Let’s return to the things of the normal world. In other words I am not continuing to look at the strongholds from the evil world. Some of you were a little shocked by that subject matter and by the one example I shared. So let’s return to the normal way strongholds develop. I have told you already of how God pointed out two of my strongholds:- Taking me back to the moment when I was nine behind my bedroom door at a Jack Winter meeting. Forcing me to deal with it and not push it aside and try to ignore it. Rather facing it head on and going to my father to forgive him. The second issue that came to mind as I prayed one day was to realise that my reactions to fixing things around the home stemmed from my father’s irrational, impatient responses to me and the stronghold of thought that had developed over fixing things – sowing the message that I couldn’t do it; therefore, don’t even try.
I referred in the first of these Nuggets on Strongholds to the fact that the Greek word nikē [νίκη] sits behind the text on issues related to “overcoming” and gaining “victory”. I like the Nike ads which pick up on the saying – Just Do It. I used the concept in my sermon of the Nike ad but turned it into the saying “Just Deal With It”. That is the solution that we have to apply when it comes to the matter of strongholds in our lives.
The following are the bullet points straight from my sermon together with the quotes I used for those who didn’t get them down, or were not there for the sermon. Together with further explanation I did not have time to give you in the sermon.
I used these past Gem quotes:
It is human nature to lie to ourselves. What are you pretending isn’t a problem to you? The truth sets you free but it takes courage.Rick Warren
It’s not enough to rage against the lie. You’ve got to replace it with the truth.Bono
To decide to tolerate one deceit is to violate the whole truth.Plato
What Not to Do
1. Don’t pretend words don’t hurt you. – Realise the power of words spoken over you in your life and deal with the results of those lies. They are untrue and not a commentary on who you are at all. They are lies from the pit of hell. Learn how to deal with them.
2. Don’t ignore the words hoping they will go away. – They don’t. You have to address the lies you have believed and seek to know what God says about you in order to replace them. That means finding rhema words in His Word or having the Holy Spirit speak a word to you which frees you from the lies you have believed. When God tells you something it becomes more powerful than the lie you believed. God’s written word in the Bible is referred to as the logos in Greek. Jesus is the Logos, the very embodiment of the Word of God – the principles of God and that which is true. The Greek term rhema is used to refer to the quickened word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the moment when a verse leaps off the page of the Bible and you know it is a specific word for you personally. (It is not as clear a line of demarcation as that between logos and rhema but for our purposes it will suffice. I don’t want to go into superfluous detail on the difference.)
Examples of Logos words for you are:
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.Romans 5:8
If God loved you while you were still a sinner and living as though He didn’t exist, how much more must He love you now that you are seeking to hear His voice and follow Him as best you can?
For the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.John 16:27
Many of us are living at the level of the children’s song – “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” But we don’t truly know that the whole of the Godhead loves us. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We accept that Jesus loves us but “God the Father couldn’t love me Ian. I have done too much to disappoint Him.” No, you don’t understand that Father, Son and Holy Spirit love you with a passion. Don’t let your memories of your earthly father cloud your view of God and His love for you. Believe for yourself the truth of John 16:27. I used the story in my sermon of D L Moody (to name one) who said to an interviewer when asked what was the greatest truth he’d gained from the Bible after all these years. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” To which the interviewer responded, “You mean the greatest thing after all these years of studying the Bible that you can say is “Jesus loves me.” To which Moody said, “No, I said this I know!” The issue is do you KNOW that God loves you? That requires His revelation to your heart and your inner being. If you don’t have it then seek it!
Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.Isaiah 49:15,16
Help for those of you who suffer from the lack of a mother’s love for one reason or another. (See the story below.)
3. Don’t retaliate – I learned that my father couldn’t help the fact that he was stuck down in a hole and couldn’t get out. There was no use blaming him for what he had become. Instead I could help him out of his hole. I used a quote which came to me precisely at the time I was talking about this during the sermon – the process I have told you already is called hupomimnesko – when Holy Spirit reminds us of the things in our past which relate to what we are talking about in the here and now. That happened to me in the middle of the sermon. That is why the following quote was not on screen, because it came to me at the moment I was saying don’t retaliate. The quote is:
If you have pain: Don’t curse it, nurse it, rehearse it; just give it to God and He’ll reverse it.Jussar Badudu
4. Don’t give up – Strongholds take time to develop over years. They are often the result of habitual, repetitive actions that we have done for a long time. The habits that we have formed which we find hard to break. That’s because they match the Portal of Power of Ceremonies, Rituals and Agreements. If satan can get us to do something habitually then we become trapped in a habit formed by repetitive action which is hard to break. It takes time to unravel something which we have allowed into our life for a long period of time. Much more could be said about this. Examine your habits and why you do them.
- What started you off on this track?
- Was it to comfort yourself?
- Was it a way to opt out of your reality at that time and pretend things were just fine?
Now it is time for an Ian Story. This one is not my own but one I will share from my experience when helping another.
I trust that little piece of advice might help you in your relationships with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, bosses or whoever else you have found difficulty with because you sense there are overtones of manipulation involved or strongholds which need to be broken.
Talk to me and ask me to explain things that aren’t clear to you or ask me to explain other aspects which I only briefly touched on. I will keep this process open ended like I do with the Gems when I am gemming a book of the Bible live.