20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;
21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Possibly one of the most intriguing theological statements made by our Lord was the words He uttered in response to the Pharisee’s question concerning the coming kingdom of God on earth. Jesus told them that it would not come with “observation”. He said to not look here or there expecting to externally see it coming, but to look internally, for the kingdom of God is within (Lk.17:21). Somehow we’re made to understand spiritually, although it is beyond our natural ability to comprehend, that the eternal realms create internal constructs within the spirit of a man. This is both true for the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, and this is where the true battle lies for everyone of God’s children. Will you construct internally according to truth, making way for God and his kingdom of light, or will you construct fortresses of lies known as strongholds, to give place to Satan, to embrace darkness and the curse that comes with it?
WHAT IS A STRONGHOLD OF THE MIND
“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
The greek word used here for “stronghold” is ochyrōma (okh-oo'-ro-mah). It means: “castle or fortress”. A mental stronghold is an internal mental fortress that is constructed in a person’s subconscious mind, that is constructed in their very soul that affects every aspect of their life. Strongholds of the mind affect the way people see the world and the way they see themselves. Strongholds affect the way people feel and experience their life. They affect a person’s beliefs and outlook on life. They become the fortified position that people become stuck in; a prison from which they view the world that keeps them believing lies and living in bondage.
Strongholds of the mind can come from Jezebel, but they can also come from other evil spirits as well. Strongholds can come from society at large or the culture you grew up in. Strongholds also come from yourself, being a result of the way you’ve chosen to react to life events and the way you’ve chosen to frame up your outlook on life. Strongholds are a part of fallen human nature, but they can also come directly from the activity and assignments of evil spirits against us. Regardless of where they originate in our minds and souls they must be dealt with if we are to live the healthy & prosperous lives that God has intended for us to live. Mental strongholds must be torn down if we are going to get free from the things that are binding us so we can live the overcomer’s life and fully function as the sons and daughters of God that God intended us to function as in victory!
WAGING STRATEGIC WARFARE AGAINST STRONGHOLDS
The Greek word used for “warfare” in the verse above is strateia (strat-i'-ah), where we get our English word “strategy” from. It means: “a military expedition or campaign”. In order for a stronghold to be destroyed and brought down one must wage a strategic mental campaign against a stronghold for a prolonged period of time, just as a strategic siege is waged against a castle in this natural world in order to penetrate the castle and take it down. When this strategic siege of the mental fortress (the stronghold) is successful, then it is effectively pulled down. When it is pulled down it must be replaced with a construct of truth; it must be replaced with the truth of God’s word, otherwise the stronghold will return and become much worse. If there is an evil spirit involved in the construction and security of your stronghold then that evil spirit will come back in greater numbers to build a bigger stronghold and prison in your mind than what existed before (Matt.12:45). But if you replace the stronghold with an internal fortress of truth, you will experience transformation through the renewing of your mind (Rom.12:2)!
1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Being conformed to this world occurs when we share the same mental fortitudes of the world. This creates like-mindedness with the world which means we get the world’s results, which is ultimately death and bondage in the end. But when we follow the lead of the Lord to effectively renew our minds by the power of God, we are transformed to be like God, to get God’s results. We are literally changed into another person, the person that God always intended us to be, which is the victorious prosperous overcoming sons and daughters of God! The evidence of such a life is proof concerning the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. It is the will of God for us to be in health and prosper, even as our souls prosper (3 John 1:2). When we experience supernatural transformation through renewing our minds, through tearing down the mental fortresses that hold us prisoner and replacing them with internal constructs of truth for the kingdom of light to fill, then we give proof of God’s will to prosper us and make us healthy by the natural fruit that follows. We automatically manifest that God-life after the strongholds of the mind are dealt with. But how do we deal with those strongholds? How do we effectively wage strategic war against those fortified positions of the mind that hold back the blessing in our life and keep us in bondage? Through what the world calls “reprogramming the subconscious mind”, which is the equivalent of “renewing the mind” according to God’s word in order to experience transformation.
RENEWING THE MIND
“The only way to consistently do Kingdom works is to view reality from God’s perspective. That’s what the Bible means when it talks about renewing our minds. The battle is in the mind. The mind is the essential tool in bringing Kingdom reality to the problems and crises people face. God has made it to be the gatekeeper of the supernatural. ” - Bill Johnson
According to cognitive neuroscientists, 95% of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behavior comes from the subconscious, not the conscious mind . When you jump into the car and start driving down the street you don’t have to bust out the charts and start doing geometry when you need to make a turn at the intersection in order to avoid running over the median in the middle of the road. No, your subconscious mind automatically calculates the radius of the turn and facilitates the brain activity involving the firing of millions of neurons necessary to perform that action in a safe and successful manner. That’s the power of your subconscious mind that God has given you, which the bible calls your spiritual mind.
5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,”
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
People who are spiritually minded, who have their minds renewed to both believe and think like God believes and thinks, experience the life and peace of God everyday. Beliefs and thoughts that are contrary to the knowledge of Christ and the truth of God’s word that are not dealt with become the internal subconscious prison cells from which people see and experience the world around them. They become the prisons that people live their lives from. If they want to break free from these prison cells and start living the prosperous and peaceful life that God intended for them, they must identify these strongholds and consistently, for a prolonged period of time, lay siege to these strongholds. They must tear down the strongholds of the mind, and replace them with structures of God’s eternal kingdom, which are made by truth. They must be consistent in their daily prayer life, life in the Word, meditation of truth, and denying the lies along with lying feelings that try to intrusively bombard them and keep them in the prison.
In His Service,
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