Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pulling Down Strong Holds

Temple Baptist Church - 7-16-2008

2 Corinthians 10:1-5


A. The Holy Spirit speaks of a spiritual warfare in these verses. We are more than a little familiar, in our day, with physical warfare with The Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom filling the headlines. Physical warfare has a known enemy and requires the combatants to use various modern weapons effectively in order to win.

B. A poorly armed army stands virtually no chance against the modern weaponry that our U. S. Army now brings to the battle field. Face to face combat with Iraq was like fighting with an unarmed man.

C. So it is with the child of God! Armed with the weapons of the flesh is of no effect against a well armed spiritual enemy. To war in the flesh is to lose in the spirit. Most of us deploy fleshly weapons long before we deploy spiritual ones and end up in a spiritual mess.

D. Therefore, we must be armed right and Ephesians 6 describes “the whole armour of God.”

Ephesians 6:11-13 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

E. I will deal with the armour of God in more detail when we get to the Book of Ephesians. I simply read these verses to reinforce the thought of spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons!

F. Let us look at these verses again so as to understand both the war and the warfare of the Christian.

1. The Reality Of Spiritual Strong Holds – Two words are seen here. Strong: This speaks of the strength of the enemy and hold, which speaks of occupation of a territory. Webster: A fastness; a fort; a fortified place; a place of resistance. Walls of resistance erected in the soul that are opposed to the truth of God’s Word.

a. It is possible for a Christian to have satanic “strong holds” in their lives. These “strong holds” are impossibilities to the flesh.

Deuteronomy 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people [is] greater and taller than we; the cities [are] great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

b. It is possible for a Christian to bring down those satanic “strong holds” through spiritual warfare!

Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted when [the priests] blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

2. The Recognition Of Spiritual Strong Holds – Before we can bring them down, we must recognize what they are!

a. The “strong holds” of Habits - HABITS (habit-ation). From the Latin word habeo, meaning to have, to hold. Habit is that which is held or retained; the effect of frequent repetition. Habits become entrenched in our life through frequent repetition. Our habitation is our FREQUENT dwelling place.

1) Outward Habits – Smoking, cursing, wrath, gluttony, etc. We should manifest the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of the world.

2) Inward Habits – Fear, pride, anger, bitterness, greed, worry, prayerlessness, faithlessness, etc.

b. The “strong holds” of High Things – Those things that are opposing to and elevated above the knowledge of God! The knowledge that God can do the impossible and nothing is either too large or too hard for Him. He is God! High things are things raised into positions of honor, worship, and power. High things and places are idolatry.

Ecclesiastes 12:5a Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way,

1) Imaginations – Things that are not real! Things that exist in the mind. Fantasies that control our spirituality!

2) Worry – “Exalt itself against the knowledge of God.” Things though impossible, even with God! We may not say that but we often think it. Situations so seemingly large and inescapable that we lose our faith in the God of the impossible.

3. The Removal Of Spiritual Strong Holds – Now that we can recognize them, we have the ability to remove them! My Dad was a wise man and once said, “When they find a cause for cancer, then they will find a cure for cancer.” As long as they are treating the symptoms, they will never find a cure.

a. We can do “all things” through Christ who is our Strength!

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (Recognize them, confess them, and give that “ground” back to God.)

b. What we cannot do, God certainly can do!
Genesis 18:14a Is any thing too hard for the LORD? (Our knowledge of God tells us NO!)

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