Do you ever drive or walk through a neighborhood and look at the houses for fun? Maybe that’s just the real estate aficionado in me, but I love to go look at properties and envision what can be done to improve them. Every house, even the ones that look great on the surface, could increase in value from a few changes.
My wife Becky and I have done several fix and flips over the years. Some of them have been complete rehabs. When you do a renovation of that magnitude, you’re scarcely able to recognize a home after the project is completed.
Similarly, I know that God is in the business of renovating human hearts. He sees every human being and envisions what can be done to restore and make them whole again. When we confess with our mouth and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, God begins this renovation process inside of us!
“And 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
The Bible is clear. Only God can transform our hearts, and then we have to renew our minds to the Truth in the Word of God. Renewing our minds isn’t just about getting the Truth inside of us—it’s about getting the lies out of us!
A common thing to do when renovating a home is to remove walls. This can open the space, create more of a flow, and give you multiple design options. Oftentimes, we try to renew and rehab our mind without removing the walls that don’t need to be there anymore. God might want to create space in our hearts for the Holy Spirit to flow through us, but we won’t knock down the walls He’s asking us to demolish! We humans have a tendency to cling to habits, mindsets, relationships, and/or other idols that keep us from receiving the truth. Overtime, these things can turn into strongholds.
What is a Stronghold in the Bible?
“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NLT)
The word stronghold in the Bible translates as follows:
- A castle, fortress, fastness
- Anything on which one relies
Praise God that He gives us every weapon we need for pulling down strongholds! It’s important to note that these strongholds aren’t just demonic things in The Heavenlies—in a sense, it would be easier to detach ourselves from those things. Who wants a demon on their back?! No, the scriptures and the literal definition of the word show us that strongholds can come in the form of our very own mindsets. Strongholds come when we lean on human reasoning rather than Godly wisdom. They are anything we’ve come to rely on other than God, such as material comforts or our ‘productivity.’
Let’s circle back to our home renovation metaphor. Have you ever removed a load-bearing wall from a house? Load-bearing walls support the floor or roof structure, and they’re responsible for a lot of weight. Sometimes you need to remove load-bearing walls, but usually you take every measure possible to avoid doing so. It’s expensive and messy!
Here’s the thing—you probably have strongholds in the areas where you feel the most self-sufficient. And you’ve probably taken every measure possible to keep God from working in those areas (whether you know it or not.)
The areas that feel the weightiest are the areas where God wants to partner with you. If you already have natural strength there, imagine what you and God can do together! He wants to help you lead in your family. He wants to help you build wealth for the Kingdom of God. He wants to help you excel in your job. He wants to help you serve others through your giftings. Here is Jesus’ invitation to you:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
Letting go may seem messy, and it may feel like it’s going to cost you a lot. Let me testify for a second—I’ve seen some great renovations in my day, but my absolute favorite renovation is the one Jesus did in my heart. Did it cost me a lot? Sure…but it was the best investment I ever made.
The Art of Pulling Down Strongholds
When it comes to pulling down strongholds, we must start with the Word of God. Let’s revisit 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 again:
“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…”
Strongholds raise themselves against God. In other words, they make themselves real visible. So, as you immerse yourself in the Bible, you’ll be able to tell when a stronghold in your life is trying to keep you locked away in its castle.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Wield that sword on purpose! As you do so, God will help you cut away and knock down any lies that don’t need to live inside you anymore. As your walls are knocked down, you’ll create room to be filled with the Truth!
I hope this blog has encouraged you. God wants to partner with you. He will renovate your heart and bring you immense freedom! What are some practices or scriptures you’ve found helpful when it comes to pulling down strongholds? Let us know in the comments?