Making a Strong Hold Weak
THEOLOGY ON FIRE PART 4
An aspect of theology is Demonology – over 100 mentions, most in the N.T.
To Be Forewarned Is To Be Forearmed.
ROBERT MORRIS, DEREK PRINCE, vs. MACARTHUR: “Can they [demons] walk through an open door and become a squatter? Proponents of today’s spiritual warfare movement say yes, but they base their answer on subjective experience, not on God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that such a claim has no justifiable basis. There is no clear example in the Bible where a demon ever inhabited or invaded a true believer. Never in the New Testament epistles are believers warned about the possibility of being inhabited by demons. Neither do we see anyone rebuking, binding, or casting demons out of a true believer.”
WHY DIFFERENT VIEWS? Conservative vs. Charismatic
KEY: Not Possessed But Oppressed: “subject to harsh treatment.”
A demon can’t make a Believer do anything!
A stronghold is often an inherent weakness; a point of entry.
If a person begins entertaining thoughts of fear, jealousy, anger, or bitterness and stops reading God’s Word; if they open the door again to tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, lust, etc.
This use to have a WEAK hold on me. What happened?
Or, it’s always had a STRONG HOLD on me. How can I get free? Often, our younger years is where the door is opened – the “stronghold” begins.
“But Shane, as a Christian, I was delivered on a certain day.” Was it because of possession, or due to the fact that you repented, and cried out to God?
“But I have done that many times before!” Often, it is a fight!
PERSONALLY, I can’t say you had demon and that’s why you were ensnared.
OFTEN, this person blames the demon for their sin – the Bible does not teach that.
Could it be that God, in His mercy, lifts the oppression instead of a demon leaving?
Could it be that the person finally fully surrenders their life instead of secretly wanting to continue in the sin?
Is it possible that the person was demonized because they weren’t a believer?
Sometimes there is a RELEASE, but often there is a FIGHT [weapons]!
REGARDLESS OF THE VIEW – THERE IS HOPE & INSTRUCTION
2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Is a stronghold a messenger of Satan? It can be…Something was sent.
The reason was to keep Paul humble – weakness keeps us humble.
HUMILITY Keeps A Stronghold Weak
The humility wasn’t found in caving in; it was found in realizing his weakness.
When we walk around strong in our self-discipline, confident in our skill, and self-reliant in our ability – a fall is coming.
GOD WILL NOT USE AN ARROGANT MAN!
The thorn was given to Buffet him (kolaphizo, “to beat with the fist”).
Infirmity – a physical or mental weakness.
*We don’t know what it was: Sickness, doubt, fear, depression, failing eyesight, depilating health, lustful thoughts.
KEY: I would remove all probable causes as I pray and seek God.
* Sickness – am i failing to take care of my body? Failing eyesight.
* Doubt, fear, and depression – am I spending enough time with God?
*Natural Serotonin enhancers: sunlight, fun, fellowship, remembering happy events [God], God-given food and rest.
*Medical issues – CAT scan revealed a tumor in the boys brain who was suicidal.
*Lustful thoughts – are you fueling them or extinguishing them?
WHEN WE DO WHAT WE KNOW TO BE RIGHT, WE FEEL BETTER
BUT Like Paul, His Grace is Sufficient – “My free and unmerited favor is upon you.”
1 Reason Why I Can’t Embrace The Teaching That We Should Never Be Sick.
Your health may always be an issue, but I am the Great Physician; my bedside manners are 2nd to none – you can page Me at 3am – you can press the “nurse call button” and I’m already there…I will lead you to the Promised Land.
You may always have to fight the PULL of drugs and alcohol, but if you stay humble, you will always find victory – stay close to the Shepherd.
You may always have to fight overindulging in the wrong things, but GOD will give you strength to apply My Word, “No temptation…”
VIEW YOUR STRUGGLE AS THE THING THAT KEEPS YOU HUMBLE
“Sometimes we have a stronghold because we have a weak hold on God.”
This is How I Fight My Battles – it may look like I’m surrounded…
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3 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.
Arthur Wallace, “Often, pressure has to be maintained before there is a breakthrough in heavenly warfare.” – Read EPHESIANS 6
I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE WITH FAILURE on our minds THIS MORNING
I want to discuss release, victory, and success!!
I CAN HEAR THE CHAINS FALLING –
Whether God will remove it, or allow it, the response is the same:
1. PULL DOWN THE STRONGHOLD: Prayer, not willpower, begins the process; relying on God. Holiness minimizes the strength of the hold. Fasting starves the fuel source. Worship ignites the heart, and the Word keeps you focused in the right direction [a renewed mind].
2. CAST DOWN ARGUMENTS – “persuasive speech that leads you away from God.”
Applying the truth sets us free; believing a lie keeps us in bondage.
CAST DOWN EVERYTHING THAT GOES AGAINST TRUTH: “everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”
THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A STRONG HOLD WEAK