I used to think of strongholds only in terms of the negative. I thought only of the hold Satan or this world or fleshly thinking eventually gain when, little by little, a person let’s any of these remain unchecked. Paul refers to this type of stronghold in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4.
“Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds.”
In my experience, these strongholds are built brick by brick, little by little. They begin as thoughts and imaginations that don’t line up with truth (i.e., the word of God).
Left unchecked through the neglect of mind renewal, these thoughts and imaginations lead to activity that takes me out of God’s will. Disobedience eventually leads to a stronghold if I fail to turn away (i.e., repent) and step back into living in the truth.
God as Your Stronghold
Living in the truth also leads to a stronghold but one that is healthy and, really, the goal of every Christian.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
What does a fearless life with the Lord as a stronghold look like? The rest of Psalm 27 tells us.
No fear in the face of life’s trials and mistakes (v. 2-3)
A fearless life with God as your stronghold involves moving forward in his will regardless of how others respond or react. It means trusting God for the wisdom you need when you need it. It also means not letting your mistakes and missteps keep you from progressing.
Dwelling with God as he protects you (v. 4-5)
Dwelling with God within his protection includes choosing to regularly spend time with him and then relying on him to remain with you continually. It may, for example, involve starting your day with him and returning to him often by letting him be a part of all you do. As you talk to the Lord about what you’re experiencing and ask him to guide you, you’re dwelling with God and inviting his protection into your life.
Letting God promote you as you praise him (v. 6)
Letting God promote me has meant not forcing my own agenda based on my feelings or emotions but instead letting God present next steps and bring opportunities my way. As he does this, and even in knowing he will even when my feelings try to tell me otherwise, I can choose to praise him for his peace, power, and presence.
Being heard, accepted, and taught by the Lord (v. 7-12)
Being heard and accepted is powerful. And while we don’t always feel that others hear and accept us, we can know that God always does. No matter what we feel, we can know this is always true. He also is always ready to teach us a better way of thinking and acting. Proclaiming this reality – one where I am accepted and heard – not only helps to destroy strongholds that are evil but also to prevent them from ever existing again.
Having confidence as you wait for the Lord (v. 13-14)
Confidence is usually associated with your activity and how you carry yourself. But, what if it’s really found in waiting? What if our confidence comes not through what we do or say or how we act but through trust in a Holy God who is our stronghold? Consider that confidence may come not from activity but from waiting for God to move in your life.
Fearless. Protected. Heard. Accepted. Wise. Confident.
These words describe the one who has the Lord as their stronghold. Enter his presence today. Praise him for what he’s done, what he’s doing, and what he’s going to do in your life. Put God first and watch all other strongholds fall away.