Breaking the Devil's Stronghold

A woman went to a computer dating service and saying she didn't care about looks, income or background.  All she wanted was a man of upright character. Then a man came in saying the only thing he was seeking in a woman was intelligence. The service matched them together at once because they had one thing in common - they were both compulsive liars!

It is easy to believe a lie.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)

    "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. [25] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
    But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. [27] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

The “house” is your life. It's your family. Jesus is saying, good people and bad people are going to experience the same kind of crises- winds, rains, storms, floods. Yet only those who built their lives right will stand.

This is not complicated.   But have you ever wondered this, “Why is it so easy to build wrong?  Why does it seem so normal to NOT do what God says, and so logical to live according to the world’s culture instead of God’s?  Why do some people and families get destroyed by doing foolish things?

We have all seen it, haven't we? A damaging sin like alcoholism, adultery,  divorce, or never being able to hold a job plagues a family for generations.  Grandpa was like that; so was dad. A woman marries a man who abuses her or doesn't ever work, and her daughter ends up doing the same thing, despite knowing how miserable her mother was.  Why? How is it that evil can stay in a person or family and not be done away with?  It is almost like the devil lives with some sort of protection in that family.   He does; because he has protected his territory in peoples’ thinking.

Satan’s armor in a person or family is the approving thoughts toward evil.   Agreeing with his thoughts.  Thoughts attitudes and opinions that agree with evil.  They are so hidden in us we do not recognize then or identify them.. But when our thoughts are in agreement with unbelief, fear, or habitual sin, Satan has protection in our minds.

Satan has even protected himself about his own existence :

Nearly two out of three adults—62%—agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” …Among the more surprising findings, however, are that a majority of born again Christians deny Satan’s existence (52%); nearly three-quarters of Catholics say the devil is non-existent (72%); and women are more likely than men to reject Satan’s existence (64% vs. 59%).

This is how abuse people think.  “Well it is really not that bad!  I mean I know cheating on your spouse is wrong, but look at my prima.  She did it, and she still has a great career.”   Or... "I know drunkenness is wrong, but granddad always did it and wasn't he a pretty good guy!?”

Unforgiveness, greed, immorality, selfishness: they stay in lives because Satan gets people to justify and defend his thoughts.  Remember, the serpent challenged God’s good character. Adam and Ever believed it, and they and all their unborn children lost the great blessing of God. 

So what to we do? Here is what God says.

2 Cor. 10:4-5 (NIV)

    The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. [5] 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.

Remember there is a war going on for our minds.  Taking our thoughts captive, and making them obedient to the Lord is the way we insure our lives and families will be able to withstand the storms that are sure to come.


*Image by Will Davis