Strongholds are defensible positions where we run to find safety. One has to ask, “Do I have any places like that in my thinking”? Do we have any places we find safe and defendable? Are those places of refuge founded in the rock of Jesus Christ or are they founded in something else? At various times in my life I have found safety and refuge in many things that were not Jesus. The problem with taking shelter in anything but God is that although benign at first, those places of refuge become deadly – a death trap. Some are easy to diagnose: if I drink alcohol to relieve my stress or just ‘relax’, eventually alcohol becomes a stronghold. In the extreme case it is easy to spot – drinking yourself to death is hard to hide, but how about the less extreme case? If you like to drink wine, which is completely permissible, do you only invite wine drinkers into your inner life? Many people of faith might shrug off an invite to a wine gathering if they don’t drink, so has your freedom now become your stronghold? I find it pretty easy to identify strongholds: if I have to rationalize or justify it. I don’t need to be doing it. If I still do it, it’s likely a stronghold. Sin is always related to some stronghold or another.
This week at church we looked at the triumphant entry. We spoke at length about how the people of Jerusalem were looking for their king instead of receiving their king. Are we spending all our time looking for God in our Bible studies and at church instead of receiving Jesus? If we receive Jesus into our lives doesn’t He destroy strongholds? Isn’t it He that heals, and restores. and creates a new life for us? He came to make us one in Him the way that He is one in His Father and we can believe Him because His testimony is true. God can remove strongholds, and we rely on His spirit to do the heave lifting in . When our strongholds have been destroyed, let’s not forget to thank our amazing God, but also to make amends where necessary. Many people forget or overlook that part. Remember, we are not talking habitual sin. If you still have a problem and are acting out on it, it is not yet the amends time. Amends come after you’ve been set free from the root (stronghold) of your sin, otherwise, you may create more damage seeking to make the prior damage right.