Spiritual Strongholds

Spiritual Strongholds

Strongholds are negative thought patterns that grab hold of a person, affecting the way they view themselves, other people, and life in general. Strongholds take away a person’s freedom by holding them captive to a life of negativity that can encompass all sorts of things like feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness. They can also be things like entitlement, pride, lust, jealousy, judgementalism, and bitterness. Instead of rejecting these thoughts, feelings, or mindsets, the person constantly dwells on them until they become a part of their personality. Learning how to abolish strongholds is essential in the spiritual life of every person.


God is always good, so negativity can’t come from Him. It either comes from us or the devil. Human weakness and the devil’s influence both play a role in strongholds. People suffer from them for different reasons. The person may just be negative or has had a lot of trauma in their life. Maybe they are being spiritually attacked, are under a curse, or are involved in New Age/occult activities. All of these things can affect the mind powerfully. My mind was severely affected when I was under the influence of witchcraft. I had to be diligent in rejecting invasive thoughts. And it was not easy. When people embrace negativity, it becomes an open door to the enemy. The evil one will not miss the chance to capitalize on that. The devil and his demons attack the mind because they know they can gain ground there. People have the choice, or the free will, to either reject the thoughts or hold on to them. If they hold onto them, they can become a habit that can alter the trajectory of their life and the lives of those around them.


Thoughts are not supposed to control us. We are supposed to control our thoughts. Knowing right from wrong and then acting on that helps us align our thinking with God. God always teaches what is right and good. In contrast, the devil always pushes what is wrong or bad. If we get caught up in that, then, we have developed a negative stronghold. A priest at my parish often reminds us that we are our thoughts. It is true. We convince ourselves of many things just by the way we think. If you tell yourself you are not good at praying, then you won’t pray. Do you think the devil won’t reinforce that thought? He is going to pound it into your head forever. Why? Because he knows you cannot advance in the spiritual life without prayer. It is the same in every other scenario imaginable. If you open the door to harmful thoughts and ponder them, even for a moment, the devil will settle in and multiply them. And so goes your life. Strongholds can be a form of bondage that lasts a lifetime unless the person fights to overcome them.


I looked up the definition of a stronghold in different dictionaries. It is interesting how they are the opposite of what I am talking about in this article. A stronghold is a place of security or survival, a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack, a well-fortified place; {a} fortress. A fortress is a castle or other large strong building, or a well-protected place, which is intended to be difficult for enemies to enter. The mind is the castle. It is the space we are talking about here. It is up to us to keep the enemy out. The first step is to identify and acknowledge any strongholds we have in our lives. We have to see our faults and weaknesses before we can conquer them. The devil seeks to hide them from us, thus gaining entree into the mind. But if we see God’s goodness, then we should be able to recognize the devil’s malice. God does not leave us alone to struggle on our own. Scripture states, “The weapons of our warfare are not merely human. They possess God’s power for the destruction of strongholds. We demolish sophistries [lies] and every proud pretension [pride] that raises itself against the knowledge of God; we likewise bring every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10: 4-5

“You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

Every time we open the door to negative strongholds, the devil seizes the chance to fill our heads with lies or pump us up with pride. The best way to combat strongholds is to exercise humility by living out the word of God in our lives. We are nothing without God. He is all good, and we are not. Prayer, fasting, adoration, and the sacraments all express our love and praise for the Lord. They help us acknowledge our lack of humility and our tendency toward sin. Confession is the ultimate act of humility. It is the place where we pour out our sins to the Lord. It is where we defeat the enemy in our lives. God must be our only stronghold. He is our protector. We must put our faith in Him and strive to be good and holy, as our Lord is. We will always fall short, but it is the effort that matters. Jesus must be the One that fortifies the castle and dwells within. Anything less than that, and we give the enemy a foothold into our territory.  


Father Ripperger: Deliverance Prayers for the Laity

Almighty Father, come into our hearts, and so fill us with Thy love that forsaking all evil desires, we may embrace Thee, our only good. Show us, O Lord God, what Thou are to us. Say to our souls, I am your salvation, speak so that we may hear. Our hearts are before Thee; open our ears; let us hasten after Thy voice. Hide not Thy Face from us; we beseech Thee, O Lord. Open our hearts so that Thou may enter in. Repair the ruined mansions, that Thou may dwell therein. Hear us, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Thy only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen


3 thoughts on “Spiritual Strongholds

  • February 19, 2024 at 10:14 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent

    Reply
  • February 19, 2024 at 10:13 pm
    Permalink

    Good reading.

    Reply
  • February 19, 2024 at 10:12 pm
    Permalink

    Awesome as usual

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *