Today I had a breakthrough. Or rather, God broke through to me. I have been pouring over the Word daily, and asking God for Grace. I have been following the "think right, act right, feel right" plan from Ephesians 4. I have also been identifying lies I have been believing and replacing them with God's truth. I would get grace that I asked for, but it wasn't long before I was discouraged, scared, bitter and a whole wealth of emotions again. A good friend of mine called me on this yesterday, and my sister in law told me this morning she had been praying for me differently because I seemed bitter. I had no idea I was so tranparent to the people in my life. Lucky for me, these people are pretty understanding, loving and supporting. Before I went to sleep last night, I began to think again about strongholds. A stronghold is a "mindset and conclusion in thinking that is contrary to scriptures." I began to search my heart this morning as to what my strongholds are. I know that there is no room in my heart for more strongholds. I don't want Satan to have any ground in my life.
When my friend confronted me last night, she talked about what I was allowing myself to think about, and how it was affecting my joy and grace. We talked about bringing into captivity every thought. This comes from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every hight thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every though to the obedience of Christ. I knew that in order to bring my thoughts into captivity, I must pull down strongholds. I don't know why this hit me so hard as new information, since I have been thinking about it so strongly in regards to another person in my life. I thought that I had the root of my strongholds, I was wrong.
My friend and I got to talking about how I have a huge fear of rejection. This fear is rooted in rejections I felt as a child. Until I developed a relationship with the teenage boy that I eventually married, I always felt rejected by others. This included close friends. When we married, I would comfort myself if there were disagreements with friends or family that I had him and he would never reject me. That is alot of pressure for one person! Idolotry is a sin against God and he hates it. I have been aware of the problem with idolotry for a while, and striving to change it, but I wasn't quite getting to the root, so the weed kept growing.
I believe that God wants his covenant marriages to work and be glorifying to him. However, he will not tolerate idolotry forever. So even though I am a slow learner, It is with great joy today that I talk about what God is doing with me in the tearing down of strongholds.
-Strongholds are developed when we are offended by another. (Mt 18:15).
-we are given grace by God to forgive our offender ((I cor 10:13, Heb 12:14-15)
-we reject the grace and refuse to forgive the offender (Eph 4:26-27) this gives "ground" over to the devil
-Satan uses this authority to create a stronghold in our mind/will/emotions (2 Cor 10:4-5).
Because of this stronghold, we live in bondage to a lie. For me, this lie is that all could reject me except the one that I married, and that God was not enough for me. I had to truly be rejected by that idol before I began to begin to apply the truth that God is enough. God will NEVER reject me! That is a wonderful and powerful truth. His word says that he will never leave me nor forsake me.
Inside of the strongholds, live tormentors such as lust, anger, anxiety and depression. For me, the biggest tormentor was anger. I would feel bad about the anger, and at times try to make it right, but it would always be in my heart as long as the stronghold stood. Because of this, it is impossible to live in victory over the tormentors. Hmm, all this stems from unforgiveness.
So, I asked God to reveal to me people in whom I felt unforgiveness. THen I went through these steps:
1) I confessed bitterness as sin (I John 1:9)
2) I asked God to regain the surrendered ground (Eph 4:26-26) (ps 23:3) (Rev 12:11)
3) I asked God to teardown the strongholds with the truth (2 Cor 10:4)
John 8:35 the truth will make you free.
4) show mercy by forgiving your offender (mt 6:14-15) (Eph 4:31-32)
This turns loose our right to avenge the wrong. This does not negate possible consequences of sin. It leaves the other person to God.
This was immediately freeing for me. Of course, I will have to continue to regularly seek God for more truth, and guard my heart against unforgiveness and strongholds. There is one person that today, I have grace from God to forgive, and I choose to, even if I don't feel like it, because there is no room in my heart for bitterness and strongholds. So I will continue to pray for her.
I know that God has much in store for me. I don't know what my future holds. I do know that I must take steps forward toward God each day and teach my children to do the same. I must pray for those in authority over for me, and also pray for my peers. I will continue to daily pray for restoration in our family and for the heart change necessary to make that happen. I want God to gain glory. I believe that this is possible if I choose to walk in obedience and forgiveness each day. I believe that this will enable me to "bring every thought into captivity" so I can "think right, do right, act right."