Overcoming a Stronghold
The prophet Isaiah gives us a clear picture of a stronghold and shows us how we can overcome them. In Isaiah 36 and 37 he recounts Assyria’s siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC, a crisis the prophet had been promising for years. In 701 BC King Hezekiah stopped paying tribute to Assyria and declared Judah’s independence. In response, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched the strongest army in the world to overrun his rebellious subjects. In a matter of a few months, he took 46 of Judah’s walled cities and 200,150 captives. At one point he sent a large force to Jerusalem to begin a mind war attack on the capital (36:1–2).
Their enemy comes after them with a tremendous assault to take over their thinking and turn them against God.
- He uses self-exaltation, intimidation and tries to plant doubts (36:4; 36:13).
- He tries to convince them they have weak resources, no power or will to succeed (36:5)
- He brings doubt to spiritual authority and plants doubt about their abilities. (36:6–7; 36:15).
- He’s willing to compromise, if they compromise their values (36:8–9).
- He lies (36:10).
- His voice puts them into a state of panic (36:11).
- He capitalizes on their feelings of fear and increases his threats (36:12).
- He attacks the king’s character and capabilities (36:14).
- He creates a smoke screen. He tries to compare the power of idols with the power of Almighty God (36:19–20).
Isn’t this a picture of how our enemy tries to get inside our heads and create ungodly strongholds?
Here’s a very important fact to remember: When you get serious about renewing your mind, identifying and pulling down strongholds, you can expect this level of counterattack. You need to know it, and beat it down!
Can you have victory?
Absolutely. Just read the next chapter in Isaiah.
In Isaiah 37 Hezekiah went to prayer. He sent messengers to Isaiah for a Word from God. God said, “Don’t be afraid, the enemy will die in his own land.” The enemy responded with a last ditch effort to discourage the people and Hezekiah went back to prayer. God’s Word came again declaring victory. The Angel of the Lord killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers overnight. Israel won! And twenty years later the King of Assyria was murdered by his two sons (in his own land).
Strongholds and the enemy’s attacks on us are pulled down and destroyed through prayer, the Word and our other spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:12–18). By taking your thoughts captive, bringing them before the truth of Christ and making them submissively bow the knee in obedience to Jesus, you’ll keep defeated strongholds from resurrecting and new ones from being established. That’s how you win the Mind Wars!