For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV)
The weapons of Christ are the word of God – the sword of the Spirit – in the hands of a capable teachers who are empowered by the Spirit, the boldness of such teachers to speak the message that people need to hear, and the examples of devotion that such people demonstrate. We cannot omit any of these elements – the Word of God, Spirit-filled messengers, relevant and bold teaching, and authentic lifestyles – and have the weapons of Christ properly represented.
Notice what is missing – those abusive measures that the Catholic Church adopted during the Middle Ages through inquisitions, imprisonments, executions, threats, and other physical tortures. These are not the weapons of Christ nor do they have divine power to demolish the strongholds of Satan.
Also, the tools of excessive guilt, of shaming and emotional manipulation are not the tools of Christ. If you are around someone who resorts to such tactics, even if they do it in the name of Christ, be wary of such a person. The truth of God is liberating and joy producing. The Spirit convicts with power but He also always brings assurance of forgiveness and inclusion in the family of God to the repentant believer.
The strongholds are spiritual in nature – deceptions, false beliefs about life, God, and the world in general. They include the fallen human ego that gravitates toward evil and pride and lusts, that is willing to enslave others for our own morbid and sinful “satisfaction.” (Of course, such satisfaction is not true satisfaction at all.)
What remains in the dark grows and becomes more ominous. The truth of God uncovers and reveals the lies of the world. What are some of the strongholds that people deal with today? They are to many to list them all, for there are endless ways to pervert the truth or to produce counterfeit beliefs. We should become experts on the authentic truth of the Scripture and not try to be experts on every form of deception and type of stronghold. But some of the more common ones include:
- The stronghold of spiritism, occultism, and false beliefs
- The stronghold of addictions: alcohol, drugs, pornography, overeating, etc.
- The stronghold of pride and power – blinded by our own ego and afraid of losing control or not getting credit
- The stronghold of money and materialism
- The stronghold of doubt and fear of rejection or exclusion – people like this are very vulnerable to manipulation
- The stronghold of atheism – this is a category in itself alone that could take a considerable time to deal with
- The stronghold of anger – unable to control our temper
- The stronghold of sadness and depression – many are enslaved to a defeated and joyless emotional existence
- The stronghold of a lack of decisiveness – the inability to make a decision and stand by it
- The stronghold of laziness
- The stronghold of worry
- The stronghold of emotional dependency
- The stronghold of prayerlessness
The Lord has authority and power through the Gospel to break the chains of demonic strongholds – through His Word, by His Spirit, through his servants’ biblical teachings we can find victory and live above the level of addiction, fear, pride, lust, and anything unholy that has taken root in our souls.
Application: We should put ourselves in the way of biblical teaching, associating with those churches and pastors who teach and preach the truth in the power of the Spirit. We should focus on God and His love for us and be positive in our faith. The trait of stronghold breaking teaching is that it is grounded in the Word of God, as Paul wrote, “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Cor. 4:6).