By Pastor Shana Wise
1. If we want to be free from strongholds, we must first understand what they are.
Dictionary.com definition a well-fortified place; fortress. 2 a place that serves as the center of a group, as of militants or persons holding a controversial viewpoint:
Charisma magazine: A stronghold in the mind is a spiritual fortress made of wrong thoughts, a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide and operate in power against us.
“A Stronghold is a fruit of an inward lie.”-Jim Corn Christian Armor Ministries
In my experience in ministry, I have received the revelation that strongholds are hard if impossible to cast out verses a demon. Demons leave immediately, yet strongholds, are not so. Why? Because strongholds are caused by us, meaning they are formed in our mind and we have control over them.
As stated earlier, a stronghold is a fruit of an inward lie. When we exchange a lie for the truth and make it our truth, the stronghold is formed and the more we feed into the lie, the stronger the hold becomes.
Casting down strongholds is imperative to the believer and is crucial for our spiritual growth and maturity. If we continue to allow a stronghold to have the rule over us, they can lead us further away from the Truth and can lead us down a road of destruction.
Romans 1: 24-25 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
2. Examples of strongholds and their effects on us:
Stronghold: “I am not worthy of God’s love because of_____________.” Effect: Low Self Esteem, Poor choices, Negative behavior.
Stronghold: “It is no need for me to try because I will fail anyway.” Effect: The person not fulfilling their full potential. They live a life of excuses.
Stronghold: “They don’t like me.” Effect: This may or may not be true, especially if this thought is stemming from insecurity or lack of communication.
Stronghold: “I come from a family of _________________, so it’s just the way it is, and that’s why I do what I do”. Effect: Negative behavior. Bondage. Excuses. Not living up to our fulfill potential in God.
Stronghold: Negative words spoken over us from the past. Example “My dad told me I was ugly, so I am ugly”. Effect: Low-Self-esteem. No self-worth. Poor decisions especially with relationships with others.
Stronghold: “If God was so good, He would not have let this happen to me.” Effect: The person has their view of who God is based on feelings. Negative Behavior. Poor choices.
3. How to overcome strongholds:
2 Cor. 10:4-6 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal 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 to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
· The only way to pull down and eradicate a stronghold is to denounce the lie and exchange it for the truth, which is the Word of God (vs 4).
· Speak and believe biblically-based affirmations over yourself. Example: Stronghold: I am ugly. Affirmation: I am created in God’s image and likeness. I am good because God says so. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am beautiful because everything God creates is beautiful and good (vs 4-5).
· Take control of the negative thoughts going on in your mind. Meaning when that thought exalts itself against the Truth (What God says about it), cast it down. We do this by meditating on the Word of God (the scripture that is contrary to the thought) until the Word of God becomes overtakes it in your mind. You will know when the stronghold is gone because that very thing that was so strong in your mind, no longer has power over you and your actions (vs 5).
· Lastly, to overcome strongholds, we must obey the Word even when we do not feel like doing it. By any means necessary, we must obey. Part of this obedience is repenting of our sins, denouncing the lies, and moving forward in what God has told us to do (vs 6).
Write out the strongholds that you are dealing with. Find (search) scriptures that contradict these strongholds and write them next to your strongholds. Meditate upon these scriptures. Write out a prayer in regards to what you are expecting the Word to do and the help you need from God to overcome your stronghold. When the stronghold has been cast down (destroyed) write the testimony.
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a doctor of divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.