The idea of a stronghold is certainly a good one if you look at it from the perspective of protection. Historically a stronghold was described as fortress or a castle, in modern day we have more advanced structures that are used for physical protection.
An ideological stronghold is a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld. An example of this would be political affiliations.
But what about thought strongholds? I read a variation of this quote today. [A stronghold is a thought pattern that forms a fortress around the mind, holding it prisoner to faulty thinking. It can be formed brick-by-brick by repetitive faulty thinking or it can appear all at once by a onetime traumatic event.]
Strongholds can be thoughts, or actions like addictions. A stronghold is a tower of bondage that we put ourselves in when we develop thought patterns and ideas that hold us captive. Thought patterns of doubt, worry, jealousy, envy, and discouragement as an example. When we feed these thoughts, we give satan – the prince of lies – the opportunity to stack the bricks and create a prison where he can whisper lies and break the spirit. Brick by brick he helps to build a stronghold all the while whispering that it is for protection and stirring those ungodly feelings. He is the master of lies and wants nothing more than to lock us in a prison and hold the keys just out of reach, all to undermine the foundation beneath us.
Scripture warns us against clinging to our strongholds and warns that these thought prisons are not protecting us, they are protecting the enemy.
In 2 Corinthians we are reminded that this battle is not a battle we can see, but it is a battle that, through Christ, can be won!
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV).
What is your stronghold? How can you use God’s truth to help chip away at the fortress of discouragement and wrong thinking?
God has given us the tools we need in His word, learning His truth, resting in His goodness, and looking at reality through His eyes will destroy the stronghold that has become a prison in which Satan is trying to trap you.