Recently a Brother Clergyman asked me if I thought that “Strongholds” were demonic in origin or if they are out of control thoughts and emotions. My answer surprised him for my reply was a simple, yes.
He assumed that such thoughts would be the result of Rosemary’s Baby type, but hadn’t factored the fallen nature of the race, nor regarded the condemnation of evil thoughts by the bulk of scripture. Notice what God said about this in just a few of many verses:
Genesis 6:5 “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Matthew 9:4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”
Mt 15:19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
James gives the progression of enslaving thoughts in James 1:15 “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
A giant of the faith in our generation was the late Elisabeth Elliot, who stated,
“Spiritual strongholds begin with a thought. One thought becomes a consideration. A consideration develops into an attitude, which leads then to action. Action repeated becomes a habit, and a habit establishes a "power base for the enemy," that is, a stronghold.”
This dear saint was right in harmony with the scripture on this. Thoughts are so common to most humans that I often feel that we pastors should do a lot more of it. Being captivated by rhetoric is not thought as many imagine. That thoughts are a two edged sword is obvious and we have no biblical bases for blaming our thoughts on the Devil. To be sure he desires to control our thoughts, but he must do this with our permission. Notice the method Paul uses to defeat Satan’s’ purposes:
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.”
It is clear that we are held accountable for our thoughts and we must make a choice in the type of thought, which carry ideas, we are going to bask in during our times of meditation. Hey, the choice really is yours.
Copyright © 2015 Larry Lilly
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