To recap the dictionary defines strongholds as, “a place that has been fortified so as to protect it from attack.” So, to put this in context a stronghold is a fortified area in our mind and spirit where the power of darkness (Satan) operates and it has power over
us, this is where Satan operates, this is where he has power over us. I am not talking about someone who is possessed by a demon. I am talking about an area in our spirits, in our mind where we are under attack by the enemy and we are bound in our mind and we are bound in our spirit and we cannot operate how God would want us to.
These fortified strongholds in our minds are formed in a certain way, they are formed because we open a door and we allow the devil in, we allow him to come in and we allow him to operate in our minds. These strongholds are formed by the enemy, Satan. They are formed through lies and they are formed through deception. This is how strongholds are formed in our life.
This topic is very important to the body of Christ because so often Christians engage in this and do not see how it can be harmful.
This activity is divination. Which is ANY method used to contact the spirit world to determine the future. This can be fortune-telling/psychics palm reading, zodiac, horoscopes, witchcraft with is rebellion and familiar spirits.
How can I say this? I am not saying that Christians are possessed with demons; however, I am saying is that many see this activity minus the witchcraft as just harmless fun. That is the way I viewed it.
If you are a Christian you cannot be involved in much of this activity however there are some things Christians are involved with. Many Christians are engaged in divination and they do not realize it. They do not see the need to stop and they do not see anything wrong with what they are doing. I am not saying that Christians are possessed with demons; however, I am saying is that many see this activity minus the witchcraft as just harmless fun. That is the way I viewed it even though there was something within me whispering and saying how I should not be involved in horoscope reading.
When we look in the Bible in I Samuel 28: King Saul went to see a woman with a familiar spirit he wanted information because God was no longer speaking to him. God is against us trying to see the future that this activity was punishable by death. God knows the danger of tapping into this spiritual world. When a person has a familiar spirit the demonic spirit actually inhabits the person and the person can call up different spirits. Zodiacs and horoscope readings can open doors to the enemy.
There are many methods a person can use to see what their horoscope says such as filling out questionnaires online, reading the horoscope in the paper or online. Christians see this as harmless, we have been taught all of our lives about our horoscope. Often people will ask, what is your zodiac sign? I remember being so proud of being a “Scorpio” just as others are proud of their zodiac sign. However according to the word of God he is against this. God knows the spirit world is real, he knows the danger of tapping into this spirit world. This activity could take people down a path, some people could get so caught up in it, and they could get so deep in it and realize how difficult it is to get out. God does not want us to seek information about the future except it comes from him because he is the only one who actually knows the future. The devil is a deceiver and a liar and he will give us information. He knows some things about us and often the information is right but so much of it is wrong and the part that is right ropes people in and curiosity causes them to continue seeking.
Now, God does not want us to be bound and sometimes we open doors in our life. We open doors through the things we do and we often don’t realize that these things which God speaks against in his word are important. I believe there is something within each of us that desires to know the future. We want to know what is going to happen to us. That is why many people are drawn to the prophetic. When I would read my horoscope after I became a Christian I knew within myself that the information was more likely not true but there was a part of me that wanted to see if it could possibly be true.
Christians must understand that the spirit world is real; we believe angels are real but sometimes people have a difficult time believing in the demonic world, that it is also real. Many people do not believe that demons exist and that they are working to destroy us. The entertainment industry has made the demonic world acceptable through movies and books. It has become so acceptable that people do not see the danger; however, this is a trick of the enemy, to blind us to the reality of the demonic world.
It is only through the blood of Christ that we are covered. Christians cannot be possessed by a demonic spirit because God and Satan cannot inhabit the same temple. But we must realize that even though the blood of Jesus cleanses us and it has washed us clean and set us free this does not give us the justification to continue with the behavior. We must stop because it is harmful to us and displeasing to God.
Just as Jesus stands at the door and knocks, the devil also stands at the door and knocks. He is looking for a way to gain access to our mind, soul and spirit and the only way for him to gain access is by us letting him in.
Before I became a Christian I knew nothing about how real the demonic world is, but one day I found out. When I was in high school, I believe it was the 12th grade the school put on a carnival of sorts. Different rooms were set up with different activities; I remember in one of the rooms there was someone with a Ouija board. I remember sitting down and the person placing their hand on (the planchette); this is the object you place your hand on. I don’t remember asking a question but what I remember is that it moved. I didn’t believe it actually moved by itself and one day I decided to buy myself a Ouija board. I enlisted my two younger sisters to help me. We did what the instructions said and asked a question. The planchette actually moved; I was surprised when it happened.
One day being curious I decided to see if the board would work with just one person. I got the board out and decided to try it, I placed my hand on the planchette, asked a question and it moved. I was surprised and even more curious. I continued to use the board over a period of time and ask questions. The majority of the time I knew the answer to some of the questions. One day I decided to ask the board who it was. I asked the question, “What is your name?” To this day I do not remember what it spelled out, but whatever it was the answer scared me so much I packed the Ouija board up and threw it in the trash. I thank God that he did not allow me to get caught up in that spiritual world of the demonic.
This story should open up your eyes to the reality that the spirit world is real. You may be someone who has had contact with the spirit world and know it is real. You know there are demons as well as angels and this demonic host wants to come and bind the people of God, they want to keep us down. They do not want us to experience the fullness of what God has for us. They come to deceive us, often through ignorance of the word of God. Therefore through ignorance, we fall for the deception of the devil. God does not want us to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. He wants us to know we have been given power through his Spirit. We have been given power over all the power of the enemy. We do not have to be bound and if we are bound we do not have to stay bound. God has set us free; we only have to walk in that freedom.
Sometimes as we go through different tests and trials we find ourselves experiencing the same trials over and over again and we ask ourselves why. Often it is because of a stronghold. It is something we have allowed to come into our heart and mind. Like anger, low self-esteem, doubt, and fear. This is not a comprehensive list but hopefully, this will help you take a self-examination of yourself. You will begin to see that you do not have to be bound. Deliverance begins with us. We must understand that God does not tempt us with evil. He does test and try us but not with evil.
“Neither give place to the devil” Ephesians 4:27. We must keep the doors closed. Do not give him an opportunity to come in and deceive, do not give him an opportunity to come in and bind you with strongholds. Do not give him an opportunity to fool you because God has given us power and authority to use the name of Jesus.
Disobedience will also open doors to the enemy. King Saul opened the door to Satan when he disobeyed the prophet, Samuel, in I Samuel the 15th chapter he was told to destroy the Amalekites, to leave nothing alive. “However Saul disobeyed the command of God And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” When this happened God rejected him as king over his people.
Now let us talk about legal rights. What is a legal right? Merriam-Webster’s defines legal as, “deriving authority from or founded on law.” And right is defined as “something to which one has a just claim.” Therefore a legal right means Satan has the authority because his claim has been established through sin. Ephesians 2:2-3, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” II Timothy 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
I want to share with you an event that actually occurred to me. There is a person I knew many years ago; this person often had seizures during sleep. One day I was informed that this person did not always have seizures they began sometime during adulthood. The person knew that the seizures were happening because of demonic attack. Whenever the seizures happened I was asked to pray which I did. I would command the devil to release the person in the name of Jesus and eventually, the seizures would subside. One night as I was praying for this person because of another attack I heard this, “we have a right to be here.” I was taken aback because it shocked me, but I did not stop praying. I continued to pray the blood of Jesus and command the spirits to lose their hold in the name of Jesus. Afterwards, when it was over I asked God what had happened. I knew what I had heard was real, it wasn’t audible but I heard it. God told me that the person had opened doors to the devil through certain behavior and until that person repented the spirits had a legal right to be there, this person had given the devil access. I thought WOW; because this is the first time I had ever heard something like this.
God let me know that until the person repented until the person shut the door and asked for forgiveness it would continue. Disobedience to God and unrepentant sin opens the door not to possess us but it gives the devil an opportunity to come in and cause problems in our lives.
II Corinthians 7:1 says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We must cleanse ourselves. Often people will say they are waiting on God; it is true God will forgive us of our sins but in our day to day walk with him we must cleanse ourselves and ask God to forgive us. He leaves this to us which prevents us from trying to justify ourselves when we sin against God. We cannot say, God didn’t clean me up or he didn’t change me, because he will but we must be willing and allow him to. We must yield ourselves to him and to the work of the Holy Spirit. Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
We must understand that our fight is not with people because “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.” Ephesians 6:12
Another way that doors are opened is through entertainment. Scary movies that involve demonic activities open doors that allow them to come into our homes. There is so much happening in the spirit world that we do not see. There was a time when I watched these movies but the more my relationship with God increased the less I was able to watch these types of movies and today I don’t watch them anymore. Just as movies carry spirits so does music, however, many people will not believe it. Music invokes certain emotions within us. It can make us feel, happy, sad, anxious, angry, sexual, etc.
Spirits are real, every day there are battles taking place that we are not aware of. In the book of Daniel 10:12-13 he was praying for his people and seeking an answer from god however it was delayed, “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” This shows the battle that happens around us on a daily basis that we cannot see unless God allows us to see into the spiritual realm.
To recap, the demonic world is real, Satan is real. God does not want you to be bound, he wants you to live an abundant life, and he wants you to be set free from everything that has you bound. God loves you so much that Jesus died to set you free, however, we must turn from our wicked ways, this is something we must do. God is not going to force us, it is up to us. Keep those doors closed; find out what the word of God is saying, find out what God wants for your life. Ask him if there is anything in your life that needs to change and then repent and turn from it. You also need to understand that change does not happen overnight, do not get discouraged because it is a process. God will deliver you.
There is something the devil does not want you to know. He does not want you to know who you are, and he does not want you to know the power and authority you have been given through the Holy Spirit. He wants to keep you ignorant and bound. Because he knows that if you realize the power and authority you have through God you will begin to rise up and cast him out. You will say Satan no more, I am not going to take this anymore, you will not bind me anymore, you do not have the authority anymore, you lost the authority when Jesus died and rose again. But we must keep the doors closed.
Jesus said go forth and heal the sick, raise the dead, freely you have received, freely give. God has given us the same power and authority that Jesus had when he walked this earth. It is the same spirit that dwells within us. If we have been filled with the spirit of God we have that power.