The devil is not the only enemy the Christian faces. I know many who believe in the “Flip Wilson School of Theology,” in other words: The devil made me do it! While that is true not everything the Christian faces comes from the devil, and there is an inherent danger to this approach: it eliminates personal responsibility. There is another closer enemy, and he is in the mirror and it is our own stinking flesh. Two examples of this is alcoholism and cigarette use.
These are not demons but strongholds that we have developed over time by our own sinful habits. It is a result of sowing and reaping.
We sowed a thought, we reaped an action. We sowed an action, we reaped a habit. We sowed a habit, and we reaped an addiction, we sowed an addiction, we reaped a stronghold.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (6) And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
It is said it takes about 21 days to get to the habit stage. Doing the same wrong action over and over again daily to get a habit. We handle strongholds differently than demons which we will be going over in detail over the next several weeks.
We need to tear down old wicked strongholds and build up good, Spiritual strongholds in their place. If the old wicked thoughts come in, we cast them out. We have to reject them. We cannot receive them. We must interrupt the evil thought with a good one. If we cannot think this then we stop and speak out of our mouths against it. And this is not a one time thing. It takes at least 21 days to create a habit, it can take at least 21 days to change it.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
- We need to change what we are sowing. Start sowing what is right.
- Break up the hard ground of your heart. This is hard work. We need to stay on it, finding what we are holding onto and letting it go, confessing and forsaking it.
- Seek the Lord: not just once in a while, but constantly frequently throughout the day. Until you get results. Be use importunity but always be reverent.
For example, if we keep on worrying about our circumstances, we can remember: Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Victory through His Word is key in this battle.
Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
(excerpted from the Understanding Thy Enemies Lesson of the Christian Warrior Series.