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.

31 Responses to Strongholds Defined

  1. Christine Tolentino says:

    but I have a question..
    can we have a stronghold which are people involved in our lives? or it’s just a work of evil that i’m thinling that i need to stay aways crom my friend who introduced GOD to me. sorry, i’m just confused in what i’m feeling now.. answer anyways please.

  2. Kenneth Langford says:

    Thank you for this post it really blessed me, I want to ask you to be in agreement with about a Stronghold of porn and masturbation it has been a Stronghold for years and have Prayed against that rebellious Spirit in name of Jesus and believe the word of God over my life this is my Address you can write me at 7 Hiwassee Dr Greenville South Carolina 29617 Send me some Prayer material I can use thank you again for your Prayers

  3. Ana says:

    Great website. The truth is that everyone needs to stop every once and a while and think about what their thinking. The thoughts the enemy puts in your mind are at times so suddle that yThey are hard to catch. Give the Holy Spirit permit ion to keep you in check. God is good he came to set the captives free.chris in you, the hope of glory. He has purchased your life,your free dome by his blood. Don’t let the lies of the devil keep you bondage. There is nothing he can not deliver or save you from.

    • tammy madigan says:

      this was the only way I could figure out how to get a prayer out there my husband battles with demons I see them temporally take control over him he is just new in his faith with god and is very very susceptible to these entities please please pray for deliverance for him his name IS BRIAN NELSON and I love him but know that I alone cant fight this energy of I need the power of Christ and ^prayer please please we need god help and help from others

  4. Susan says:

    I am battling a stronghold in my mind that makes me masturbate every day. The grip it has on me is real and very strong. I seem to be in a demonic battle which has been raging for two and a half years. I would really value your prayers of deliverance. I know Jesus can release me from the grip of the devil. Praise God.

    • Anonymous says:

      I bind & I rebuke the spirit of lust in your body. You strongman of lust, I command you to come out of her in the name of Jesus. Susan, you need to repent for your sins, throw away anything in your house that is detestable to God, burn them. Our bodies are temple of the Holy Spirit & we have to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice holy & acceptable to God.

      • Susan says:

        Thank you for your encouraging reply.
        I feel neglected in my marriage as my husband rarely touches me and we don’t sleep together. He can live without sex. So I have now found out how to bring myself to orgasm. I continue to do it daily as I feel as though I am missing out.

        I only stumbled on your reply by accident, so thank you from my heart.

        • Susan says:

          I don’t know who you are, but you sound like a mighty Christian warrior.

          Why is the flesh so hard to deal with and will it ever subside?

          I don’t have sex toys but I am ashamed to say I use fruit. I can’t see any way out of this problem unless my husband changes. The last time he touched me was over a month ago and I need loving at least twice a week. What’s the answer?

          • Prophet Michael - www.michaelbiagioni.com says:

            Susan, your problem is both complex but simple.
            I would not define what you are experiencing as a stronghold but a lack of love. Remember, perfect love casts out all fear, fear has torment.. 1 Jn 4:18.
            Just as soon as you experience true love both emotional and sexual, the problem will go away.
            It is normal to need love, and physical release as well.
            I don’t recommend self judgment because of masturbation, but, love yourself.
            I also recommend a greater involvement in ministry to keep your mind stayed on the things of God.
            If most ministers were honest, they would all confess that thoughts have entered their minds that were less than righteous.
            Let me say one other thing, sometimes we get married to the wrong person.
            God Bless You

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Wilmer says:

    God Bless

  12. Pingback: SPIRTUAL REALM

  13. 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.

  14. 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……

  15. Judith says:

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

  16. 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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