Saturday, March 13, 2010


There are eight Hebrew words which the King James Version translates "strong holds." While there are slight differences in their meanings, basically they all have one thing in common: they are structures, either natural or man made, that serve as a defense from attack. These terms refer to caves, high places, mountain tops, walled cities, fortresses, etc. The eight words are used to speak of strong holds twenty-five times in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, "strong holds" appears only once (2 Corinthians 10:4). In this case, the term is used to describe the tearing down of mental and spiritual walls resisting the truth (see verse five). These verses might be interpreted as teaching that some, and perhaps all, imperfect Christians still defend superstitions (imaginations). And there are areas of sin ingrained as habits, which maintain a hold on the believer, until the Lord ''works in you to will and to do His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). For instance, Paul encountered many believers who, although being Christians, were still bound captive by the legalism of the Law. The Book of Galatians was primarily written to address this.

When one thinks of strong holds, a picture of a walled city or fortress immediately comes to mind. The passage in 2 Corinthians (10:3-5) clearly refers to warfare. Paul, in identifying with those fighting against evil, says "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." Unfortunately, most Christians picture our battle as one where we take a stand and defend our position, our strong hold. However, as we will see, we are to attack. The strong hold is the devil's. Jesus said, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it "(the Church - Matthew 16:18). Gates are part of the fortress meant to keep us out.

"In our war against Satan, Paul describes equipment the Christian needs in order to be victorious. In Ephesians 6:12-17, he identifies the enemy (v. 12) as a spiritual one. The Christian's defensive equipment includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, and a helmet of salvation. All of these have to do with knowledge of one's protection in Christ. There are two pieces of offensive equipment, the sword of the Spirit described as the Word of God, and shoes prepared to attack with the Gospel. Most see our only weapon as the Sword which is described in detail in Hebrews 4:12. That is because we are always on the defensive. It is time for the Church to attack the strong holds of Satan in our minds, our families, our churches, our nation, and our world! We are to be light that drives back darkness, and salt that preserves the ground we gain. Let's put Satan on the defensive where he belongs.

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