The Sure Way to Destroy a Stronghold at Its Root

A stronghold is an issue, addiction or weakness that just won’t let go. They come in all kinds of struggles from food, lust or emotional conditions. But you don’t have to be held hostage anymore.

Kyle WinklerBy Kyle Winkler
Author & Bible Teacher

It’s likely you or someone you love has struggled with a recurring issue, addiction or weakness at one time or another. Maybe it’s with food, lust or some emotional condition. These persistent battles are what the apostle Paul referred to as strongholds. And they’re the enemy’s most potent form of attack because they hold us in a trap that we can’t get out of in our own strength or willpower (see 2 Cor. 10:3–4).

The Root of a Stronghold

Satan uses mind games to lead you to an object, a substance or a person as the means of relief.

What makes a stronghold so effective against us is how it starts. Of course, none of us would knowingly walk into an obvious trap. So Satan sets us up much more subtly. He begins in the mind with lies, doubts and what-ifs. It could be a lie about what your past means to your future: “You’ll always struggle; you’ll never be free.” Or a doubt about your identity: “You’re not married; you’re not educated enough; you haven’t achieved enough; you’re just not good enough.” Or maybe a what-if about your situation.

Whatever the case, what happens next is crucial to the development of a stronghold. Satan uses these mind games to lead you to an object, a substance or a person as the means of relief. But when you give in to these temptations, what was supposed to be a momentary escape from reality turns into intense guilt and shame. Then you’re back to step one: hearing more lies, doubts and what-ifs. This time these might sound like, “Look what you’ve done!” or “You’re too far gone.” Then as hopelessness and despair are added to the original stressors, you continue to search for ways of relief, often returning to those familiar crutches. And around and around you go.

Put God’s Word to Work as a Weapon

When you attack the root of a stronghold with truth, you’ll find it loses its grip on you.

Thankfully, God has not left us to be the devil’s hostages. As I teach in my book, Activating the Power of God’s Word, God has given us instruction in His Word for how to break up with Satan’s supernatural vises. According to Paul, since these strongholds are rooted and grown in the mind, we must deal with them there … to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Of course, only something with divine power can release the grip of something with a supernatural hold. That’s why victory involves putting God’s Word to work as a weapon! In other words, we confront the source of strongholds with the ultimate source of truth.

Though it does take intention, the way to do this isn’t complicated. Take a moment now and think about the mental root of some of the failures and struggles in your life. Now ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to scriptures that confront those thoughts. Maybe you need to make a habit of declaring Colossians 2:9–10: “I am complete in Christ.” Or 2 Corinthians 5:17: “I am a new person in Christ.” Whatever the situation, over time, when you attack the root of a stronghold with truth, you’ll find it loses its grip on you.

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