I love having what I call “family fortnights,” nights when our family builds a fort. Sometimes we break our sectional sofa apart and turn pieces of it up on end, stretch blankets and bed sheets over it all and create a fort. In the imagination of my toddler, this creates a special fortress of protection from the elements and our enemies. In the mind of my wife, I’m making a mess of her living room, but she’s in the fort too.
Satan loves to build forts too. The Bible refers to them as strongholds, which are essentially miniature outposts he establishes as he scales the walls of our hearts in an attempt to completely harden and destroy us. If we are unaware of these strongholds, we can slowly surrender more of our spiritual territory over to him without even realizing it. For example…
- We fail to forgive our ex-spouse for abandoning us, so we refuse to get close to people in the future.
- We suffered a moment of abuse in our youth, so we buy the lie that we weren’t worth protecting.
- We were exposed to pornography in adolescence, wiring our brains to seek pleasure in illicit imagery and creating a lifelong battle with lust.
- We were offended or hurt by someone within the church, so we turn against the very idea of church.
- We can’t explain some of the Bible’s difficulties, so like dominoes, our beliefs turn into skepticism about God.
And the list goes on. The point is: Satan will use the smallest of experiences to create pockets of festering infection in our lives that can ultimately spell the ruin of our relationships with God and other people.
We can fight with the weapons God hands to us. We can demolish the strongholds and lies that bind us using God’s truth. We can invade the territory the enemy has taken by praying, calling on God to act and watching Him respond. Paul said it this way,
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)
He’s willing to fight for you and to equip you for battle. And here’s the best part… the war itself is already won. Jesus died for your sin and rose again in victory over Satan, sin, death, and the grave. We just have a few more skirmishes to fight with the floundering armies of darkness.
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