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Thursday, March 3, 2011

by Daveta Saunders, Associate Director

Unfortunately, I have been in this place and know many believers who have placed themselves in a depressed state, because they have fallen into sin in different areas of their lives. They feel as though they cannot be redeemed, and some as though they are unworthy to be used for the glory of God. When I encounter these individuals, I begin to talk about strongholds. Some may ask, "What in the world is a stronghold?” Often in some of the churches I have visited over the years, I would hear some preachers say, "Pull down that stronghold in the name of Jesus!” So, the audience goes through the motions by reaching their hands up in the air with authority and yanking down whatever is in the air.  But my question is, "Are you symbolically pulling down a stronghold, or are you exercising during service with the preacher acting as your personal trainer because you do not know the definition of a stronghold?" 

Dr. Neil T. Anderson defines strongholds as “negative patterns of thought which are burned into our minds either through repetition over time or through one-time traumatic experiences”. Rev. Ed Silvoso further adds that a stronghold is a “mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept as unchangeable situations that we know are contrary to the will of God”. In sum, a stronghold is something that you make a truth or reality in your life even though you know it is a fantasy or lie and a contradiction to the commands of God.
So, I pose a few questions of self-examination on this day. First, what have you been dealing with in your mind that you know is a lie, but you are living as though it is a truth? Second, what do you believe that you cannot overcome, because you have been doing it so long? Now that you have examined yourself, and if you feel as though you do have some strongholds or sin in your life, it's time to denounce the deception that Satan has place in your mind. Today you can be free from whatever may have you bound, heavily burdened, ashamed, oppressed or depressed. 
In 1 John 4:4 it says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome [evil spirits]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” If you trust God, confess your sins, and focus on living a righteous life, then you can overcome temptations, anxieties, worries and doubts. Now, I will be honest: I am in no way perfect (some, who know me, would quickly agree). However, I do know your personal freedom begins with making a decision to surrender unto God whatever has you bound. God is a just God, and He is also a forgiving God. So, don't run away from God, run to God! 
Be encouraged with these words from Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT), “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” 

Daveta Saunders is a 2004 graduate of Liberty and received her
Master's from LU in 2007. She is an author and hosts a radio
program called "The TakeOver," which airs every Friday night
from 10PM-1AM on the campus radio station, 90.9FM The Light.

Posted at 2:16 PM | Comments (1)