JESUS’S INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DECONSTRUCT STRONGHOLDS- Part 1
MATTHEW 5:21- 48
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. ………. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
In my last writing I defined strongholds as thought patterns that we have consciously or unconsciously developed as a result of a specific knowledge that we have acquired over a consistent period through our culture, environment, friends, family or trusted sources and such thought pattern have become concrete images that we have adopted (believed and received) as truth and made them our value system and build our lifestyle around it. Strongholds are entrenched in philosophies, reasoning, dogmas, theories and high system ethics and views some of which are not in accordance to ways of God. It is important to note that thoughts and imaginations are the main raw materials for developing strongholds. And our thoughts and imaginations (mindset) comes from our environment, culture, education, tradition of men, philosophy, and experience. Each of these sources is either rooted in God or the devil. The bible spoke of the doctrine of God and of the devil. I will discuss later on the how to discern stronghold and their sources. Some strongholds are good and profitable but some are bad and destructive.
Jesus gave example of certain strongholds (mindset) that are controlling the lives of the people in his time and he instructed on how to be free from them in the above scriptures.
Identify the strongholds – if you can identify your most common thoughts you will discover the source of your true value.
The first thing he did was to help them identify the strongholds. He pointed out to them that their current way of life is governed by the teaching that they have accepted and adhered to. The teaching they have received created thought patterns and images that formed their lifestyle. Your action and re-action are rooted in your value system. The question now is, have you identified the good and bad strongholds in your life? If you have not, tell the Holy Spirit to help you identify them, because for anything to be dynamic, it must be specific. Take an inventory of your most common thoughts and trace their source. Who do often listen to? What books do read and apply in your life? These would help you identify your strongholds. Until you find the root, you cannot stop the reproduction of the fruit. Deal with root first and you will stop the fruit.
For further study:
MATTHEW 5:21- 48
Personal declaration for the day:
I will deliberately set my mind on Godly things. I will think on things that are true, good, honest, just, pure, and lovely.
Questions for you to reflect on
• Name some of the strongholds in your life
• From what thoughts pattern did they develop?
• Do your thought pattern align with the scriptures?