Overcoming Strongholds

OVERCOMING STRONGHOLDS

Now, I wish to elaborate on strongholds and how they prohibit us from becoming whole in hopes that you will experience the healing, deliverance, and wholeness that I finally gained. The negative emotions of anger, hatred, and resentment are deeper than just named expressions. They are demonic spirits that can take root and reside in your vessel. Salvation is not a do-all-or-fix-all gift to man, but it is a blessed starting point in encouraging us to have faith in believing all of God’s Word and putting it into practice to become transformed and mature. Therefore, God’s Word tells us how to deal with demonic strongholds.

A stronghold is just what it says. It is a spirit that has a stronghold or fortress around your heart and it will not allow you freedom in certain areas of your life. Such strongholds can include fear, rejection, anger/bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, inferiority, lust, rebellion/witchcraft, apathy, slothfulness, and/or control. In my case, anger and insecurity did not allow me the freedom to love and receive love in a healthy way. All the enemy needs is an open door to plant spiritual strongholds in your heart. I can’t detail every way that satan takes residence in your inner-heart, but I’d like to mention a few crucial areas as it applies to the focal point of this text. Spirits can enter into your heart through doors such as:

* no father/ dysfunctional mother/father relationship
* divorce/adoption (broken away from birth parents)
* broken relationships
* lack of affirmation and love
* sexual assault such as incest or rape
* hurtful actions or words
* favoritism in the family
* transference of spirits through sexual immorality

It is noteworthy to pause here and further investigate strongholds that occur through sexual relations. Transference of spirits through sexual contact is very common. However, many people are not aware of the severe spiritual consequences that evolve as a result of having sex outside of marriage –a soul tie(s) immediately takes place in each person who engages in premarital sex. (Your soul can refer to your mind, will, and emotions. Wherever your mind, will, and emotions are, there you will find your soul).

A soul tie is not a scriptural phrase, but a psychological term that refers to a Biblical concept of the joining of two natures according to Genesis 2:24 “. . . And they shall be one flesh.” In other words, when two persons have intimate relations, a spiritual law begins to manifest itself in the natural realm. Sexual intercourse was designed for a husband and wife and when performed in marriage, it produces good fruit. Nevertheless, when practiced outside of the covenant, the law of God still fulfills itself, but it produces negative fruit. In reviewing the third chapter of Genesis, we can see how negative fruit comes forth when we operate beyond the boundaries of the Word of God. Genesis 3:16
says, “. . .Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Your desire shall be to your husband through the consummation of the marriage.

In the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), the word desire means “a craving, longing, that which is willed, a strong affection, and a yearning after”. As a result, God’s law is still active but in a negative manner. When sexual consummation transpires (in or outside of marriage) this will cause a woman to long for, desire, crave, or have a strong affection toward that person with whom she had sexual contact. This is why many times women find themselves tied to a man even when they have the motivation to leave the relationship. Her soul is tied to that person and she craves him in an unhealthy way due to the sexual intimacy in their relationship. Here lies a serious stronghold, because part of you is separated from God. In the sixth Psalm, verses 1-4 David speaks of how a soul that is separated from God can be in anguish, but favorably, David was able to experience the forgiving, delivering hand of God after his adultery with Bathsheba. In this particular prayer Psalm, he declares: O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger,… My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies sake! Likewise, we must cry out to God and ask for forgiveness and seek His counsel on how to become totally set free from sexual soul ties.

The journal page at the end will give further advice and prayer guidance on how one can initiate deliverance. In continuing, let’s discover other repercussions as a result of strongholds that enter and take root in a persons’ heart.

Once a spirit such as anger or hatred has entered in, other spirits begin to attach themselves to the major root. Some of these spirits include self-pity, shame, guilt, un-forgiveness, fear, fear of rejection, hatred, sickness, and rebellion. Some possible ways (signs) to recognize these spirits include passivity, indecisiveness, fear of trusting, involved in a continuous cycle of broken relationships, eating disorders, lashing out at others, and an inability to receive love. One should recognize these signs and investigate the probability that you may have a stronghold and need God’s help in being totally set free.

Fortunately, God’s Word provides us with a way to overcome these strongholds. First, you must identify the root of your stronghold and be willing to admit that you may have deep hatred, anger, and/or resentment that has entered into your heart. Or maybe you feel rejected, insecure, or confused. These strongholds could have entered through one of the doors previously mentioned. Second, you must seek God for the best process to help you discover deliverance.

Deliverance can come in a number of ways that derive its basis from the Word of God. For some, the spirits may be so deeply rooted that they may have to get deliverance from an anointed Pastor/Minister or deliverance team and have the spirits cast out. This type of deliverance is usually very unpopular because it is not something that is comfortable for everyone. In Jesus’ ministry, He cast spirits out of people on many occasions. For those who are skeptical, I will use God’s Word to validate this type of deliverance. In the 13th chapter of the book of Luke, verse 16, believers conclude that Christians cannot have evil spirits in their vessels. However, it must be acknowledged that during Jesus’ travels, he sees a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years and whom Jesus loosed by laying His hands on her and casting out the spirit. We know that this was a woman in the community of faith because she was a seed of Abraham who had a stronghold that resulted from an affliction by a demonic spirit. The verse says: “ . . and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day.” (KJV) The word bond signified a stronghold that this woman had for 18 years, but she was totally delivered! God can also liberate us and completely set us free.

Again, I must say, you must let God lead you into the type of deliverance that is best for you. For me, it took an anointed deliverance team to cast out the deep-rooted hatred and anger that was embedded in my heart. Other alternatives that are also biblically-based include fasting and praying. Some women may just repent and ask for forgiveness. In other cases, the stronghold could be so potent, that a woman may need extensive Christian counseling to work through the hurt, pain, anger, rejection, or whatever spirit is present. It is wise to participate in sound Christian counseling instead of secular counseling because Christian counseling will allow you to use the Word of God as your foundational resource when talking through your healing and deliverance.

In all steps of deliverance, God always admonishes us to seek Him first and let Him be the guide. Also, once delivered, we must fill the cleansed passages in our hearts with God’s Word. For example, if you’ve been loosed from hatred, study love, and learn to love the person you once hated. Learning to love involves a renewing of the heart and mind. The relationship may not change, but it is our attitude that God desires to change. Through God’s unconditional love and grace, we learn not to harbor hate but to also release unconditional love.

This is the method I used. Once the spirits of anger were cast out, I began to build a new relationship with my father. I had to listen to his advice, whether I agreed with it or not. I had to learn to respect him, even if I felt he was not respecting me. I learned to be submissive and non-defensive. As a result, my love for him began to grow and I saw this love being carried into other relationships. God told me that I had to renew the relationship with my father in accordance with His Word, or I would never be able to receive or fully love the man He had for me. Also, I had to stop wearing clothes that disclosed my body and attracted spirits of lust. I began to read scriptures that assured me that I was justified (accepted) in Christ Jesus. The Word convinced me that my significance was not in what I wore or did, but rather in my inner being or person which was created in the image of Christ. I was beginning to feel whole and complete, and I gained a sense of identity and confidence in my personhood in God. Also, I gained assurance that He had a purpose for my life.

Once you overcome your strongholds through some form of godly deliverance, you are moving closer towards being whole and ready for a covenant relationship with a godly man.

 

Journal Entry
Deliverance from strongholds

1. Are there visible signs that indicate I may have a stronghold? If so, list them.
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2. Can I identify any stronghold(s) in my life? List them
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3. What do I feel is the root cause of these strongholds? Is it my father, an incestuous relationship, rape, or some other reason that God has revealed to me?

4. List possible doors that may have given access to strongholds
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5. What type of deliverance do I think I need to help free me from this stronghold?

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Footnote: If the stronghold is severe, it may require further counsel from a trained Christian counselor or minister. Seek God for direction.

Relinquishing Soul ties
1. Are there any men to whom I have sexually tied myself? If so, list every man with whom you may have had sexual relations or formed a bond through casual relations. Repeat this prayer of deliverance and ask God for additional insight on how you need to be further released.
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Father, I repent and ask for Your forgiveness. I desire to be released from those men to whom I gave myself intimately before marriage. Release me from [call each name one by one] and restore me in right standing with You. I desire for my entire soul (mind, will, and emotions) to be totally focused on You.
In the Name of Jesus Christ
Amen

This is a simple prayer of deliverance and true repentance will cause you to move from sin and each person that causes you to act outside of God’s will. Further prayer and lamenting (crying or asking for forgiveness) before God may be necessary.

Write down scriptures that you will stand on for God’s complete healing of these soul ties and commit it to prayer and be patient and allow God’s healing power to manifest itself.

 

Endnote:

W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984), p.161.

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