Demolishing Strongholds

1 Samuel 17:1-30 (NIV)

1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them. 4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. 8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other. ” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

Strongholds

• STRONGHOLD: Strongholds mean exactly what the word implies. They are areas of land, which have a strong hold. A fortified structure, which is able to resist by assault by enemy forces same is the picture of a spiritual stronghold.

  • An army invading enemy territory needs to take down the strongholds to hold the land. If strongholds remain, they will become a continual threat to the army and citizens in the land.

  • When we are lost or separate from God, Yes we were under the enemy’s (devil) control; our lives are subject to strongholds. These strongholds were constructed, for a purpose. They were designed to keep us lost and disconnected from God. Satan in this war, is in the business of constructing strongholds, which feed our fallen human nature. They actually in many cases will bring us comfort & temporary relief ( hence why it can be very difficult at times to dislodge these strongholds). It's the enemy's (Satan) desire is to keep you and I blind from the Gospel of Christ, so that we end up perishing in a lost condition, having always a sense of defeat and discouragement yet at times being in a relentlessly pursuit of peace & pleasure or an outlet in some cases that may provide comfort (e.g. Cigarettes), if it is not one thing it's another. When we come to Christ, the army of the Lord (Holy Spirit) invades our life; the real battle for the territory of our heart has begun.

  • Before salvation, it is typically manipulation, humanistic thinking, humanistic wisdom, deception & lies from Satan (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Strongholds

  • Then as a Christian now comes , transformed, spiritually cleansed, spiritual growth and awareness and then MOST IMPORTANTLY TRUTH comes into their life and heart !!!! Satan's stronghold is now being drastically threatened therefore he (Satan) is not willing to give ground to his enemy, Jesus, nor does he want us to live a successful spiritual life. Therefore, his goal is to keep as many strongholds standing in our life as he can, allowing him to wage war on our souls.

  • Remember, Satan's goal is to prevent the power of God, from being established and rooted in anyone’s life. He does this through strongholds, if Satan can establish areas of operation in our life; he then will have the ability to attack at will.(I now better understand how my weakness at any moment shows itself even when I think "I'm good, I'm strong or I can handle this now" then Satan attacks and I am devastated , some times I think we may call them addictions a very well entrenched stronghold) He can then keep us from being on the effective or overcoming and many fall away from God and wander from the faith. Very interesting enough, these strongholds also will provide comfort or relief to our challenges in life our frustrations or our fears or our anxieties.

Examples of strongholds

Fear Anger Insecurity Doubt Lust Anxiety Self value to God

Worry Materialism or greed Entertained - busy body Spending

Pride

Criticalness

Un-forgiveness Relationship issues, marriage is stuck

Lack of Discipline Guilt

Uncontrollable tongue Selfishness Resentment Controlling nature Self pity Laziness Folly Gossiping Deceit

Demolisher of a Stronghold - David

12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

3 reasons why strongholds will remain

1. Growing weary of the battle where fear and doubt sets in

Strive growth in your faith in God. The hard times are to only grow you.

James 1:5-8 (MSG) 5 If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. 6 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. 7 Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, 8 adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

2. Mis-understanding what God has trying to accomplishing in your life.

Job 36:15-21 (NIV) 15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. 16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. 17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you. 18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside. 19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?.......... 21 Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.

3. Lack of Intimacy with Christ (See the life of David) Intimacy with God will produce only good! We tend to limit our walk with God to certain times or certain places.

John 17:21 ( A devoted time with God with out time limits, without boundaries without reservations, without drawing lines on what God needs to do ) - worrying about doing Christian things and not being close to Christ ..