Tearing Down Strongholds of the Enemy (excerpt from Sunday’s sermon, “Deployed”)
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (AMP) – 3 For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds (fortresses). 5 We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,
HOW TO BREAK STRONGHOLDS:
- AUTHORITY— Every believer has the right to use the authority of Jesus’ name to bind and take authority over satan’s activities. Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV) – 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and thatevery tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- CORPORATE INTERCESSION: Come together with other believers to pray and intercede against strongholds until you get results. (This is not a shotgunprayer (scattered)…this is a precise, “heart of God” prayer). Charles SpurgeonQuote: “There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It’s as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed.” There is intensified power in the gathering of more believers. Leviticus 26:8 (NKJV) – 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; (500% Increase.) Acts 12:5 (AMP) – 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church.
- DISPLACEMENT & OCCUPATION — Establish the presence of God. Where Satan has been commanded to leave, fill it up with God’s presence – leave no vacancy – satan doesn’t want to hang around where people are lifting up Jesus in worship, in singing and prayer.
- RESISTANCE— James 4:6-8 (NLT) – 6 As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
- FORTIFICATION— Clothe yourself with God’s armor – maintain battle-ready status. Ephesians 6:11-13 (AMP) – 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].
“THE GATES OF HELL” is not a symbol for a defensive action. Matthew 16: 18 (MSG) – This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. It is not a church which is being assaulted by forces from outside. It is true that the Scriptures describe the Christian’s struggle as an individual as defensive action (Ephesians 6). But when the Scriptures view the entire thrust of the church in its relationship to society, it is never pictured as on the defensive: IT IS ON THE OFFENSE. The “gates of hell” mean that hell is under attack, the gates of a strong city are being assailed and are under attack.. Romans 12:21 (AMP) – 21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but AND JESUS SAYS MY CHURCH SHALL PREVAIL overcome evil with good. Revelation 12:11 (AMP) – 11 And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death. Luke 10:19 (NLT) – 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Deuteronomy 28:7 (ESV) – 7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE MIGHTY. I wish I could thunder those words in such a way as to capture your imagination and help you to see how wrong is this terrible attitude of pessimism and despair that exists among Christians these days. Many act as though all we can do is to hang on to what we’ve got and wait for the Lord to come. It is not what we are called to do. We are called to attack these strongholds, and weapons are placed in our hands — weapons of might, weapons of dynamite, weapons of power — that are able to subdue and break down these terrible strongholds of evil!
In His Grace,