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Notes from Evening Bible Study

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? ~ Jeremiah 17:9

I think if God had shown me all the things wrong with my wicked heart from the beginning, I would have run away feeling hopeless. He didn’t. He reveals to me step by step. This is a part of my studies and devotion today. OUCH!!! The Lord corrects in such a beautiful way…even though the process is sometimes messy He gives a desire above all other desires to change from glory to glory and look today more like Him than I did yesterday. Help me, Lord I pray…in Jesus Name. Amen!!! Amen!!!

Offense: Demolishing Strongholds

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; ~ 2 Cor 10:4-5

None of us like to be hurt. Typically, we will avoid pain whenever possible. So when someone offends us, we erect walls in our relationship to protect ourselves. God identifies these walls as “strongholds” – set patterns of reasoning (thinking) through which we process or filter information.

The word “stronghold” in 2 Corinthians 10:4 is the Greek word ochuroma. It was a term used to describe a castle or fortress that had very thick, impenetrable walls built to keep intruders out. Interestingly, the same word for stronghold here was also used to describe a prison – a place of punishment or torment. Do you see what strongholds do to your life? I sure did.

David Wilkerson wrote:

“A stronghold is an accusation planted firmly in your mind. Satan establishes strongholds in God’s people by implanting in their minds lies, falsehoods and misconceptions…The devil may try to convince you that you have a right to hold onto bitterness because you’ve been wronged. He’ll try to destroy your marriage by persuading you, ‘You can’t endure this relationship any longer unless your spouse changes.’ If you keep listening to his lies, you’ll begin to believe them after a while.”

Think about it. It may not be marriage at all. It may be a work relationship, a church relationship, a friendship, parent relationship, neighbor relationship. We think we can’t endure unless they change – Change me, Lord! That is my earnest desire and fervent prayer, Change me!!!!

What is the cure for destructive strongholds? Seek GOD!

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name: 9 That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress. ~ Amos 5:8-9

As I recognize the enemy’s lies and repent to God for believing them (John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness), He will forgive me and tear down the stronghold of offense in my soul. So then, I dig into His Word and begin to replace the enemy’s lies with truth.

How powerful is God’s Word!?!

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

James 1:21 – Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Jeremiah 23:28-29 – The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?