Like a vice grip, strongholds grip and won’t release.
Following General Robert E. Lee, General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was the best known Confederate general of the American Civil War. Military historians consider him one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history. According to those present, he stood like a stone wall at the First Battle of Bull Run and thereby received his nickname. Unfortunately, Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Though he survived the amputation of his arm, the stone wall died shortly thereafter from complications of pneumonia.
Strongholds include quick tempers, chemical addictions, doubt, anger, negativism, gossiping, fear, and any number of other negative emotions or actions. Initially, the issue may not be sinful, but Satan slips in, tweaks it a bit, and before long it becomes what the word says: a strong hold. By neglect, unbelief, or sinful adventures, I let Satan ensnare me. Like a vice grip, he clamps down on some area of my life and erects a wall which appears insurmountable. Though he isn’t omniscient, he learns my weaknesses through temptations and simply watching my lifestyle. In time, he knows exactly what stronghold to erect.
Fortunately, I’m not left helpless. God gives me mighty weapons to break down these strongholds. In prayer, I’m assured of God’s presence and power. As I delve into his Word, I see promises he can and will deliver if I trust him. I also read of others whom he’s done the same for. By associating with Christian friends, I’m encouraged and held accountable. I hear their stories of similar struggles and how God has freed them. God’s indwelling Spirit gives me the peace of knowing I’m God’s child and he cares for me. If I listen closely, he’ll also clue me in on creative ways I can use to defeat my strongholds.
Give your strongholds to God, and let him show you how to tear them down.
Prayer: God of power and grace, we claim Your promise that Your weapons are muscular enough to tear down whatever our strongholds might be.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and kamuelaboy.)