Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spiritual Warfare: Strongholds

“The wise man scales the city of the mighty, and tears down the strongholds in which they trust.” -Proverbs 21:22

Militarily speaking, a stronghold is any defensive position of strength. When a force digs into a defensive position to maintain the advantage it possesses it can cause a lot of problems for an advancing attack. During the Normandy landings at Omaha Beach, key positions were prepared and held by German forces that made the landing as fatal as it was. These strongholds had to be taken out for the Allies, even in forces far outnumbering the enemy, to land and succeed in their mission.

Spiritually speaking, a stronghold is similar. It is a position that the enemy maintains in a person’s or culture’s beliefs that makes it impossible for truth to be seen. It is a lie that is believed forcing the person or the culture to not see truth. Often these lies lead people into destructive behaviors.

The Church itself is not immune to strongholds that keep it from doing its job. Lies like:

A church needs to have a building in which to meet.

Programs and activities are what are needed to reach people and change their lives.

The more people you have at your events, the better church you are.

People should memorize pre-packaged versions of the good news and recite this at as many people as possible regardless of context, and that this is what the Great Commission is all about.

That people are saved by repeating a magical formula.

That when people do not respond to our message it is because their hearts are hardened and has nothing to do with the way we are connecting (or failing to do so).

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