"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal(of the flesh) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments(imaginations) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge(will) of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." __2 Corinthians 10:4,5
The enemy comes to kill steal and destroy, and one of the first places that he attacks is the mind. He places thoughts in our minds that are against God's will, if we act on those thoughts, then they eventually become strongholds.
Let's look at it from this analogy, the thought crosses your mind and it is just a thought, but when you decide to act upon that thought, your action causes the thought to become conceived and then you give birth to a stronghold.
That is why we must have pure thoughts, thinking on pure things, because when we dwell on things that are not of God, we give birth to them and they place us in bondage. Once you act on a thought, it's like a force of gravity pulling you in sinking sand.
The strongest weapon of the Devil is suggestion, if he can get into your mind and take control, he will. When we are walking in the will of the Lord, the enemy will come after us first. If we are out of the Lord’s will, then the enemy has no challenge, he already has control of us.
We must be aware of the enemy’s schemes, Satan works through people and circumstances, whoever or whatever he can use, he will use. Ephesians 6:10 says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of the dark world. This means that we should not lash out at human opponents that come against us in the natural world because the enemy is working through them to attack us. It’s a war between the spirits of good and evil, you may encounter with what seems to be the most rudest person in the world, but what you must realize, is that the evil spirit that is within them, is at war with the Holy Spirit working within you. That is why it is important to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil, as we are instructed to do in Ephesians 6:11.
We must stay on guard, stay in the Word, and be discerning. We must not place ourselves in compromising positions, nor let our minds become idle. We should never get too relaxed in our Spirituality, never be content. Always yearn to know more and grow more, when we become content, that’s when the enemy comes in. We need to walk in the wholeness of Christ, keeping ourselves pure, holy, and acceptable to Christ. The Lord has appointed and anointed us to preach the good news and set the captives free, we need to be usable in all areas of ministry. He can’t use us if we are not totally sold out to Him, not walking in obedience according to His word.
Beware of who you entertain, and what you let come into your presence, there are many kinds of spirits in this world.
Strongholds are addictions, such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food, unhealthy relationships, etc… Anything that has a hold on your mind, body, and soul and causes you to become distracted from your Christian walk.
Adultery which is a big stronghold, has become so prevalent in these last years, starts off as just a casual fling or simply flirting in the beginning. After it is conceived it blossoms into a full blown affair. It takes control of the lives of not only the two people involved, but also the lives of those who are around them. It may appear that it will be easy to break it off when you get tired of it, but that’s a rare case. Once the two of you unite(not just physically but also mentally), your souls become tied and that soul tie is hard to break. It is a union that is not ordained by God. This is a spirit of lust and like any other addiction it takes control of your mind. The deeper that you let yourself get in, the harder it will be to get out.
Through the renewing of your mind in the Word of God, your whole thought process will have to be restored.
Strongholds can also happen between family members, by a spirit of manipulation.
You would be amazed at the things that can entrap our minds if we are not careful, from people and objects to jewelry and music.
Your focus must be totally on the Lord, if not, you will end up being pulled back into that stronghold again.
After you have been delivered, you have to keep your house(mind, body, and soul), filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Because those evil spirits are roaming about in dry and desolate areas seeking a dwelling place and if your house is empty they will come right back in. (See Matthew 12:43-45)
“WATCH and PRAY, lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” ___Matthew 26:41