This is part two of Demolishing strongholds. Let’s take a look at our main text for this study from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NASB)
These fortresses or strongholds exist as thought patterns, mindsets and human reasonings that are contrary to the Word of God. These strongholds can govern individuals, churches, communities and nations. Strongholds are a place for evil and sinful activity that is defended within in our sympathetic thoughts and attitudes that defend our self-life. They can come from corrupt thinking left over from the sin nature and/or as a result of experiences, teaching and training we have had. They can also come from our family, culture, trauma, etc. that we have not brought under subjection to the truth of God’s Word.
Even as a Christian we can be oppressed by demons especially when we have thought systems that are defended by deception and false doctrines. Evil spirits are able to attack the soul of anyone knowing they are protected by the armor of one’s own thoughts and doctrines. This is why we are exhorted in Romans 12 to renew our minds. We must retrain our minds to think as God thinks so we can speak as He speaks and act as He acts.
As a result of sin in the Garden of Eden the Lord gave the serpent food he has a legal right to feed on; dust. Dust is dirt and dirt is what our bodies or flesh is made from. Flesh is a metaphor for the works or manifestation of our carnal nature. Therefore; the demonic realm has a legal right given to them by God to feed on our works of the flesh. An example of the works of the flesh is given to us in Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB), Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. So when we choose to live in the works of the flesh we are providing food for demonic activity in our lives. Doesn’t sound very appealing does it? Notice what it says in the verse just before this one; Galatians 5:16 (NASB), But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Now that’s appealing!
The Lord also gave all the fallen angels called demons a place to live. We learn this from the book of Jude 1:6 (NASB), And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Darkness is the opposite of light and we are told to walk in the light as He is in the light, 1 John 1:7. Darkness is also a metaphor of the works of the flesh as well as all we keep hidden in our hearts. These can be things like hidden sin, hurts and wounds, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. God gave demons a legal right to live in darkness.
Several years ago I had a mole in my yard. I didn’t know much about moles and how to get rid of them. I went to my local hardware store and found some poison peanuts and sulfur. I tried both. I ended up chasing the mole all around my house. I had mole tunnels in my front, back and both sides of my house! I ended up chasing it to my neighbors house. Later I learned that moles eat grub worms. They were in my yard because of the grubs. If I would have treated their food source I wouldn’t have had moles to begin with! Until we choose to remove the food (works of the flesh) and home (darkness) of these demons they have a right to be there. We must learn to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ to demolish these demonic strongholds in our life! Our thoughts control our speech and our actions. Changing the way we think we change the way we speak and the way we act.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God, Romans 8:5-8 (NASB).