I have talked about strongholds in past blogposts. If you google stronghold, you get a definition that looks like the picture above: “a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack.”
The Bible speaks of strongholds of this nature in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, there is another way to look at strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) 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;”
According to Kenneth Berding (find his post on strongholds here)
- Arguments raised against the knowledge of God.
- Lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God.
- Thoughts (or ideas) that would lead someone away from obeying Christ.
In a Bible study that I am currently working on, stonghold is defined as:
“something you cling to on this earth when you should cling only to God Almighty. You depend on it or you love it or you worship it or you use it for comfort, pleasure, indulgences, a high, or to feed ‘self.'” You make it your idol and it takes the place of God in your life. (p. 167 Weighdown Advanced)
I have battled against several strongholds over the years, but my main one has been food. Although by man’s traditions, I would not be considered over weight, the interesting part is that I weigh about 25 pounds more than I did at my full height as a teenager. Now, I know that at my age I can’t return to the weight of around 115 pounds that I weighed then, but about six years ago, I felt in my heart that God was telling me my weight should be 122. I didn’t lose any weight at the time. Then the next year, I felt the same thing— that God was putting in my heart that I should weigh 122. I know that sounds weird, but I felt it strongly.
Do I weigh 122 now?
Of course not!
Because I didn’t take it seriously enough. I had prayed for God to heal my issues with my osteoaritic knees, my back, my cholesterol, and my blood pressure. And like Naaman in the Old Testament, I felt like I was too good to dip in the muddy waters of cutting back on food.
As a child and teenager, I rarely thought of food. I ate when I was hungry. I appreciated good food, but I never ate until my stomach hurt (except one time with food from a fish camp that I thought was so good—and I payed dearly for that one), I didn’t have indigestion, I was thin.
Then life hit in my adult years and I ran to food for comfort, entertainment, boredom, and stress… instead of God, The One I should have been running to. Food was my idol.
I was a glutton. I know I have fallen into the sin of gluttony on any given eating occasion by checking off these questions:
- Does my stomach hurt?
- Do I have indigestion?
- Do I have reflux?
- Do I need to change to looser clothes because the ones I have on are too tight at the moment?
I had to get really serious with God during all of this. In studying the scriptures and understanding what sin really is, that Jesus’ death broke the dominion of sin over us in our lives (Romans 6:14), and that if we continue in sin we are trampling on Jesus and His selfless sacrifice of His BLOOD, until there is no more sacrifice for sin, but instead a judgement from God so terrible we should be very fearful of it (Hebrews 10:29-31) Also, knowing that God’s divine power has given me everything I need to live a life free of sin (2 Peter1:3), I am totally without excuse.
On August 8th I determined in my heart, that I would not weigh myself, but trust God with my weight, and I would go for two months and then step on the scales and see what the LORD had accomplished in my life.
The problem was… I continued to not be serious enough because in my wicked heart, I kept letting these words permeate my thoughts— “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1)
And my stronghold still had me.
Even though I was not weighing, I could tell that I had not lost any weight, but may have even gained some. I was not taking this sin seriously. If you have any idol before God— search the scriptures and you will get a very clear picture of how God feels about it.
When you are searching, don’t only search for idols or idolatry, but also search for gluttony, greed, sensual pleasure, lust, and lying (Because you are lying to yourself, and others about what you eat). These will also come up in lists throughout the New Testament describing who will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Google: Bible verses of who will not inherit the kingdom of God.)
My two months of not weighing will be up on Sunday, October 8th. I did not get serious enough about it until about a week ago. It has taken years of study for me to finally agree… Yes, God did say…
- To have no other God’s before Him
- That if we continue in our sins after being saved the wrath of God will come on us
- We reap what we sow (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, bad knees, aches and pains, low energy)
Thank God we have an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, and His Divine Power to help. But we have to fall on our face, confess or sins, and turn from them.
So I had a breakthrough about a week ago, and this has been a good week for me. As I prayed and sincerely asked God to break this stronghold in my life (truly meaning it for the first time), and agreed that I want God to be The only God and ruler of my life (not myself or food), God has taken away desire for food except when I’m hungry. I don’t think about food all the time like I have done over the years. I am no longer fearful of being hungry. (Yes, this has been a true thing for me. I have feared the sensation of hunger.) Now I am grateful for hunger, because I know I am not overeating. Before, I never truly let myself get hungry.
Hunger won’t kill you, and having a hunger for God should override the hunger for food.
Did I wait too long to finally get serious? Will I have actually have lost anything by this coming Sunday, since the change in me will only be in place for two weeks instead of the two months I originally alloted?
I’ll let you know next week.
In the meantime, I want to continue on God’s path for my life, taking advantage of the God given dominion over sin through the death of Jesus, and abide in the vine because: “Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” 1 John 3:6.
And I truly want to know HIM! And everything about HIM!
Are there some stongholds in your life you are stuggling with? If so, would you mind sharing your journey to rid yourself of any strongholds? It would be so helpful to others who are struggling, and to me:).