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  • Sam Matthews. K

283. Power to demolish strongholds.

'The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power* ( Greek *dynatos* means *"potential"* ) *to demolish strongholds* ( Greek *ochyrōma* means a fortress or a prison) .'( 2 Corinthians 10:4)

We are called to fight the good fight of faith *'against the rulers* ( Greek *archē* means beginning or origin, implying the first rulers of earth) *against the authorities* ( Greek *exousia* means dominion or sphere of jurisdiction), *against the powers of this dark world* ( Greek *kosmokrator* means the power that controls the kosmos) *and against spiritual forces of evil* ( Greek *pneumattika ponerias* means the spiritual wickedness in the air) *in the heavenly realms'* ( Ephesians 6:12). These stand in the way to the promise, threatening us, hindering us and trying to stop us from advancing into the promise. The Israelites had to battle their way through, to the promised land because the land promised to Abraham was counterclaimed by the devil and he got the land occupied by his people. That is why Scripture says *'The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle',* but God did not lead them through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, *"If they face war, they mind change their minds and return to Egypt."* ( Exodus 13:17-18) Simply put, they were not ready for the battle, but it was inevitable! The fought their first battle against the Amalekites and won ( Exodus 19:8-16) A year later, as they reached the borders of the promised land, the people lost their courage because 10 of the 12 spies sent by Moses reported that they saw the *Anakites* (the descendants of the *Nephilims* or giants) there, and they demoralised everyone saying, *"The people who live there are powerful ... The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We even saw the Nephilims there ... We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."* ( Numbers 13:28-33) The sight of the giants created a fear in their minds which became a stronghold that they couldn't overcome because of their negative confession.

Therefore, God sent them back to the desert to wander for 40 years until the next generation grew up, who would have a different mindset- Numbers 14:28-35 ( No wonder youngsters are being used in the endtime revival.) Joshua and the next generation fought valiantly and defeated thirty one kings in all ( Joshua 12) but still there was much more land to be taken. However, after Joshua's death, the 12 tribes failed to dislodge the rest of the inhabitants completely because they lacked the will and faith to do it without a strong leadership. (Judges 1:19-35) Instead they compromised and entered into a covenant with their enemies! Therefore, the Angel of the Lord who went before them said, *"They will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you."* ( 2:3) The strongholds that we don't care to demolish will become a snare to us!

We the Church too are facing the same odds and seem to have lost the enthusiasm to fight for the gospel promises. However, we are not engaged in a campaign for land but a campaign for souls. And since *'our fight is not against flesh and blood'* (Ephesians 6:12), *'the weapons we fight with are also not the weapons of this world'.*( 2 Corinthians 10:4) Therefore we have been instructed to *'put on the full armour of God, ... the belt of truth ... breast plate of righteousness ... boot of peace ... shield of faith ... helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.'* ( Ephesians 6:13-17) The Bible calls the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit as *'weapons of righteousness in the the right hand and in the left'* ( 2 Corinthians 6:7) . With the shield of faith *'we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one'* and with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we can cut the enemy down. That's why we are commanded to confess the Word and even to prophesy because it has the power to demolish strongholds the enemy has established in our minds ( fears, complexes, prejudices, mindsets, doubts, obsessions etc...) and bodies (addictions, cravings, lusts, passions etc...) Even disease can be considered as a stronghold that can be demolished by our confession of healing through Christ. Truly, Jesus is the only person in the history of mankind who could ever say, *"The prince of this world .. has no hold on me.."* ( John 14:30), because he was sinless. As long as the world is in us, the devil has a foothold in us. The more we dabble with the world, the more we become captive and will find ourselves as prisoners of our own making, in the prisons the enemy has set up in our minds. But the spoken word of God has the power to demolish these strongholds. We have to choose between the *Word* and the *world!* To love one is to hate the other ! If we find it boring to read the Word of God, then it is probably because we love the world. God is looking for those in this generation who know to demolish the strongholds and take up the promise. Amen

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