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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)

TITLE: The Ties That Bind
By Shelby Spear


I never knew what strongholds were until about two years ago. A bible study course introduced me to the term as it related to me spiritually and I was overwhelmed with the definition: “a place of security.” Hmmm, that seemed strange. A spiritual or emotional stronghold is one that prevents us from growing in our faith. It can be a habit, a perpetual response, an attitude, a belief or anything similar that is rooted in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. So to refer to it or define it as a ‘place of security’ was a dichotomy of sorts for me. Living a life for Christ as I see it is to live in a place of security…comforted by an eternal promise. But yet I realized that here I was allowing my strongholds to clamor for my attention creating a false sense of security in the everyday living of now. I then found myself questioning how it was I had lived so long with this dual perspective, while simultaneously being thankful for what God had just pointed out in my life.

Since the realization that strongholds were a very real part of my mindset, I have been on a mission to understand the necessary means of breaking free from these ties that bind me and restrict my faith journey. Breaking free from something in our lives that has taken years to establish is not an easy task. Therefore, I liken the challenge of recognizing and choosing to conquer our strongholds as a process. I envision a stronghold as a thick rope made of hundreds of individual strands woven together to form something very sturdy. If we try to break the rope with our hands by bending it in half the odds are nothing will happen. But if we take each strand one by one and break it in half, slowly but surely the rope, as a whole, will be disassembled. The same goes in life. When we identify a stronghold in our life, the same approach can be taken.

One of my strongholds is having a victim mentality. If I try and bend and pull and yank on my victim label to get rid of it in my mind all at once, I will soon become frustrated. That is because feeling like a victim is the sum of many parts…emotions, circumstances, beliefs, surroundings, experiences etc. Each of these parts contributed to the overall mentality. Therefore in order to break free from the whole of feeling like a victim, I must break one by one the emotion, circumstance, belief, surroundings and experiences etc that contributed to my mindset in the first place. This way I can feel a bit of success along the way and know with each break I am one step closer to a life changing process. And to break free from all strongholds is to know and believe that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/17/06
This is a very important message and you need more than 750 words to deliver it fully. I'd spend more time on this and develop it further. Fill it with illustrations from your own life or the lives of others.

Strongholds (as defined here) can be negative. But they can also be positive. God is our stronghold, our fortress, and that aspect would be a good one to develop as well.

Go for it!