Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my STRONGHOLD.
I had never heard the word “stronghold” until my husband found Psalm 18:2 while searching for a name for our gym back in September 2005. Since that day, that Scripture has become one of my life verses. I wrote this post a couple years ago about how I’ve learned how to lean on God, my ultimate Stronghold when I am going through trials. Ironically though, this year I have been reading my Bible a lot more and have been learning about a different meaning of the word, and it unfortunately has a more unpleasant connotation.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…
There are other types of strongholds that can be built up in our life and these can include anger, bitterness, pride, jealousy, addictions, fear, etc. Over time these negative strongholds damage our emotional, mental and spiritual health. They also leech onto our loved ones and cripple relationships. Sometimes it gets to the point that we don’t even realize how much it’s been affecting us, and we get blind to the fact of ever needing to change. I have many family members and friends that I have witnessed become so hard-hearted due to unfortunate circumstances in their lives. Personally I have gone through the same thing, especially this year. It has taken a lot of time to work on overcoming these strongholds, many I have not completely dealt with, but I know I am a work in progress. It’s easy to think we can conquer these things alone, but we eventually can get to a point where we begin to realize that we can’t do it on our own. We can never be a true example of having strength despite obstacles unless we’re in tune with the one who is the true Stronghold.
These strongholds don’t just get built up in a day. Small life events can contribute to the construction of these fortresses, and before we know it, they can become stronger and stronger. Things like:
- Taking offense to every little thing
- Having an unforgiving attitude
- Comparing yourself to others
- Not admitting you are wrong when you are at fault
- Surrounding yourself with negative people
- Cultivating a negative thought life
- Worrying too much
So what are some practical ways to overcoming strongholds? Here’s some that have helped me:
- Extending grace even when someone’s not deserving
- Loving more
- Forgiving often
- Practicing patience
- Encouraging others to do what’s right even when its not popular
- Having a heart of gratitude
- Speaking positive words about others
I’s not always easy, but gettng rid of things like anger can be life-changing. Your outlook on life changes, and you can become a positive inspiration to others just by putting some of the above into practice. If you’re interested in digging deeper in how to overcoming strongholds in your life, I encourage you to find a study on Ephesians 6, or for those looking for a Women’s Study, you can start this one: Armor of God Bible Study with Priscilla Shirer. I have been doing this study for almost 2 months now, and it really has been an eye-opener for me. If you do start it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I am looking forward to possibly forming a group to go over it once I finish next week, because it truly has made a huge impact on my life in such a short amount of time. Thanks for reading, and hope you have a wonderful and blessed weekend!