Have you ever noticed a certain repeated behavior in your life and wondered, “Why do I keep doing that?”. Most likely that behavior is being driven by something that you are believing about yourself. Our will (the part of us that chooses) is influenced and directed by our mind (what we believe) and our emotion (how we feel), so our behaviors are often connected to our beliefs.
As a result of circumstances in my life growing up, I internalized the belief, “I am weak”. Subconsciously I developed the internal rule that I would never ‘appear’ weak. This rule gave birth to several behavior patterns: 1) don’t risk anything you aren’t good at and 2) strive to be in control. My controlling behaviors became a great deterrent to close relationships but my attempts to stop these behaviors were unsuccessful until I realized the belief behind the behaviors. That belief had become what the Bible calls a stronghold.
Scripture speaks of “demolishing strongholds” by “taking every thought captive” (II Corinthians 10:4-5). The word stronghold is a military term. A stronghold serves as a military camp, fortified defense, a base of operations or even a headquarters. Strongholds are launching pads for enemy influence. In Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia targeted several key Ukranian cities. The plan was to take over those cities and then use them as a stronghold from which to launch attacks deeper into the country. Satan, who is a liar (John 8:44) and employs deceit (Ephesians 6:10) uses the circumstances in our lives to implant a belief (lie). This lie becomes a stronghold through which he influences internalized rules and destructive behaviors.
The good news is that God has furnished us with a weapon powerful enough to demolish (I love that word) these strongholds (II Corinthians 10:4-5), His truth. Jesus said, “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32). As we identify the lie driving the behavior and attack it with God’s truth intentionally, repeatedly and in faith, the lie is demolished and replaced with God’s truth. Now the power behind the behavior is destroyed and we can begin to make different choices.
If you believe you struggle with a stronghold, here are some additional resources to help:
Telling Yourself the Truth by William Backus
Ten Life Choices (Choose Truth Chapter) by Bob Perdue
I Speak Jesus by Charity Gayle
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