(Written by ReAnn Ring)
I learned something a long time ago … a fact that I am still applying to certain undeniable areas of the mind, heart, and soul.
That fact is this – Satan will establish a platform of a lie in our life as early as he can — for his wiles and modus operandi to kill, steal, and destroy. The earlier in our lives he can plant his bitter root – the better. He works diligently at keeping his agenda in place in our mind that naturally floods down into the heart. Over time, he and our own minds, our flesh, remind us of his and other’s damaging messages to keep us defeated and ineffective in God’s realm of work. If he can convince us to exchange truth, or even our lack of wisdom and knowledge of truth, for a lie that is highly self-and-other-destructive, then he spins well and with skill, his web which can be so difficult to escape. Jesus titled him the father of lies so many centuries ago (John 8:44). He is a master demonic manipulator and the king of smoke and mirrors.
Because our DNA is wired to be filled with love and acceptance, we are like sponges with the potential of complete saturation to the point of overflow into influencing others. We crave to be needed, useful, to belong, to be accepted, and in that quest, we can potentially hold fast to multiple tiers on the platform of deception we have banked on that are all in the name of “self-fulfillment”.
Once we land on, or, are even placed by another, on a foundation of error, we build an entire belief system investing heavily in that platform which leads to our daily decision-making, behavior, lifestyle, our choice of peers and vocation, and choice of coping mechanisms dealing with life’s issues. It can either introduce us to a life of joy and unending satisfaction, or it can lead us to the contrary as is so prominent in the lives we witness every day with drugs, abuse, impurity, chaotic relationship patterns, any form of addiction imaginable, and on the list goes into a variety of entanglements with a destructive ending if there is no intervention to rescue us from destructive cycles of managing our mental patterns.
Personally I never have believed that addiction is a disease, because the Bible, the infallible absolute beacon of inarguable truth, teaches us something quite opposite. Addictions, poor choices and more come from the bottom line of believing a lie, and since our bodies are set up to search for the fulfillment of our need to be nurtured, nourished, loved, and for a routine, it can mean a vulnerable empty soul devoid of the proper direction to go, to end up in the danger zone. We can quickly latch on to something that looks promising, but will eventually kill us rather than heal or fill us as our bodies crave more of whatever we use to medicate our wounds and needs. We are starving and thirsty for that place of wholeness. The more we grapple with filling ourselves up with things that never satisfy, the more we search and experiment and become indulgent in whatever new or old behavior seems to promise peace. It never works, until we learn to grow roots in the promises of the loving Lord God. Our omnipotent, powerful, Warrior, and wonder-filled Father always has our best interest at heart and there is nothing more adventurous and exciting than a walk with Him. There is no addiction on earth that can do what a loving Father who loves us can do.
So how is the initial lie established in order to trick us in to believing falsehood in the first place?
One prevalent way, is that it can come in the form of a comment or years of exposure to comments and actions made that settles like an arrow into our soul from someone we value and love and trust that can instantly evaporate a healthy belief system about our own worth and our value to others. Be it a teacher, classmate, family member, spouse, boyfriend, business associate, or anyone else for that matter, words and actions have immeasurable power to break us or heal us.
Secondly, Falsehood can come in the way of messages told by our world around us, a world also in search for truth, that are highly contrary to what the Lord truly intended for us. We are told we have to make this amount of money, be this size, drive this car, go accomplish this or that, in order to have value.
Thirdly, it will further be poured into concrete with negative thinking and destructive living when we choose to re-expose ourselves even more to those that create damage in the way of seeking chaos as the norm. It’s what we have known, and how we respond with our self-talk when we are hurt or are damaged by someone or something in any form that happens to us, lands us by default back to the original platform of messages that are set up like a tape in our mind.
This is how a dark stronghold is established.
A stronghold is a fortified haven that we run to, and the Lord meant for us to use Him as the stronghold. However, often the enemy mimics a place of safety that holds within it’s walls the lies he has always told us and the ongoing messages we tell ourselves. Within that brainwashing we will be compelled to act on our feelings to deal with pain. A stronghold can grow to enormous proportions with deep deception even incorporating half-truths that can lend to even more lack of clarity and this mess of confusion, and invariably will always lead to a dead-end of more pain. Where there is confusion, there is often the work of the enemy of our souls. Piercings were never meant not to hurt us.
This is why it is so vitally important to run into the stronghold of God Himself, and swap our investment of beliefs out from the 401k of deception, and into His golden vault of the Word. It is His will to destroy strongholds and to reject that plan is in direct disobedience to His Word because He has something far more supernaturally rewarding for us.
Isaiah 23:11, “He has stretched His hand out over the sea, He has made the kingdoms tremble; The LORD has given a command concerning Canaan to demolish its strongholds.”
It’s without saying equally vital that we set proper strongholds up for our children. We can know healing and what HE says about our calling, our value, our body, our dreams, our families, our spouses, our income, our friendships measured by His Word, which brings the sweetest peace we can ever know. Not only that, but this investment has a fat return in treasures that are stored up for us in glory. Psalm 94:22 further proves, “But the LORD has been my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.”
Teaching our younger generations those truths and to be quite diligent and patient about that mission is critical.. Those next generations of souls are our future. Being obstinate in telling honesty in love is critical for that to happen, but first, we must start educating and praying for and surrendering ourselves so that we are healthy and pure in order to spread the word on the Word of God. There is no better substitute. No drug, no relationship, not money, nor power, or anything else, can replace what Christ can do in our lives as the only and best form of healthy addiction.
That old haven of destructive stronghold thinking can be quickly dissolved by steeping deeply in the knowledge of the Word, and is highly effective even if it takes a mother load of work to undo the damage that was set up for us from the start. Becoming untangled, is possible, and painful, yet, gloriously freeing and heavily rewarding. We can safely leap confidently on to the life-preserving foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord. We can never go wrong investing our mind, heart, and soul in the RIGHT thing, the right internal messages, and taking our eyes off of self, and others, and placing them onto the Father and His mission for our lives. Life will take on an entirely new meaning and we can never go wrong paying it forward to those around us while we work through our own pain and are healing to become a warrior and overcomer.
When we deflect the arrows of the evil one with truth, no matter what form those arrows present themselves as, we begin the very healthy journey of tearing down destructive old ways, and those that could be established later on and even passed down to our children and children’s children.
As I have had deep life enriching encouragement from the Bible and wise counsel from those that take charge over my soul, to undo the work of the destructor himself, I have learned to combat the lies and even have mercy and pray for those that revel in a carnal approach with their lack of wisdom and unhealthy expectations place on me from the past and the present. They didn’t know the truth to begin with in order to pass it on, and with a warped outlook on life, they did what they thought was best. Once I was introduced to the real deal of Christ’s picture for me, oh my word, the difference was staggering, and the changes were radical in my thoughts and behavior. The old ways have been tough to undo, but the Lord has consistently been giving me a long rope of loving patience to come around for His purposes.
II Corinthians 10:4-5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have the power to diminish strongholds.We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Be encouraged and never stop surrendering to the truth. I want you to free!