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Strongholds mean exactly what the word implies. They are
areas of land, which have a strong
A fortified structure, which is able to resist by assault by
enemy forces is they picture of a spiritual stronghold. An army
invading enemy territory needs to take down the strongholds to
hold the land. If strongholds remain, they will become a
continual threat to the army and citizens in the land.
When we were lost, we were under enemy control;
our lives were subject to strongholds. These strongholds were
constructed, for a purpose. They were designed to keep us lost;
Satan in his war is in the business of constructing strongholds,
which feed our fallen nature. His desire is to keep us blind
from the Gospel of Christ, so we perish in a lost condition.
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not
believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2nd
When we come to Christ, the army of the Lord
invades our life; the battle for territory has begun. Satan is
not willing to give ground to his enemy, the Lord of Hosts; he
does not want us to live a successful spiritual life.
Therefore, his goal is to keep as many strongholds standing in
our life as he can, allowing him to wage war on our souls.
Remember, Satan goal is to prevent the power of God, from being
established in the believerís life. He does this through
strongholds, if Satan can establish areas of operation in our
life; he then will have the ability to attack at will. He can
then keep us from being on the offensive, against his kingdom.
For this reason, itís imperative for us to have
these Satanic strongholds pulled down. If we donít remove
strongholds, we invite failure and defeat in our spiritual
walk. Because we are giving Satan a base from which to wage
war. The only way we can assault spiritual strongholds is
through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our life.
Without the heavenly power, in our lives we are at Satanís
mercy. The Holy Spirit through Paul shows us how to wage war.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in
God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts
itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Being a soldier in the Lordís army, we should
have a clear view and vision of the landscape before us. This
section of scripture addresses these vital areas of
war is fought?
How the war
war is fought?
we walk in the flesh: We live in the physical word, in the world of flesh and
blood, is where we see the work of the spiritual realms, played
out. We cannot divorce ourselves from the flesh, but this is
not where our battle takes place. The evil we see in this
world, is the result of this spiritual war, this however is not
where the battle is taking place. We need to change our
perspective as the Lordís army; we need to train our spiritual
eyes, recognizing the source of this conflict.
according to the flesh:
As the Lordís army, we waste our time with waging war
using weapons of flesh, because that is not where the battle
is. Paul wants us to understand the nature of war in the
spiritual realms. Many times, we can waste our energy focusing
on the wrong solutions to a problem. We might think secular
council or therapy can solve our problems, when the issue is
To understand this war, letís take a married
couple, Jim and Sandy Smith for example. They are having
tremendous conflicts within the marriage. Jimís anger is out of
control, Sandy is disgusted by his rage, she thinks Jim is
having a self-esteem problem; he is taking it out on her. Sandy
is thinking about divorce, she canít handle these outbursts,
life is no longer fun. Jim after work has so much stress, he
needs to stop at the bar, have a few drinks and watch some
sports to unwind. He hates going home, because he feels so put
down, he does not get respect. Their kids Jimmy 8 and Johnny 10
are having nightmares; mommy and daddy are always fighting.
Everything seems like its falling apart for the Smith family.
Sandy Smith has a friend, Lisa a Christian who
has asked Sandy if she would like to go to church. However, for
Sandy, Sunday is the only day she can relax all day Saturday,
she is driving the kids from one sporting event to another, and
she needs Sunday to herself. Lisa understands the answer here
is not secular counseling, money, a job promotion or more
things. This family needs the Lord in their lives, so she knows
it involves spiritual warfare.
Lisa knows both Jim and Sandy do not know the
Lord, and Satan would love to destroy this family, creating
misery and anger at a God they never knew. Lisa is at war, for
the souls of a family, who is entrapped by strongholds they
donít even know, exist. Lisa understands what scripture means,
though we walk in the flesh....we do not war according to the
flesh. Lisa sees with Spiritual eyes, through the lens of
Many times, we Christians fail to see the
Spiritual war taking place around us. Our eyes need spiritual
training, we have train ourselves to see the lens of scripture.
How the war
the weapons of our warfare:
description of the armor of God, only two offensive weapons are
listed. The shield, breastplate, belt, shoes and helmet are
essential, but they are mainly defensive in nature. Our
offensive weapons are word of God, which is the sword of the
Spirit (Hebrews 4:12, Eph 6:17)
prayer (Eph. 6:18).
The Word of God
The Bible is is a weapon. The world we live in
is subject to the invisible spiritual world, created by almighty
By faith we understand that the worlds were
framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen
were not made of things which are visible.
God works according to His word, meaning Godís Word is
stationary, while the world is fluid. The spiritual world is
subject to Godís authority, and therefore subject to Godís
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus declares He has all
authority in Heaven and on Earth, Jesus then gives His authority
to us. We operate under His authority, therefore knowing His
word, allows us to wield a weapon that both the physical and
spiritual worlds are subject too. The sword of the spirit has
eternal implications, while an earthly sword can only have an
effect in the physical world. The universe is subject to Godís
word, let alone our neighborhood.
Along with the word of God (sword of the Spirit)
we have prayer (Eph. 6:18). The word of God along with the
power of prayer, create the most formidable weapon in the
universe. Think about it, God made the Heavens and the Earth
through His word alone! Now because of Christís work on the
cross, we now have access to Godís throne in Heaven. We have
the power and authority to access the throne of God in Heaven.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize
with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that
we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Lord works according to His word, by
understand and applying Godís word, we have access to the same
power, which created the universe.
The power of the prayer as a weapon has no
limits. Remember Daniel, he was praying about his people, who
were captives in the Babylonian and then Persian kingdoms. The
prince of Persia was moved out of the way, because of Danielís
prayer. The level of the personís faith, determines the size of
the stronghold, they are willing to wage war with.
How we wage
not carnal but mighty in God:
flesh, the weapons we use, access heavenly power, the power of
God. The spiritual realms operate all around us; the natural
world does not comprehend the spiritual.
Therefore the natural, tends to ridicule the
spiritual. The Holy Spirit wants us to know just what type of
power we have, as contrasted to the carnal. The word actually
used here in the Greek is
Dunatos, means able, powerful, and strong, the word has the same root
word, to our word for dynamite. Our weapon in other words is
pulling down strongholds:
With this ďspiritual dynamiteĒ, we have the ability
to literally pull down strongholds. What does Paul mean by
strongholds? Paul defines this term in the next verse as
anything, which pits itself up against the knowledge of God.
There are many levels of strongholds, small scale and large
scale. We have individual strongholds such as alcoholism,
racism, and pride that we face on a personal level. There are
also worldwide strongholds, exerting power over large groups of
people such as Islam, atheism, materialism and pornography.
The term stronghold means an area where an
entrenched power exerts control over an individual, group,
generation, territory in opposition to the knowledge of God.
We, the army of the Lord on earth, use our weapons, to pull down
or destroy these strongholds. The Greek word for stronghold is,
Ochuroma, means a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness. We are to
destroy these structures using our spiritual weapons.
Returning to our story of the Smith family, Lisa,
Sandy Smithís friend, understands strongholds, she understands
the Smith family from a spiritual lens, Lisa seeks to uncover
the strongholds in her friends life. Lisa, a warrior for the
Lord, knows Sandra Smith did not come into her life for no
reason, Lisa understands she must now intercede for the souls of
this family. Using scripture and prayer, Lisa has the power of
God to overcome strongholds.
Through the battles in her own life, overcoming
the strongholds of sin, she learned how to wage war. Lisa
through war, learned the power of scripture and prayer. Lisa is
battling for the souls of this family, conducting spiritual
warfare on Satanís domain.
The powers of strongholds are not just on a
personal scale, they also affect generations, and large segments
of populations. For example Alcoholism, the addiction to
Alcohol, can have a stronghold on entire generations of
families. Religions are also strongholds, which claim billions
of souls, entrapped in deceit.
For this reason, not every believer fights the
same battle; some are called to distant lands to confront
strongholds. Missionaries who bring the Gospel to areas of
darkness are doing exactly that, they are confronting spiritual
strongholds on enemy territory. God calls others to mission in
the neighborhood, bringing the light of the Gospel to their
next-door neighbor like Lisa. Wherever we find ourselves, we are
on Godís mission, until we are called elsewhere, our goal is to
advance the gospel, pulling down strongholds, bring people into
the Kingdom of God that is our purpose.
In verse 5, strongholds are defined as
arguments and high things, which are placed above the
knowledge of God. By comparing the knowledge of God to our
actions and thoughts, we can expose not only our strongholds,
but the strongholds of those around us.
For example, someone might know pornography is
wrong and against Godís word, they watch anyways despite the
knowledge of sin. Why, because the power of the stronghold has
overcome the personís inner objections, where does this control
come from? This exposed stronghold should then become a target
for the believer to attack. Our mission, literarily destroy
these arguments and high things.
down arguments: The
word argument in Greek is
means logic or understanding. We are to pull down false ways
of thinking, or false reasoning. This covers a very broad
spectrum on both small and large scales. Many of our ďismsĒ are
essentially spiritual strongholds of false reasoning. Take your
pick, Communism, Hinduism, Alcoholism, Atheism, Racism and more
are all forms of logic, which make sense to the people
entrapped. We are called to cast down or destroy this false
and every high thing:
What is a high
thing? In ancient Israel, one of the besetting sins of the
people was their setting up of images on hilltops and in
groves. The pagans of Canaan (Palestine) were removed from the
land for their sins; the people of Israel were to be a holy and
upright people. They were to be different then the people of
the land before their occupation. However, Israel soon began to
adopt the customs of the people around.
They disobeyed God, by setting up competing
places of worship. They set up idols and images in high-places,
in defiance of God.
9 Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord
their God things that were not right, and they built for
themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to
10 They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden
images on every high hill and under every green tree.
11 There they burned incense on all the high places, like the
nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did
wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger,
12 for they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them,
"You shall not do this thing." 2Kings 17:9-12
Paul uses this
imagery to illustrate the picture of a stronghold, a stronghold
does not only have to be a way of thinking, it can be an idol,
set up to worship. For example, our business, clothes, cars and
homes can become a high-thing. Because, we choose to exalt the
material thing above the knowledge of God.
When we examine the various kings of Israel, we
get a contrast in people. Some kings were noted for their
wickedness, others were praised for being faithful. Many times
itís how the kings responded to high-places, which indicated the
level of their relationship and sincerity with the Lord.
Jeroboam (king of Israel
15 Then he appointed for himself priests for the high
places, for the demons, and the calf idols which he had
16 And after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of
Israel, such as set their heart to seek the Lord God of
Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God
of their fathers. 2nd Chronicles 11:15-16
Jehoshaphat (914 B.C., King
32 And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not
turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of
33 Nevertheless the high places were not taken away, for as
yet the people had not directed their hearts to the God
of their fathers. 2nd Chronicles 20:33
Josiah (641 B.C. King of Judah)
For in the eighth year of his reign, while he
was still young, he began to seek the God of his father
David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah
and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the
carved images, and the molded images.
The same is the case today, are we willing to
remove our high-places, or things which compete for worship with
the Lord. Josiah was an praised king; he was young when he
became king, eight years old. When he was 16, he began to seek
God with a sincere heart, during his reign Judah had a revival.
Both Daniel and Ezekiel were the product of the revival.
Jeremiah cried at the death of Josiah, who was considered one of
the most righteous kings of Judah. What separated Josiah from
the others was his sincere heart and his willingness to do what
others would not do. He did not want anything to compete with
the Lord, no matter how unpopular it made him, and God blessed
his reign. He removed the high-places.
As part of the Lordís army, our job is to pull
down the high-things, the idols set up in the lives of people.
We are to be salt in the earth.
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God:
whether intentional or non-intentional, which is placed above
God is an idol. Strongholds are fortified area, which are
opposed to the knowledge of God.
This would include arguments and high-things,
which competes for truth.
bringing every thought into captivity:
We are to subject this fallen world, to the power of Christ.
How are these strongholds destroyed? By bringing every thought
into captivity, our minds and heart need to submit to the will
of the Lord. First, we need to make the decision, before we can
be effective on the spiritual battlefield, make our thoughts
subject to the Godís will.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his
thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on
him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways
My ways," says the Lord.
9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My
ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may
be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?