Demolishing and Building Strongholds
The weapons we wield are not merely human, but divinely potent to demolish strongholds; we demolish sophistries [– arguments and presumptions and lofty opinions –] and all that rears its proud head against the knowledge of God; we compel every human thought to surrender in obedience to Christ; and we are prepared to punish all rebellion once your [obedience is complete]. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, NEB
Strongholds are built intentionally, taking personal effort and time to build. Strongholds are built to protect and control strategic flows of resources. Many old castles around the world were built on high places to control large swaths of land. Some fortresses are built at the mouths of bays or rivers to control traffic entering or leaving harbors.In writing to the Corinthians, Paul is dealing with strongholds of the heart and mind built by the values of culture, government, and religion built over centuries. Paul indicated that there are steps in the process to demolishing strongholds, but the other side of the coin show these steps as ways to build strongholds:
+Demolishing sophistries – arguments, presumptions and lofty opinions raised up against the knowledge of God
+Embrace and stand upon the knowledge of God
+Compelling our thoughts to surrender in obedience to Christ
+Willingness to fight to protect those who surrender
+Fight to protect the knowledge of God and obedience to Christ
Daily, we see others building strongholds all the time—worshiping a band or a sports team etc, and in the same way, we should build them towards the Kingdom.
From recent experience in witnessing another’s strongholds to music, or perhaps pop culture, I began to wonder how to build a stronghold of faith or hope or love or of any of the fruits of the Spirit. It seems then that to build a stronghold of faith I need to follow the pattern of demolishing along with the pattern of building with the devoted attention of the young man on the train.
• I need to deal with my own lofty opinions or arguments of what faith is and study what scriptures says faith is in definition and the lives of biblical characters.
• I need to compel my thoughts to surrender in obedience to Christ – my old thoughts about faith and the new ones that I am building.
• I need to protect and hold fast to this knowledge of God about faith and my stance of surrender in obedience to Christ.
• And like the young man, I need to be unashamed of this Good News of faith becoming a stronghold within, declaring it to the world around me.
If strongholds are created to protect and control strategic resources, I wonder what a stronghold of faith will look like in me by year’s end?
Lord Jesus, I now bring my every though into obedience to you. I offer to you my every presumption about who you are and who I am to you. I ask you to transform me by the renewal of my mind, so that I am a stronghold for you wherever you set me.