Victory over Strongholds in the Mind – Ray E Horton
In days of old, when an army wanted to bring down an enemy fortress or stronghold, the best strategy was often to cut the supply lines and starve them out before attacking.
Many people, including believers, have strongholds of bad habits, compulsions, even addictions like gluttony, drugs and alcohol, gambling, lust, self-centeredness, and more, which they have inherited or fed over the years. Even in the Lord, these can be hard to break.
“Many people, including believers, have strongholds of bad habits, compulsions, even addictions like gluttony, drugs and alcohol, gambling, lust and self-centeredness, which they have inherited or fed over the years. Even in the Lord, these can be hard to break.”
For Christians, God has given us a new, perfected spirit with His righteousness, but the flesh must still be kept under since the soulish realm of our minds is still in process and only gradually renewed.
But, when strongholds develop, they are dug in, and like the ancient fortresses, they are strong. We need to use the same strategy – starve them out. Even modern science recognizes that habits and addictions are like pathways in the brain which will continue to grow if the path continues in use. Stay off that path, and it will overgrow, with the habits lessening until broken.
We Have the Power to Overcome
So how do we avoid these areas of sin and weakness in our minds and starve them out. Pretty hard for most people to do by sheer will-power. Sometimes it takes counseling, inner healing and/or deliverance. But, as believers, we have the power to overcome in Him. Sin is no longer our master. We are free to choose.
As we focus on God’s promises, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can see temptation for what it is, catch it immediately, and resist with God’s Word. As we do, while focusing on Jesus, they will have to flee. The battle is in the mind. We can take our thoughts and vain imaginations captive, turning unto Jesus with prayer and praise and thanksgiving, changing the subject, as instructed in Phil. 4:8-9:
“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. Do those things which you have both learned and received…, and the God of peace will be with you.”
We can have victory in every area of life, this life, right now. As we overcome, we gain confidence and faith grows, we draw close unto Him, spending time in His presence, and a renewed joy in the Lord builds our strength in Him to continue to overcome in every area.
Increasingly Manifesting Who We Are Now in Christ
The renewal of the mind with these understandings does not necessarily come quickly. Old ways and attitudes are deeply set. So, let us start now and redeem the time.
Despite my many years of walking in the Lord, I have only been able to find and experience these principles at the heart level these last few years. It is my desire that what I have learned, having fallen often, but having gotten up again with Him, will help to jump-start your growth in new hope with a life that reflects more and more who you are now in Christ.
You will not be alone as you step out in faith to become free, not only at the spiritual level (which happened at your rebirth), but in everyday life. Trust Jesus, and the comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with you, and pray for and encourage one another in this journey as we run the race, and “He will strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:8).
(Written and first posted on Facebook May 28, 2018).