There is an ongoing battle for us and a battle for our minds. The devil knows if he can get our minds, he can get us. Wickedness wants to come in, and it is always looking for an open door or an invitation.
Flaming arrows of the evil one are evil thoughts.
The devil is sending you evil thoughts all the time. You don’t have to receive them. As a matter of fact, the more you refuse him and reject his thoughts, the sooner he will back off and quit trying. Just because thoughts come to us doesn’t mean they belong to us or have to remain.
When we let our minds wander and continually entertain evil, negative thoughts, a stronghold develops. A stronghold is anything that has a strong hold on you. Merriam-Webster defines stronghold as: “a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic.” In times of war you wouldn’t cross certain enemy lines without a battle plan for fear you might walk into an enemy stronghold, an area or camp where the enemy is in control.
How do we recognize a stronghold and how do we get free?
A stronghold is a state of mind where you are not in complete control. Sounds heavy, but it’s more common than you think. A stronghold is anything that has a strong hold on you, such as feelings, emotions, habits, or sin. You want to be in control, but your emotions run away with you and carry you to where you don’t want to go, such as despair or depression or fear or worry, or guilt, condemnation, or obsessive control. No one wants to be a worry wart; we say things like, “I just can’t help it.” When you can’t help yourself and find yourself doing what you don’t want to do, you are trapped in a stronghold.
When you are in a pit or depressed and can’t escape or easily turn it off; this is a stronghold. A bad habit is a stronghold. Whatever has more control over you than you do over it, is a stronghold.
"Take Control of Your Mind and Close the Door to those Negative, Depressing, Fearful, Worrisome Thoughts Forever."
Do you struggle with thoughts of shame or guilt, feeling burdened, lost, and overwhelmed? Maybe you believe you are stuck in a pit and can’t get out, and even worse you believe you deserve to be there.
I understand, because I was once there too! I wrote my book “Your Thoughts are Killing You” in order to share this message—God wants the best for you, and He has the means to get you there!
A stronghold begins with just a thought
And, if allowed, can grow from one thought into a series of thoughts that become default thought patterns. These thoughts take control and capture what they were never authorized to take: our peace of mind and self-control.
When a thought process has a firm hold on us, then those thoughts control us because they become more powerful than our will or ability to overthrow them. We go wherever our thoughts take us. If our thoughts are left alone or left to run amuck, we will go where we never intended to go. We will become what we were never meant to become. One thought such as, “Who does he think he is?” leads to being offended or insulted, to bitterness and unforgiveness, and eventually hatred where even his or her name being mentioned triggers bad feelings and thoughts.
How do we identify a stronghold?
What does it look like or feel like? Answer these questions to see if you can recognize any negative patterns or strongholds:
- Are you powerless to overcome and take control of your emotions?
- Are you moody and critical of others?
- Do you feel overwhelmed and
- Don’t know what to do first or next?
- Do you feel oppressed or depressed and don’t know why or where it’s coming from?
- Do you experience chronic fear or worry?
- Do you find yourself always ruining the atmosphere?
- Do your children hate to be around you?
- Are you hateful, resentful, negative, and bitter?
- Do you always seem to be angry or frustrated?
- Are you rarely satisfied, rarely content?
- Are you unsure of yourself and self-conscious?
- Are you easily offended and generally have a lack of self-esteem?
- Are you impatient?
- Are you jealous or envious?
- Do you hear voices, have nightmares and experience panic attacks?
- Are you a loner or feel out of touch?
- Are you blaming others for everything?
- Do you always have to be right?
- Do you feel bad about yourself?
- Do you have thoughts of suicide?
- Do you feel ugly, fat, stupid…?
The stronghold becomes your identity.
You know something has a strong hold on you when you start believing that this is who you are or who you have become. You decide that you are a loner. You decide you are shy or impatient. You label yourself as paranoid, anxious, an addict, a gambler, ADD…. We say things like, “I am just sensitive,” when in fact we are touchy and easily offended. We say, “I am lazy, tired, sick, poor, perverted, or depressed.”
These are strongholds, not character traits.
God did not make you this way. You don’t have to stay this way.
How does this happen? How do we lose control of our thoughts, feelings, moods, and our minds? And more importantly, how do we take back control?