Strongholds Defined


If I was to title this article differently, I would title it THE TRUTH VS. THE LIE

Paul, in response to those Christians relying on the outward appearance of Paul, rather than God’s power working in Paul, gives us a lesson on how to pull down strongholds (Lies) in our spiritual warfare, in all that exalts itself against the knowledge of God in our lives.

Paul states the problem, those things said about Paul: 2Co 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

Paul reassures them that his deeds will be just as weighty and powerful as his words, and explains why:

2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)

2Co 10:5 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;

Root Word (Etymology)

Stronghold: From a remote derivative of ἔχω (G2192) (meaning to fortify, through the idea of holding safely)

1) a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness

2) anything on which one relies

a) of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent

The Apostle Paul instructs us about “strongholds” in the Book of Second Corinthians. Our Christian walk and warfare is always spiritual, and our weapons are never of a carnal nature but through the mighty power of God, in pulling down strongholds by putting on the mind of Christ, or casting down imaginations / and knowledge that contradicts God’s Truth and power, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of His Son Christ, Jesus.

Vincent’s Word Studies expounds a little bit on the terms regarding our thought life – bringing into captivity / and obedience to Christ for a better understanding of the text:

Bringing into captivity – Or leading away captive. The military metaphor is continued; the leading away of the captives after the storming of the stronghold. See on captives, Luk 4:18. The campaign against the Cilician pirates resulted in the reduction of a hundred and twenty strongholds and the capture of more than ten thousand prisoners.

The stronghold is discovered and conquered, and the thoughts that can keep us captive, or in bondage, are renewed with Truth that sets us free, for we also can be kept captive to strongholds in our own thinking patterns given to us via the world, flesh (including the sins of others put upon us), and the devil, which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, then we can find ourselves in strongholds of bondage.

To the obedience of Christ – In pursuance of the metaphor. The obedience is the new stronghold into which the captives (our thoughts) are led. This is indicated by the prepositions εἰς into or unto.

It stands to reason that life’s conditioning, teachings, philosophies, experiences, reliance on the carnal, deep rooted fears that are learned, or strong negative feelings such as anger, hate, unforgiveness, low self esteem, identity problems, arrogance or improper defense mechanisms, stubbornness, victimization, etc., can hold a person hostage in strongholds of misery, depression, dissension, loneliness, anxiety, escapism, excessive grief, etc.  Strongholds that oppose the knowledge of God keeps one captive, or in bondage, which can affect an area of one’s life or perhaps many areas.

Long standing situations or personal dispositions can open the door to oppression by evil spirits, and many times unbeknown to the individual, as these entities can hide within the personality, and know that they maintain their power through deception, or keeping the person unaware of their presence.

I would like to share an example, an experience I had a long time ago, but not forgotten.

The Lord had just answered a prayer of mine in a phenomenal way that I was filled with so much joy, and went to sleep that night feeling loved and full of peace.  During the night, I woke up feeling angry at God, as if it was second nature to me, and I caught myself and thought “wait a minute, the Lord blessed me so much, and I am so thankful to Him, so where is this anger coming from? I am not angry with Him!”  Like many people, there are issues in life that we don’t understand and to some degree we may blame the Lord, but repress that anger because its unacceptable to be angry at God, and learn this from a very young age.  But, that night it was clear, I became acutely aware that this was a devil spirit attacking my mind, and while I was asleep (imagine that).  I rebuked the spirit of anger and immediately the negative feelings disappeared, and I knew I uncovered the deception or a hiding place of this entity, and how it must have nurtured my anger throughout the years.  I always loved and believed the Lord more than I was ever angry with him, and to me, it seemed a normal reaction to things I couldn’t know or understand, but what I discovered that night really surprised me.  That devil spirit wanted to steal my joy and faith, and apparently was not willing to give up his little stronghold embedded in what I thought was just a normal part of my human experience.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy! (Jn. 10:10)

In Psalm 91 it says,

V2 – I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and “my fortress:” my God; in him will I trust

fortress - “stronghold”

We need to take the time to reflect on our thinking patterns, especially in those areas where we feel the most lost.  I don’t believe in extremes and a balanced walk is vital, but I also know that for the walking Christian, the enemy is hiding in the trenches, no doubt.

A list of common strongholds will be posted soon – God Bless!


*Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search – Strong’s & Thayer’s Gk dictionaries.

22 Responses to Strongholds Defined

  1. Jay says:

    Please pray for me that God will forgive my wandering, and take me back to Christ. I long so to feel His Holy Spirit. Demonic forces overpowered me, and I got out of His will. Please pray on my behalf that I can come to Him. Thank you

  2. marianne says:

    Thank God for these words of wisdom on tearing down strongholds. Im tearing down every negative stronghold in my life by faith in Jesus name.

  3. John says:

    I believe the time has come when we need to seriously band together through prayer lines or groups to cast out the demon spirits possessing the government which continues to destroy America. These demonic influences need our bold unceasing prayers to God Almighty to bind and cast out all negative influences from the administration, to Congress as well as the Court system. There have been murders involved because of widespread corruption and the threat of being exposed. My prayer request is that the Holy Spirit reveals the whole truth to the world regarding Obama and his handlers and the crimes committed along the way because the destruction of America has got to stop! Only Almighty God can put an end to the evils that permeate through our government. God, PLEASE SAVE AMERICA BECAUSE SHE WILL DIE WITHOUT YOU!.

  4. Robin says:

    Thanks again Magdalene, this time for the Biblical teaching on this page of your website. Of course a stronghold can also be a positive thing or place – GOD is our stronghold or refuge, and we are safe “in Christ”. The devil always likes to counterfeit something good, doesn’t he? I like to think that my life is like a medieval English / British castle: the foundation or mound on which the castle is built is the word of God; the walls are the blood of Christ; the surrounding moat is the water* of baptism (= separation from the world, consecration etc.); and the defending / occupying army is the Spirit who indwells me. [*Water has two completely opposite meanings in scripture, the 2nd meaning being the water of abundant life, ie. the Spirit.] We are SECURE in Christ and we are overcomers through the blood, the word and the Spirit. There are countless references to back up these thoughts, and Jesus came through the water, the Spirit and the blood (1 John 5). If we recognise our position in Christ, Satan CANNOT touch us (at least not our spirits). Robin

  5. Alisha says:

    Thank you for this website! God has been dealing with me on certain strongholds in my life and this elaborates on what I have been learning. I do know one thing, strongholds don’t happen all at once, but happens similar to the way a house is constructed, little by little piece by piece until it becomes difficult to tear down. However; the Lord is a good stronghold as well and will help us tear down and demolish every negative stronghold in our life wall by wall, board by board, piece by piece until annihilated.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank You so much for these profound words! I stumbled upon your sight and have been blessed tremendously!

    • Magdalene says:

      You’re very welcome! As Peter warned, 1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
      Thank you for the feedback & God bless!

  7. Wilmer says:

    God Bless

  8. Pingback: SPIRTUAL REALM

  9. Christian Winstead says:

    This is a very timely read for me in that it was revealed yesterday how my indulgence in imagination and fantasies have been evoked,sustained and manipulated by evil entities. Even seemingly harmless fantasies have cut me off from the Lord. After the Lord showed this to me, I was attacked via dreams last night but felt protected.

    • Magdalene says:

      Christian, thanks for sharing your experience. It’s absolutely amazing how the enemy attempts to sow tares in our minds and hearts, deception being his greatest weapon. I think the devil is paying much more attention to us, than we pay to him, and I am very blessed reading about your victory. God Bless!

    • Carl says:

      This is why reading scripture is so important, as it keeps us alert. God Bless 2 all.

  10. irene says:

    Going into dawn prayer meeting tomorrow.The person who is leading has asked me to pray deeper into 2Cor 10:5b taking all thoughts captive in Christ and bring obedience.Thank you for this as i remember to tear and pull down the strong hold of our church which is experiencing some dissension. Lord is sovereign and in control. Blessings for sharing……

  11. Judith says:

    I write to express gratitude for this site and the wisdom shared.

  12. alessandra says:

    A book….”Who turned off my brain.” by dr caroline leaf. She is a Christian neurologist. This book is excellent in helping us to understand thought patterns and what the Bible teaches confirms scientific research on the brain. A suggested read. Thanks for the wisdom..

    • Magdalene says:

      Alessandra,

      Thank you for your recommendation. A well-known saying by Socrates, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

    • roz says:

      Yes! this is an excellent read for all believers who want to truly understand why gossip and the watching of certain television programs & the bombardment of so much negative, fear stimulating garbage from various directions in our daily living can be harmful. Also, why the bible tells us, “to think on these things”….whatever is pure …..as oppossed to those things that cause us to have “Stinking thinking”. I keep her book by my bedside along with my bible.
      Truly a Must Read!

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