Strongholds

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10-13

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This last week or so has been tougher for me emotionally than I’ve had for a while.  Someone once told my mother-in-law that the second year is harder than the first, after the loss of your spouse.  And I’m starting to think that my second year as a stay at home mom might be harder than the first as well.  But I am charging ahead, day by day into this new phase of my life and I know things will get better.

This week we started our new Ladies Wednesday Morning Bible Study, Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer and I was warned, early and often, that when you start to deal with the strongholds in your life, that Satan will attack you even harder, and after this week, boy do I believe it!

I’m flipping through the first few chapters and reflecting on the things I have underlined:

The devil is a liar.  Jesus called him …the father of lies and of all that is false (John 8:44).  He lies to you and me.  He tells us things about ourselves, about other people and about circumstances that are just not true.  He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.

He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories.  He moves slowly  and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare.  He has studied us for a long time.

He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us.  One of the devil’s strong points is patience.

What has amazed me about the first several chapters of this book is how Satan uses the experiences of our lives to build strongholds.

Meyer defines a stronghold as, “an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.”

Meyer talks about specific events throughout our lives that may have built up a stronghold. It may have been events in our early childhood or teen years that affect us still today.  It may have been a need for affection or acceptance by a parent or a desire to feel unconditional love that we never fully experienced as a child.  I’m sure for me, Satan built some great stronghold foundations during my middle school years.

Satan has worked for years to build strongholds that affect our actions today.

Chapter 1 closes with this sentence.  “Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions.”

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

I’ll keep you guys posted on how this study goes and what I am learning…as for now.  Keep praying.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Strongholds

  1. Isabel P Sem

    JMac, I know that we need to be aware that satan is working hard to make us fail, cause unhappiness in our lives and make us question how God is working in our lives.
    However, I have found it works best for me to focus on God. The joys and blessings He has for me each day. I see Him daily all around me.

    I understand your struggle because you want to be involved somewhere in government. That is where your training is. You were everywhere in Frisco and made such a difference.

    Yet, maybe God thinks now is a time you need to be with your girls and Craig. He is preparing you for something. When He does this the waiting for what that “something” is can be most difficult.

    Have you considered volunteer work other than the church? Those that need God the most are found outside the church.

    I love your blogs. Thank you for sharing and thank you for allowing me to respond.

    Love you,
    Isabel

    P S I like Beth Moore studies more than Joyce Meyer. Beth’s studies are filled with God’s blessings and how much He loves us. :o)

  2. Thanks, Janet for sharing your thoughts on this important subject. Paul tells us in Ephesians to not give the devil “a foothold.” And we have God’s promise recorded in James to give us guidance and hope:
    Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

    • JMac

      Thank you all both for your comments. I love a good discussion on a subject like this one and I truly value the ideas of those God has put in my life to help support me in my spiritual growth.

      I also didn’t mean to imply that I am not content in my life. Its just that some days (or weeks) are more challenging than others for me emotionally. To be honest, I really hate housework and it can get me pretty discouraged at time. ☺

      I truly believe that I am where God wants me for this season in my life and the more time I spend with the girls the more I feel assured of that. As for my volunteer activities, I have tried to tailor them around opportunities that allow me to be with the girls. Church and Band Parents are the two areas where I am most involved at the moment and I have truly enjoyed getting more involved with youth programs and projects.

      Kevin, you are right on when it comes to “not letting the devil get a foothold.” Sometimes I’m so tempted to check in on old friends or old projects and I realize that it just gives Satan the opportunity to build discouragement. While I miss old friends and my old work (which I loved very much), I also realize that I need to be focused on the future and how God is using this season in my life to prepare me for where He wants to take me.
      I also need to be on top of the discipline of abiding, dwelling, meditating and putting on the full armor of God, daily, so that I will fully know and understand the perfect will of God for my life.

      I think this study is helping me realize that in every aspect of my life, I need to be proactive about my actions so that God has the opportunity to use my life experiences for His glory as oppose to giving Satan the opportunity to use my actions and decisions to build a stronghold in my life.

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