Defeating Strongholds: 5 Stones to Throw at the Giant

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Five years later, the same struggle persists.

More than sixty months checked off the calendar and this stronghold continues to hold me captive.

I was in tears again over the same struggle, an unconquered stronghold. My head in my hands, I needed a fresh word, some encouragement to keep moving. So, I pulled a book from the shelf above my desk where I go in the morning to pray and open my bible. The devotional had a thin layer of dust and several bright pink sticky notes sticking out from the pages.

I hoped somewhere between the pages of the long unopened book I would find a nugget that would turn my mind toward God or to a particular scripture that would send me out like David with five stones to defeat the “Goliath” taunting me on the battlefield.

I turned the pages scanning paragraphs for even the tiniest bit of encouragement. I just needed one sentence to jump off the page and tell me what I should do. Instead, I found notes and dates scribbled in the margins and highlighted sentences and underlined words, evidence that I had been here before. Five years before according to my handwritten notes.

Are you struggling with long-term strongholds?

What is a stronghold? A stronghold is anything that stays on our minds and seems larger and stronger than God. A stronghold controls our focus and causes us to feel defeated and enslaved. The exact name of the stronghold can be anything: unforgiveness, bitterness, despair, shame, desires, idols. Mine is an addiction. {Don’t get excited; not an illegal habit but an addiction all the same.}

After closing the book, my prayer became more fervent. Why, Lord, am I still here struggling with the same stronghold? What keeps this stronghold from being completely defeated instead of keeping me subdued?

Do you fight strongholds that won’t be defeated? We need a battle plan!

In 1 Samuel 17, David stepped out against a formidable opponent. The giant was stronger, bigger, louder and seemed to be in control of the situation. I would call Goliath a stronghold. For days, the giant taunted the army. They were afraid because of what they saw and knew on their own could not be defeated. Their giant controlled their focus, and they felt defeated.

David, on the other hand, picked up five stones and believed God was all he needed to defeat the enemy before him. It only took one. David fought the stronghold, the giant, with five smooth stones in his pocket. What weapons do we need to go against the giant that holds us captive?

Recognize the enemy. As 2 Corinthians 10 states, although we are human, we are not fighting as humans. We are fighting an enemy we cannot see. The temptations and desires that keep us captive come from the enemy and the only way to defeat this enemy is through God’s divine power.

Set your mind. The temptations that turn into strongholds start in our mind. What is on your mind? Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above” and Philippians 4:9 reminds us to think about things that are noble, pure and of God. What you think about becomes your reality. Take every thought captive.

Not on your strength but His. David did not walk out before the most ferocious opponent of the time on his power. If he had, the story would have ended differently. Our battle with strongholds cannot be won on our strength. It must come from God. Surrender your battle to the One who can defeat the enemy.

Keep moving forward. The definition of struggle is to make “forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.” Take note of the plural word “efforts.” It takes more than one effort. My stronghold still gives me problems five years later, but I am still making an effort to be free. When you mess up, get up and keep moving.

The battle is won. Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:33) These temptations and strongholds that keep us captive are part of this world. We know, trust and believe that when all is said and done, God wins, strongholds don’t.

So, with five smooth stones in my pocket, I am stepping forward on the battlefield. What about you?

Father God, thank you that the battle is won. In this world we will struggle with temptations and desires that may control us, but You have overcome. Help us to pick up the weapons you have provided, five smooth stones, and defeat the giant.

Dig Deeper: Colossians 3:2–Set your minds on things that are above, not on things

that are on earth.

Isaiah 40:29–He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might

he increases strength.

James 1:5–If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives

generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Take Action: Accountability is another strong weapon against our strongholds. Talk to a trusted friend and discuss ways to be accountable against your giant.

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