Many times we think we know what it is we need to pray for, we pray for it and pray for it, and then we might walk back and mess up and think we need to pray for it again, because we opened that door again, or walked down that path again, or whatever. We can hold ourselves under such condemnation and self anger because we believe we undid all the growing and maturing in the Lord by going back to that mistake. So, not only do we feel bad because we missed the goals we had for ourselves, we beat ourselves up for doing it, and that is the opposite of receiving God’s grace and love for us. But why do we mess up? or turn back to look once again behind us, longing for the life we before, the simplification, the ease, the joy, those are clouded memories. Not the warm fuzzies.
I have a friend that has asked me several times to pray to break a soul tie they believe they have with another person. One of the times, I knew that it was broken, and I didn’t need to break it again, they just needed to stop running back to that situation.
I was speaking with that friend later and again, they talked about the pull being so strong, I still didn’t see a soul tie, I wondered if because they imagined that was it, it lured them back, and that could be part of it; however, I was praying for family, and friends, and I suppose it was just time for Holy Spirit to show me what it really was.
He told me it wasn’t a soul tie, it is a strong hold. And, it made so much sense to me at the time. Both are powerful. Both have to be addressed by the blood of Jesus. Both give a sense of belonging, safety, and peace; but it’s all counterfeit.
Years ago, I was working through many things with God. I was learning a lot about Holy Spirit, and Jesus and the Father, things that had never really been taught to me as a child. I was raised in a Christian household, and the Church we went to emphasized knowing scripture, and reading the word. So I don’t get upset that it took me until I was almost 30 to learn about some of these things. Some never get to go that deep. Some never even realize on this side of glory just how real and present God is in there life. So I have no regrets about that.
I was having some issues trusting God though, other stuff that happened as a child were directly responsible, for me feeling unworthy and unprotected. Anyway, I had a vision/dream, I don’t remember how, because a lot of times I would fall asleep praying, or talking to God. It doesn’t matter how it was, it was in color, so either way I knew it was God talking to me.
I was on the top of a huge tower. It felt like the tower was more than a football field wide, and the stones were huge, and we were higher than any arrow could get, and the land around us was green and lush. It was a beautiful place, and I was safer than any royal could ever hope to be. And then I saw Jesus looking down at me. He said, “you see all I have done for you, do you think you could trust me and step out of your fortress now?” I looked down, and here at the top of this massive Strong Tower, I was in a cardboard box, hiding behind inside the walls.
That was a shocker, and as His way, the more I thought and dwelt on the vision, the more He spoke to me about it. Cardboard won’t stop arrows. Cardboard gets wet and disintegrates, and holds the water in and destroys what is inside. Cardboard is flammable. We can go on and on about the things cardboard is and isn’t, but we can all agree, it only makes a fantastic play fort for kids.
I bring up this image of the Strong Tower for a couple of reasons. Psalms 91 gives us some great visions of fortresses and High places. I don’t think I really have to at this point go into the significance of high places for tactical superiority.
So, as is our fashion, God and I, He shows me something, and then we chew on it for a while. Other aspects of it come to light. It makes it easier to see why they are so difficult to remove (I know you think with a name like stronghold would be a clue).
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;”
Strong holds are so difficult because they are strong, they are places of refuge we created in our lives either in error or in rebellion. Remember, we have an enemy that just loves to counterfeit and deceive others into believing they are following God, and while sometimes it is blatant, other times, it is so subtle, that unless we are daily tapped into the Father we might never truly see the deception, and might never understand why we aren’t seeing the victory we know in our hearts we are supposed to walk in.
So, in the same vein as God showing me all those years ago my own Strong Tower that He had built to protect me, He showed me a vast field. In the distance I could see the majestic tower. In the foreground, I could see a smaller tower. I actually could see several smaller towers. As I came closer to the nearest one, I noticed that there was no mortar between the stones. The stones were haphazardly placed in the tower formation as well. One good shaking, and the person taking refuge there would be crushed, it was that precarious.
So I pondered why we would run to this obvious counterfeit and dangerous structure for safety, and then He showed me. We don’t run to the stronghold when it is sunny and easy and we can clearly see. We run for safety when our eyes are scaled over with fear, loneliness, despair, anger, sadness. A gloom clouds our vision, and in that mist, that fog, it looks strong, and sturdy. It is a dangerous counterfeit meant for our destruction.
And that is why we must pull them down. They exalt themselves to be protection, to be God’s will, to be His promises, when they are nothing but lies. The only way to be done with it is to tear that puppy down. Then, when you have made that tower rubble, do like the Israelites do, and use those stones to erect a memorial for what God has done and His faithfulness in your life.
Don’t be surprised to find several strongholds either, we are constantly assaulted in our daily lives with images that are not God, but try to pass themselves as the Father. In many cases, it has taken years for these to build up, BUT God can help us with our spiritual weapons to pull down every strong hold, every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of our loving Father.
And remember above all things, His love for you is more powerful than any weapon the enemy might take against us. Please do not be bogged down by feelings of shame or condemnation, for He doesn’t condemn us…. He made us, and when He saw us, He said “It is good.” Because you are part of Him, you are good. And because He lives, we move from Glory to Glory, we grow, we mature in the light of his love and the water of his Spirit.