What is a strongholds in spiritual warfare

We’re in a battle in this world. We may not see it, we might forget it’s there. But the enemy would love nothing more than to start our year off with discouragement and defeat, bringing fear and stress. Don’t let him win.

If you’re a believer who is living like salt and light in a dark world, you won’t go for long without encountering spiritual warfare – obstacles and attacks he’ll hurl your direction. God reminds us in His word to stay aware of Satan’s schemes, to live alert in this world, and to stay close to Him.

He arms us with the sword, the Word of God, to stand against the enemy’s lies. He equips us with strength, wisdom, and discernment through His own Spirit to stay strong in the spiritual warfare battle. He invites us to spend time in His Presence, through prayer and worship, pressing in to know Him more.

As we grow to know God’s Truth and what is real, we also know more what is false, and we are stronger to stand against it in the powerful name of Jesus. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves in a dark world, but reminds us He is constantly with us, fighting for us, even when we cannot see.

Praying God’s words back to Him, is a powerful weapon against the forces of evil. It is Truth going out. It reminds us that God knows our way and understands what we face today. It builds our faith and our trust in God. It guards our hearts and focuses our minds back on Him. It wins the battle.

Prayer + God’s Word = Power

31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures to Read, Pray, and Memorize:

1. “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

2. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

3. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

4. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” 1 Pet. 5:8-9

5. “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” Is. 54:17

6. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:11-17

7. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37

8. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57

9. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 4:6

10. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thess. 3:3

11. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19

12. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

13. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:18-19

14. “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” Deut. 28:7

15. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

16. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13

17.  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

18. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21

19. “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Rev.12:11

20. “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:12

21. “,,,On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18

22. “…the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8

23. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Is. 40:31

24. “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Josh. 23:10

25. “Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.” Deut. 3:22

26. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Rom. 8:31

27. “Through You we will push back our adversaries, through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.” Ps. 44:5

28. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9

29. “For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” Ps. 18:39

30. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…” Ps. 91:1-4

31. “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15

When we belong to Christ, the enemy never has the final word over our lives. We are secure in God’s hands.

Press on – courageous and free – never held back by fear or defeat. The battle belongs to the Lord, and He has the final victory…

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at and

www.crosswalk.com

The LORD is our singular stronghold and only source of deliverance. The fruit of the Holy Spirit fortifies the spirit of man against the desires of the flesh and the assaults of the enemy.

Next: Seeing by Faith, Humility, Trust

Scripture References

  • The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:2-3 NKJV)
  • Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle – my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge… (Psalm 144:1-2a NKJV)
  • The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; Shepherd them also, and bear them up forever. (Psalm 28:8-9 NKJV)
  • …when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7 NKJV)
  • “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NKJV)
  • For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Peter 1:23 NIV)
  • …as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man he things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:9-13 NKJV)
  • The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD. (Proverbs 21:31 NKJV)
  • Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us… (2 Corinthians 1:9-11a NKJV)
  • …brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 NKJV)
  • But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! (2 Timothy 4:17-18 NKJV)
  • …do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
  • For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV)
  • Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:28 NKJV)
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a NKJV)
  • Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:9-11 NKJV)
  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV)

Commentary

  • A stronghold in ancient times was a stationary defensive structure – often a walled city, or a high tower, situated if at all possible to take advantage of natural terrain such as a hilltop.
  • Throughout history, the protection bestowed by a stronghold was relative to the development of new weapons. Siege weapons, and eventually the cannon, rendered stone walls and high towers obsolete. The rifled cannon made thick earthen fortifications useless. The mechanized tank ended trench warfare. The development of the airplane and ever more powerful bombs has made static defenses of all types practically futile. In a sense, armored tanks and airplanes became mobile strongholds.
  • Although our mortal bodies remain vulnerable to enemy fire, the born-again Christian is a mobile spiritual stronghold which God deploys deep within enemy territory, reinforced with angelic hosts and sheltered by divine providence.
  • The primary point of attack of God’s forces is spiritual rebirth. Nothing short of success at that point can be deemed victory. If everything else goes wrong, that rebirth has eternal consequences.
  • The preaching of the incorruptible Word of God by a witness with a loving heart, and a changed life anointed by the Holy Spirit is the key to winning the battle.
  • We do not “win” souls to provide a punched ticket to heaven after we die. We are “born again” immediately, to make full value of this life, and all things are a new creation.
  • There are no prerequite good works for being “born again”, but we are born a new creature to do good works.
  • Our spirit is renewed and our mind is transformed in the image of Jesus Christ by reading, studying, and meditating upon the Word of God. Only through the Holy Bible and prayer can we prove and perform God’s will with a renewed anointing of the Holy Spirit.
  • While in this mortal body, the eternal fruit of rebirth seems to ebb and flow while this body perishes. Joy is eternal, but we have to rejoice… or re- joy… looking beyond the things that are seen to the things that are unseen.
  • Nothing that you can see with your eyes in this creation will survive, except what God creates anew. Every single thing not regenerated and not redeemed from Satan’s power will be burnt in fire.
  • If you are reading this, you are either one of the reborn, or one to whom God’s mercy is still offering real life.

Next: Seeing by Faith, Humility, Trust

www.battlefocused.org

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NIV) we read, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (NKJV).  Now before we talk about how to pull down strongholds (spiritual strongholds) we need to answer the following questions:

What are the weapons we fight with?  Well, we know they are not of the world, and they are divinely powerful (v. 4).  All those pieces of armor we talked about earlier, though they were discussed as being mainly for defense, can also be used as offensive weapons.  And we have many other weapons too, such as obedience, humility, joy, love, and of course prayer.  And all of these come from God.  In fact, we could say that God is our weapon against sin and all the forces of evil.  For example, if we have love, if we have faith, if we have prayer that we use to battle with, they all are of God.  We have no love in ourselves, no faith in ourselves, and we cannot pray by ourselves.  We can do nothing of ourselves, not even seek God.  He seeks us out and draws us to Him.  Then He puts love and faith and prayer into us.  We battle by the power of God alone.  All the weapons He gives us, we could say, are instruments to channel His power through us.

 What is a spiritual stronghold?  The word “stronghold” (achurooma), in 2 Corinthians 10:4 (as it is translated in the NIV), could also be rendered as a strong fortification.  And from verse 5 we must conclude that “arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (NIV) is what is housed in and really is what makes up this fortification.  Hence, a stronghold (a spiritual stronghold) is a place in the mind where there is an accumulation of thoughts that seem to give a good reason to sin.  It is an accumulation of arguments for evil.  This place in the mind is a place of moral darkness where demons like to go and where they feel comfortable and protected—because wherever sin is harbored that is where demons dwell.

How do we recognize a spiritual stronghold?  That is, how do we know if we have a stronghold?  Is every sin a stronghold?  Well, I would say, to the degree that you harbor sin and habitually sin, to that degree you have a stronghold.  If you are not willing to let go of a sin, then yes, you have a stronghold.  And I am of the opinion that if you have a sinful habit you also have demons in your life—because demons like to go where sin is harbored.

But, basically, you know that a person has a stronghold in his mind when lies become truth to him.  And, when that stronghold is extra strong, that person will profusely argue against the truth.  For instance, when people argue and say there is nothing wrong with abortion, or homosexuality, or adultery, or lust, or the occult, then you know those people have strongholds because we know those things are wrong.  They have believed a lie.  Here then are…

Five Ways to Pull Down Strongholds

1.  Submit to God in humility.  If you are praying for a friend, ask God to humble him.  If you have contact with your friend, counsel him to submit to God.  Humility is the weapon used against pride.  We need to break down pride first because it is the sin that protects and holds together all the strongholds.  Thus, when pride is removed Satan will flee (Ja. 4:7), and the strongholds are weakened.

2.  After pride is removed—which could be considered as a stronghold in itself—ask God to expose all other strongholds.  Make a list of each one as God reveals them to you.

3.  Repent of all sin that makes up each stronghold and determine not to think that way any longer.

4.  Replace every lie with truth; and for every lie memorize a verse of truth.  For example, for the lie, which says, “I am a failure, I can do nothing right”—memorize Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

5.  Build strongholds of truth.  Don’t be satisfied with memorizing just a few verses.  Build huge strongholds of truth by memorizing many verses.  Try to memorize at least three verses for every lie.  The more verses you have committed to memory the better your defense will be against Satan.

This post is from the book Prayer A to Z, and is also in the book Purpose of Prayer.

studyingprayer.com

Many believers live in perpetual defeat due to believing the lies of the enemy until those lies become mental strongholds.

John 10:10 clearly states that the plans of the devil are to hinder, discourage and bring forth harm and destructions to us. But the good news is that we have a weapon far greater than the forces of evil, the sword, Word of God (2 Corinthians 10:4).

So brothers and sisters, no matter what mental stronghold you are facing, God has equipped you with the divine power to tear down any unwanted thoughts that bombard you. Be assured and believe in God’s promises that he will never leave you or forsake you.

So whether you currently feel depressed, hopeless or find yourself mostly wallowing in lustful thoughts, there is a way out for you – just believe it.

The solution to overcoming the lies of the enemy is to fill your mind with God’s word until there no room for the devils lies to enter your mind. Make it a goal to completely saturate and believe every single word in the Bible. Anytime the enemy attempts to whisper evil thoughts in your mind, counteract it with the Word of God.

Below we have compiled a list of bible verses worth meditating and memorising to overcome satanic mental attacks.

Print out the verses and start reading aloud the scriptures with boldness.

40 Bible verses for mind deliverance 

1. “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.” – Isaiah 54:17 (NASB)

2. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7 (NIV)

3. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

4. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

5. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

6. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

7. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

8. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

9. “(The devil) He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44

10. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:19-20 (NIV)

what is a strongholds in spiritual warfare

11. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 (NIV)

12. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10 (NI V)

13. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

14. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31 (NIV)

15. “These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” – Jude 1:19 – 21

16. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

17. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

18. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” – Psalm 34:17 (NIV)

19. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

20. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32 (NIV)

what is a strongholds in spiritual warfare

21. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

22. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 (NIV)

23. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…” – Psalm 91:1-4 (NIV)

24. “This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)

25. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

26. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 (NIV)

27. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

28. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

29. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24 (NIV)

30. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV)

what is a strongholds in spiritual warfare

31. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

32. “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14 (NIV)

33. “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” – Psalm 50:15 (NIV)

34. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV)

35. “Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” – Deuteronomy 3:22 (NIV)

36. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

37. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

38. “ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

39. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

40. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” – Ephesians 6:16

41. “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV)

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