POSITIVE STRONGHOLD TURNED NEGATIVE, AN EXAMPLE
Proverbs 18:10 – The name of The Lord is a strong tower (stronghold) the righteous man runs into it and is safe (ESV).
This bible verse suggests to us that even as righteous people, there is a time to run. It also suggests that there are other types of strongholds, but only the name of The Lord guarantees safety, and also that there are positive and negative strongholds.
I am going to elaborate on one positive stronghold common to everyone, which often becomes a negative stronghold.
Man, as required by his nature has an inherent survival instinct and therefore constantly feels the need to fend for himself. This instinct is common, and is inherent in us all. We all have a means of livelihood, in one way or the other, as a matter of fact the bible backs the need for us to have a source of income.
Proverbs 6:10-11 – A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV) For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Our having a job, a business, a source of income is justified. We can see that the to need to want to be independent and have a means of livelihood is a positive stronghold.
Now if you ask Christian who falls in the category of the ’employed’, entrepreneur, business owner etc. how they are able to make ends meet, they are quick to say ‘I have a good job’, ‘i own a business’, ‘I am faring very well on my own’ etc. Now this is not to say that this is the wrong answer, the issue is from what perspective the question is being answered. Lets analyse:
If you study the pattern, the end of the month seems to be the happiest day for many, getting a huge business contract is like winning a jackpot for many, most times in the middle of the month when running low on cash, you find many with long faces, some even become aggressive because the slow pace of the month and rising expenses is depriving them of having some cash flow. Many are at the mercy of their bosses, they almost worship him/her because in their opinion, they hold the key to their source of their livelihood, many are neck deep in debt, and their job/business does not seem to fetch them much anymore.
Let’s not even talk about a Christian who loses his job, he feels like his world had come crashing down, and that his source of livelihood has just been cut off. He is trapped with the idea that his job is his source, and the job is the reason why he can eat, drink and afford the nice things of life
While having a job, or a means of livelihood is not bad in itself and is also necessary as the bible points out, having the mindset that it is your source, living on the capacity of your pay-check, or judging your capabilities on the size of your pay-check is a negative stronghold. This is where a positive stronghold (the mindset of the need to be independent ) turns negative.
It is very easy to develop this mindset, everyone would agree to have caught themselves thinking in this direction, the ability to then snap out of it is the basis for my opening scripture, Proverbs 18:10, when we feel exposed and find ourselves thinking in this direction, we have a stronghold(the name of The Lord) to run into.
Philippians 4:19 (ESV) And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
The bible does not say Your job will supply, neither does it say God will supply your needs according to your nicely arranged cv, or the job your intellect can get you, or how many business deals you are able to get yourself, it says according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus.
Romans 9:16 (NIV) – It does not therefore depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy
Until we are able to develop the mindset that our jobs, our businesses etc. is not the basis for our success but the grace of God, we will continue to remain entrapped, limit ourselves and not grow because we will continue to measure our capabilities and success by the size of our pay check. We will not grow beyond what we earn.
The bible clearly states that we cannot serve both God and mammon (riches, money) Matthew 6:24, this verse is self explanatory, it is either we are on God’s side or not. Once again, we have been given a choice, according to Proverbs 18:10. It is now left for us to make the right decision. No one helps you overcome a stronghold except yourself.
For further study:
Matthew 6:24, Proverbs 18:10
Personal declaration for the day:
God is my source other things and people are channels though which he blesses me.
Questions for you to reflect on
Where do your help come from?
Who or what are looking up to?