Pulling Down Strongholds in Your Life, Part 1: A Prescription for Change

|

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4)

The Christian is engaged daily in spiritual warfare. We fight against the world, the flesh, the devil, the belief systems of this world that are appealing but unbiblical, the negative and destructive thoughts that assail us, the habits and learned behaviors that are unbiblical, and the lies of the devil that discourage and depress us. Scripture reminds us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (fleshly). Our fight is not with other people, or with unhappy circumstances of life. Ours is rather a spiritual battle!

We are not to use unkindness, criticism of people we don’t like, backbiting, slander, party-politics, self-promotion, discrimination, or other carnal methods to accomplish God’s purposes—even if we think we are trying to defend the faith. The weapons of our warfare are

  • the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17);
  • prayer and supplication (Eph. 6:18);
  • faith in our powerful God; praise to God for His wonderful works, promises, and person; and thankfulness in all things and for all things (Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18).

Our spiritual weapons are powerful weapons with divine power that are able to pull down the strongholds that the world, the flesh, or the devil have built in our lives. The goals of this warfare are to demolish in our life, our attitudes, or in our thinking, anything unlike Christ, and to lead us captive to Christ so that we can please Him in everything (Col. 1:10), bringing every conscious thought into obedience to Christ (Rom. 1:5; 16:26).

The crucial question is “How can I have the strongholds in my life pulled down?” These include strongholds such as bitterness, ill will, unkindness, unchristlike temper and anger, envy, lust, jealousy, worry and anxiety, addictive habits, a critical spirit, laziness, self-centeredness, compulsive buying, compulsive eating, or other intemperate behaviors. The answer to this question begins with this promise from God:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Cor. 10:13)

Because we know that an all-powerful God can instantaneously remove all strongholds from our life, we are frustrated when we ask Him to do so and He does not instantaneously do it. We forget that God did not promise that he would instantaneously deliver us and automatically pull down all strongholds that need to be removed from our lives. What does God promise His Children?

Let’s look again at 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The Commonality of Temptation

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. (1 Cor. 10:13)

Many other people have struggled with the same problems and weaknesses as you. What a relief to learn that your particular struggle with unbiblical attitudes or behaviors is not unique to you! Know that some people have even faced much stronger and more severe temptations than you in the same areas of life, and they have learned how to be victorious over the temptation.

The Commitment of God

“But God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Cor. 10:13)

God’s usual method of destroying a stronghold in our life is by means of His Spirit and His Word! God will allow you to be tempted only up to your load limit. He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the life-transforming power of God’s Word, your stronghold(s) can be pulled down!

The Obedience God Expects From Us

If we wish the unbiblical strongholds in our life to be pulled down, we must obey all that God tells us to do. Here is a checklist. Have you done the following? God’s Word tells us by precept and principle that we must:

  1. flee temptation (II Tim. 2:22);
  2. put on the Lord Jesus Christ and avoid anything that triggers your area(s) of weakness (Romans 13:14);
  3. cleanse your life, your home, and your environment of things that lead to temptation;
  4. remove all sources of temptation;
  5. create barriers along paths that you know lead to temptation and failure;
  6. not do things you know will expose you to your area of weakness and vulnerability;
  7. not go places you know will trigger your area of weakness;
  8. be careful about the people you continue to have as your friends (if they are spiritually bad for you, don’t hang around them);
  9. commit to full obedience to God’s Word;
  10. memorize God’s Word so that you will not sin against God (Psa. 119:9–11);
  11. learn how to resist temptation by praying the promises of God;
  12. become accountable to a godly older saint who will pray for you and daily/weekly ask you how you are doing in the area of your weakness; and
  13. learn to use Scripture as spiritual medicine.

The strongholds in your life can be pulled down and destroyed! How badly do you want to be set free? If you are genuinely sincere and truly in earnest about having God pull down the strongholds in your life that you know displease God, are you willing to discipline yourself to take spiritual medicine for 60 days?

Before you say, “Yes,” please read the following prescription requirements!

Prescription for Change by the Power of God’s Word and Spirit (4 Times Per Day for 60 Days)

1. In the morning, read each Scripture and pray each prayer before you begin your day. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over whatever is your problem area until noon or lunch time.

2. At noon or lunch time, read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over whatever is your problem area until supper time.

3. At supper time, read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over whatever is your problem area until bed time.

4. At bedtime, read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Review your behavior throughout the day. Did you walk the entire day in the power of the Spirit?

5. If you should do or say something that you know the Holy Spirit was not pleased with, immediately ask God for forgiveness. Purpose to never stop seeking God for deliverance and victory over whatever is your problem area, The ultimate goal is to learn to walk moment-by-moment in the Spirit (to live under the guidance and control of the Spirit).

6. Take this Scriptural medicine for 60 days and report your progress weekly to someone you trust for accountability. If, by God’s grace, you are willing to follow the prescription directions for the spiritual medicine of God’s Word, you will discover God’s Spirit, His Word, and prayer can pull down the strongholds from your life.

In Part 2, I will give you sample sets of Scriptural medicine to use with a sample prayer for each Scripture. I will provide a sample set for victory over carnal anger and temper, and victory over intemperance in eating. These two sets will serve as examples of how to prepare Scriptural medicine to pull down the specific strong hold in your life about which God is speaking to you.


Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.

Allan Brown
Dr. Allan Brown is Professor and Chair of the Division of Ministerial Education at God's Bible School & College. He holds his PhD in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University and is the author of several books and articles.