is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever and ever.  Amen!
Grace and Peace be yours in abundance today~

Nena


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