These are my notes from our 7/10/2011 church meeting.
Leader: Philip Weatherford
Let's talk about the meaning of the word stronghold, and discuss the effects of physical and mental "strongholds" in our lives that hinder our daily walk with God.
The verse that comes to mind when I think of strongholds is 2 Cor. 10:3-5, which says:
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
The word strongholds, in this passage, means "a fortress, strong defense, stronghold." In 2 Cor. 10:3-5, the word is used in a negative sense as in a hiding place for false arguments, doctrines, or enemies of GOD. The weapons GOD has given are mighty for pulling down these structures and exposing their contents for what they are.
The word is also used positively at times, to refer to an individual's reliance upon GOD for protection, safety and salvation. Consider Psalm 18:1-3:
1 I will love You, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The assignment, however, focuses upon strongholds that hinder us in our walk with GOD. Here are some which I think fit this description:
- Physical health
- Career or work pursuits
- Islam and other religions
- Friends who are not spiritually-minded and striving to serve GOD
- Disabilities or handicaps
- A strong desire for the approval of others (popularity)