Down Strongholds, Part 1
By now you’re used to my treating Satan and
his demons as grim realities, not just products of Hollywood’s
imagination. In a world as messed up as ours, it’s crucial to understand
that the trials we face have a spiritual source.
Who, or what? Well, it’s not bad luck, bad
politics, bad "karma"; not evolution or insufficient education;
certainly not the mysterious will of a loving God. Scripture calls the
world’s mess a curse—the sum total of sin, sorrow, and
pain that showed up when our planet was cut off from the Divine Author of blessing.
And how is this curse activated? Ephesians 6:12
points the finger: "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly
places"—all under the direction of the arch-fiend, the devil.
So I invite you to embrace Scripture’s view
of the mess, and to get ready to act on that view. Please
turn off the secular "wisdom" of our age. Scriptural truth is
changeless, like the shape of the wheel, and modern sophistication just
can’t improve on it.
I’ll start by quoting from Simple Healing,
p.142: "On an average day, the enemy’s pressure on a Christian will
be from the outside. . . . But if there’s an opportunity, one or more
demons may try to invade your consciousness, using a weak spot in your
defenses. If they’re successful, the result will be a spiritual
infection that can be described as a "stronghold"
or a "fortress" of the enemy (2 Corinthians 10:4) . . . an
indication that a hostile spirit has attached itself like a barnacle to
the . . . mind, body, or spirit.
In Christ you
have the power
"The insidious thing about it is that
unlike other prayer blocks—disobedience, unforgiveness, and so on—a
stronghold typically produces no symptoms other than that the disease is
still there. You can drain the oil bottle and speak healing until you’re
purple, and nothing will change until the demon has been scraped off the
patient, so to speak."
How do we identify a stronghold, and how do we get
rid of it? Typically if you have a problem that hangs on regardless of how
much you pray, you need to "scrape off the barnacle." In Christ
you have the power! Below are a couple of quick suggestions.
I’ll amplify and illustrate them in next month’s Brief.
Ask the Holy
Spirit to sharpen your view
with what you already know. What part of your life absolutely refuses
to shape up in answer to prayer—a persistent sickness, temptation,
grief, addiction, destructive emotion? In all likelihood a demon is the
problem. Ask the Holy Spirit to sharpen your view of the target and show
you how to go on the attack.
(2) On the authority of God’s Word
(Matthew 8:16, e.g.), cast out the demon(s) behind the problem, and keep
hammering on them until they leave. Be relentless! Demons
are crafty and stubborn, and deliverance from them is often a process
rather than a one-time event.
Details to follow next month. . . .
forget that . . .
God should be our first
resort, not our last resort. Start taking time right now
to build up the faith you need to receive His healing.
God is ready to heal us
way--spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
God heals all
types of disease, pain, sorrow, and infirmity.
Nothing is too hard for Him.
us to be healed, to be "whole" persons
enjoying abundant life.
God expects us to cooperate
with Him in getting healed--through medicine, diet,
exercise, and straight thinking. Everything that promotes
healing is a gift from Him.
Healing Briefs here