Kate White Music Published on May 11, 2016 SUBSCRIBE 41 Rooted in my own story, I had come to a place where I needed to be willing to look back in order to move forward. To embrace the little girl who got left behind, and give her a voice. Co-written with Rebecca Loomis. Republished on May 11, 2016
This is a post I made on my blog site well over a year ago, in 2017.
Given the opportunity to teach soon, I asked a friend if he had any ideas. He thought for a second and said, what about Strongholds, those are the things that I need to hear about. I know I do, I battle with aspects of this every day.
By the way; I am very much aware that there is always more that defines this aspect of strongholds. Think of this as a primer that motivates you to dig deeper.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 MKJV For though walking about in the flesh, we do not war according to flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds,
Though we walk about in the flesh,
There is no escaping that condition, and yet the concept is that we can set aside the "flesh." There are only two situations in which that happens:
Death – that state in which you are then separated from the body. Or, the rapture (a moment in time in which we will be changed – an act in which God causes this permanently damaged body to be altered.) We do not war according to flesh.
Harsh words, swords, and guns are not going to help. This war we are in is a spiritual battle and Satan is the enemy.
The battle you are facing is a spiritual one and it is primarily in the mind.
Pulling down – Is the Greek word kathaíresis and means demolition or the destruction of a fortress.
The enemy (Satan) promotes the building of fortresses in our mind. This process happens slowly through the deceptiveness of words.
For example: In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he tells us we are:
Blessed; holy; blameless; in Him; living in love; adopted; chosen; redeemed and bought back. However, these are not the words we hear; mostly we hear the opposite, such as:
You will never be holy; you are to blame for everything; unlovable; unwanted, and that you will have to struggle all your life to attain some state in which God would want you. Strongholds – The Greek word ochúrōma; to hold fast. A stronghold, fortification, fortress.
The Greek allows for something much less invasive; a holdfast.
Compare to 3M sticky hooks.
Why use the analogy of a temporary wall hanger?
These issues are often temporary annoyances. The simplest of solutions is to pray.
A verse we did not cover defines these strongholds and where they come from.
2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Again we will dissect this a few words at a time.
Casting down is the Greek word kathaireō and means to lower (or with violence) demolish. The Word Study Dictionary adds, “to take for oneself. To take down or away.
The Word Study Dictionary says this Greek word logismós means a reckoning, calculation, consideration, reflection.
To logismós a thing means that you are giving more than just a passing thought to a matter. The implications are that you are ruminating on the issue at hand. Since not all things are a worrisome bother, then the other application would apply to the voices that tell you that you will never live up to the things God says about you.
Other translations use the words: reasoning; arguments; intellectual arrogance; theories, and speculations. All of these fit the concept.
The word "every" is the Greek word pas and includes all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole: - all (manner of, means).
Declension according to Webster's dictionary means literally, a leaning back or down; hence, a falling or declining towards a worse state; a trend toward a lesser degree of excellence or perfection.
High thing is the word hupsōma, an elevated place or thing, that is, (abstractly) altitude, or (by implication) a barrier.
Who is it that does the elevating? We do, as we put that thought on a pedestal.
That exalts itself
The phrase exalts itself, is the word epairō meaning to raise up.
Since the context has to do with casting down imaginations and every high thing, then the idea, worry, or promotion you have spinning in your head is trying desperately to exalt itself by raising up; but against what? In reality, the voices, whether they are in your head or fed to from some well-meaning “friend,” are intended to exalt themselves above God's word, nature, and character.
Against the knowledge of God
So, just as I said, the voices are attempting to exalt themselves above God. There is truly, only one person that does that, Satan and his minions.
And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
As I said, you are the one who has to take care of this. It is, by-the-way, your psyche that is being toyed with. Doing nothing only adds to the fortification that is being built in your mind. While it is necessary that you bring these thoughts that are contrary to God into captivity, you must subject your thoughts to the obedience of Christ.
Obedience is the Greek word hupakoḗ; to obey, listen to something, hearken.
This is you with purpose resetting your mind to consider with an overriding confidence, the true nature of Christ Jesus.
I get it; there are understandably some people who are so far gone, whether from alcohol, drug abuse, or trauma, that they do not live in a functional state of mental health and may not be able to make these decisions for themselves. With those people in mind, I am reminded of what the Apostle Peter told us Jesus did; and, in so doing, demonstrated not only the character and nature of the Father but our mission as well.
Acts 10:38 MKJV ...and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.
So, once again, you are not dealing with the flesh, but demonic forces, in all but rare cases.
Let's just assume that this is not you and you continue to function with relative normalcy while fighting against these small, annoying mental skirmishes, many of which we lose.
If these strongholds are merely a hold fast and not a fortress in my mind, why I am I continually bothered/tortured by this same problem?
You, with Christ living in you, are a target.
I know you did not want to hear that, but it is information that you needed to know.
Ephesians 2:10 MKJV For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus ...
There are plenty of people who will say that this does not define us as being in God's image, so allow me to give you another piece of proof.
Genesis 1:26-27 MKJV And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion ... over all the earth, ... And God created man in His image;...
Some might say, I don't believe in this God of yours.
Their challenge does not matter; the mere fact that we were created in the image of God caused Satan to set his destructive sights upon them.
A simple hold fast may restrain you for your entire life.
Satan, we are told, constantly accuses us of sins. We see this in Revelation of all places.
Revelation 12:10 MKJV ... For the accuser of our brothers is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night.
Our broken flesh is centered around selfishness; the motivation to satisfy the flesh.
We quickly and easily call this a sin conscience.
We religious folk, love to fling the word sin around, especially once we've decided that you need more restraint in your life. The word “sin” is simply an old English term, taking from Archery, in which the competitor missed the bulls-eye in the center of the target.
Hello everyone! Since I was last here, I fled my abusive ex and moved to another state. I am now living and working in a Christian homeless ministry and life is amazing! Best of all, the Lord healed my body and this has been medically verified! I am off oxygen and living a normal life! Praise the Lord!!
I introduced a section within my first post in this series, as one of the most unbelievable scenarios you could read. In that section you have Rebekah and Jacob pulling off the deception of a lifetime, as Isaac is tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau merely by strapping a piece of sheepskin on Jacob's arm. I have to ask, have you ever seen sheep? They exceed the hair of man about 100 to one.
While most would have run for their lives but not Jacob; and, I cannot give you any good reason why? As you see in Genesis 28:6-7, Isaac, after the deception, has instructed Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. After hearing this Jacob leaves toward Haran in order to comply and his mother goes with him. What just happened?
Watch what Esau does.
Genesis 28:6-7 NASB Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan," 7) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.
This is the first time I noticed this aspect of the story. Note how it says, “and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.” When you think about the reality of the situation and how furious Isaac should have been at Rebekah, then it makes all the sense in the world for her to with Jacob. Besides that, she may need to make the introductions and marriage arrangements for this favorite of sons.
Esau, on the other hand, seeing how irritated his mother became about the women he married, (This is the same mother who deceived Isaac his father, and helped to cheat him out of his rightful inheritance,) went out and found himself a few more.
Genesis 28:8-9 NASB So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9) and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth.
This next section focuses entirely on a dream that Jacob had.
Indeed, it was a very vivid dream, in a manner similar to the dream that Abram had, it was as close to reality as you can come. You have to wonder how much understanding Jacob had about God, or where he got that understanding. The only thing we see is Isaac praying to the Lord in chapter 25. Isaac, being the son of Abraham, I can understand how and where he learned of the Lord, but the apparent influence on Jacob is not seen.
Genesis 25:21-23 NASB Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23) The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger."
Jacob's Dream - Genesis 28:10-22
But first Jacob has to kneel before his father, apparently at his father's demand.
Genesis 28:1 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, "You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
This is the second time Jacob has been blessed, however, Isaac is well aware of the deceitful methods that were used on him. Without going any farther, I already see a prime example of the nature and character of God, as Isaac overlooks the “sin” and bestows a purposeful blessing upon Jacob.
Blessed is the Hebrew word bāraḵ: A verb meaning to bless, kneel, salute, or greet. The verb derives from the noun knee and perhaps suggests the bending of the knee in blessing.
Would we expect to see Isaac kneeling before Jacob at this point?
Not a chance, so it is Jacob, this time with intention, kneeling before his father.
Do you think it is possible that Isaac could bring some punishment upon this son?
No, and again, this is an example of God's grace, as we too, caught in our sins, deserved punishment, but what happened? The Son Jesus took all punishment on our behalf.
I am well aware that I have no key character, in this scenario, that takes the punishment for Jacob. What I do see, is Jacob suffering abuse, at not only the hand of Laban but his own sons when we get to them.
Pay attention to what Isaac tells Jacob.
Perspective: The flood has come and gone, and, with it, should have been the giants and the evil and violence that were associated not just with them, but people in general. And, secondly, this has taken place before Moses and prior to the law.
Is that what happened?
Not exactly, for men still had the right to choose how they would live, and the giants returned. Genesis 6:4 tells us that afterward, they showed up again. After what? The flood.
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 NASB
Two pieces of evidence for giants after the flood comes from Numbers 13:33 and 2Samuel 21:16, both of which speak of giants still permeating the land. Canaan was one of those places and we learn of it when Israel sent 12 men to spy out the Land of Canaan.
“You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
Do a word search and the first place Canaan shows up is in Genesis 9.
Genesis 9:18-27 NASB Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20) Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21) He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22) Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. 24) When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25) So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers." 26) He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27) "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant."
Notice how Canaan is pointed out as the son of Ham; this is not a favorable distinction.
Genesis 28:2 NASB "Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother's brother.
The town of Bethuel gained it's origins in a man, as was the case with every city.
Genesis 22:20-23 NASB Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21) Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel." 23) Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
So here is your ancestry moment, It was told, Abraham:
Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor
Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel."
Kemuel produces a son Aram. Note the similarities to Paddan-aram!
The son to be born to Nahor is Bethuel.
Bethuel became the father of Rebekah
Rebekah is the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob. This also means that Bethuel became the father of Laban.
Jacob, still kneeling before his father Isaac, receives all these instructions and blessings; as though what he stole was not enough.
Genesis 28:3-5 NASB "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) "May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham." 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
“ May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.”
“May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”
What were the blessings of Abraham?
Genesis 12:1-3 NASB Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
Genesis 17:6-8 NASB "I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7) "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8) "I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
I will make you a great nation
I will bless you
and make your name great
I will bless those that bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.
In you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful
and I will make nations of you
kings will come forth from you
I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … for an everlasting covenant.
Be a God to you and to your descendants.
And, I will give you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.
So, tell me, is this what you say to someone who has just deceived you? And yet, this is exactly what Isaac just did. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”
Genesis 28:10-11 NASB Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11) He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.
Haran, isn't that the place where Abram was and God told him to go to a land that He would show him? Yes, it is. But it is also the place where so many things will take place, and now Jacob is going there to find himself a wife. Fortunately, Jacob has his mommy with him to make the introductions; although we are not told that, it works for the moment.
Genesis 11:26-31 NASB Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. 27) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28) Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29) Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30) Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31) Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
Note this: “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
It seems God has His hands in everything, doesn't it?
“He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set;”
Genesis 28:19 NASB He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.
“And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.”
Genesis 28:18-22 NASB So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19) He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21) and I return to my father's house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22) "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
God's house? This statement is immensely significant, and so is this, “and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Without any motivation of “law,” Jacob has made a commitment to tithe.