Spiritual Strongholds

Mark 16.15-18

This past week, we continued last week's discussion on spiritual strongholds. This week, the discussion turned to how a spiritual stronghold is built, maintained and destroyed.

Last week, we said that there is no healing to be gotten by going back over past hurts and somehow trying to make things come out differently in your imagination. All this does is reopen the wound and further delay healing.

To understand this, consider a fortress in your mind. Consider that it has a high, thick wall made out of brick. Inside of that fortress is a spirit - spirit of anger, bitterness, fear, resentment, etc. - one spirit per fortress. As you look at the walls of the fortress, you will find that each brick has writing on it. One brick might say, "John Smith who betrayed my confidence on May 4th, 1998." Another might say, "My mother who would not let me go to the movie on September 7th, 1988." And on and on and on... A formidable wall composed of hundreds or thousands of bricks. Behind that wall sits a spirit who vigorously defends it against any attempt to remove even a single brick. This defense consists of the spirit replaying entirely the incident associated with the brick so that the hurt becomes fresh and vivid in your mind and emotions.

The thing that gives the spirit its power is that there is writing on the other side of the brick as well. It is written where you can't see it but the spirit can. The writing says, "Made by [your name]."

A fortress is made brick by brick by you. Each time something occurs that pushes one of your buttons, you drag out the brick mold and start packing it with clay. Once the brick is set, you give it to the spirit who carefully places it into the wall.

The key to demolishing a stronghold is not to smash down its wall. The key is to identify the spirit inside and make it leave. Once the spirit is gone, it is a simple matter to unstack the bricks and turn them into a patio. In other words, you do not loose your memories, you simply choose whether they will be a foundation under your feet or strongholds for the unclean spirits in your life.

So how do you get rid of the spirit without smashing through the wall? First ask the Holy Spirit to show you who is defending your strongholds. He will do that if you want Him to. Once you have the spirit identified, cast it out using your authority as given in Mark 16:17.

The spirit will probably try and come back to test if you're really serious. To prevent this, begin turning its fortress into pavement. Visit the bricks and pull them down. With no guardian, this process is vastly simplified. It won't take very many bricks before the whole thing comes tumbling down and you'll realize that there's no power there any longer.

Move on to the next stronghold and repeat.