For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Several years ago, I realized I had a stronghold. I had a pattern of thinking that was sinful, but comfortable and even pleasurable. When the Holy Spirit finally got through to me that I was sinning, I tried to stop. Really. But I couldn’t stop thinking in that sinful pattern.
I was sitting on my back porch in Africa, watching my children play under the mango tree, whining to God that really – I couldn’t stop this sin. It was just a thought pattern, God. And I couldn’t get rid of it.
In my lap was a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. And while I’m not quoting her exactly, she wrote something to this effect: “The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of you. Don’t tell me you ‘can’t’ get free of a stronghold. The very God of the Universe indwells you. Can He not do anything?”
God wasn’t taking my wimping out for an answer. He wasn’t going to pat me on the head and say, “That’s ok, darlin’. You tried. I know the intent of your heart, and you wanted to get rid of this sin. It was just too hard for you.” No. God expected me to draw out my weapons and go to battle. He expected me to take His power, His presence, and demolish that stronghold. Not just poke at it. Not put it on a back shelf. Demolish that sucker.
Even as I type these words, pondering a past victory, God is convicting me of a different stronghold in my life – a quite current pattern of behavior that is long held and comfortable, even justifiable. But I know He doesn’t like it.
It’s time to draw out my weapons again. Sigh. This is hard, sweaty, long-term work. This isn’t a one-time, glamorous, sunlight-flashing-on-my-sword battle. This is marching and fighting and marching again, wearing holes in my boots, digging trenches, and staying the course.
But my victory is assured. Because my weapon is not my own strength. It is the Spirit of God Himself.