Monday, December 15, 2008

Fear Not: Part 4

I mentioned in the previous post that the wall I built around my heart to keep pain out actually was the stronghold that kept God's love from entering in. In Tearing Down the Walls.
Fear becomes a STRONGHOLD when it begins to control our actions. Let me read you the definition of a stronghold. A stronghold is a fortress or castle. It is anything that set’s itself up against its opponent. In the ancient times a stronghold was the LAST line of defense. So if Fear is a Stronghold in our life it is literally putting up a wall or a fortress against Faith. Fear also sets itself up against our dependence on God for deliverance.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 for further insight, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.

So a stronghold of fear sets itself up against the knowledge of God. But here we see that the Word of God has the power to demolish strongholds. Let’s go back to our definition of a stronghold. A stronghold is a fortress or castle that sets itself up against an opponent. In ancient times it was known as the last line of defense.

Let me ask you a serious question, do you really want your strongholds demolished or would you rather have them diminished? Let me explain, a stronghold can become such a fortress in our life that the thought of it being demolished is terrifying to us. It is then that our stronghold has become our IDENTITY! Some examples: A man who is afraid of failure at work becomes a work-a-holic. He works hard at his job and in return becomes really good at what he does. His work over time becomes his identity. God created man to work as for the Lord but Satan distorts this by instilling the fear of failure into the man. Work becomes a place the man retreats to when Satan brings those fears to the service instead of retreating to Almighty God.

Women are all about relationships and spending time with other women. God created us to be in relationship but Satan distorts this when we put our trust, faith and self worth in our relationships instead of in God. It is when we retreat to our friendships to get our emotional needs met INSTEAD of retreating to Almighty God that Satan has distorted what God created for good and turned our relationships into a powerful stronghold. Our relationships; what groups we belong to, what supper clubs or Bible studies we attend become part of our identity. Now, let me clarify, God created us to be in relationship with other women but He never intended for us to get all our emotional needs met by anyone other then Him. He desires to meet our emotional needs. He alone can fill our emotional cup.

God wants to be our stronghold. The place we retreat to when life throws us a curve ball. He wants us searching his holy Word for encouragement and us finding rest and peace in Him and Him alone.

The Word of God helps us to identify strongholds. We are in a war for our mind and heart. We must fight this war with our weapon, the Word of God. When we identify our stronghold we must confess it and allow the Lord to heal us.

Sometimes we need help in identifying our fears. The Lord has given us his Holy Spirit, the Counselor that leads us into all Truth. But sometimes our strongholds are so buried in our past and we have spent so much time stuffing them down that we need help identifying the root cause of our fear. We might need to seek the help of a Godly Christian counselor to help us identify the root of our fears. I’m not talking about just any counselor. I’m talking about a Bible believing, Jesus preaching, filled with the Holy Spirit counselor. A counselor who has a Biblical word view to help us search the scriptures for God’s truths.

God doesn’t want us living in the past, he wants to FREE US FROM OUR PAST!!! Christ died to set us free and if Jesus sets us free we are free indeed. Listen, I know firsthand how hard it is to take this first step. We might be afraid of the pain we will feel if we go back. But Godly sorrow always leads to repentance and freedom!

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