Strongholds

Webster defines ‘Stronghold’ as:

1: a fortified place

2a : a place of security or survival

b : a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic

 

The Bible mentions them once  in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Spiritual Strongholds are constructed one brick of apathy, of disobedience, of “I’ll obey later” at a time. The bricks are created with carelessness, but placed precisely where the enemy chooses. he is a pretty good mason when he uses people as puppets and is very good at what he does.

He’s a master at Convincing the Saved to sacrifice Holiness for mediocrity,  Power that comes with Freedom in Christ for “an appearance of godliness.” Love of God for love of self, of money, of pride. Over time they become arrogant, abusuve, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, heartless. Their attitude makes them unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, and brutal. They trade loving good for treacherous-ness, God LIFE for recklessness, humility for lives swollen with conceit. They allow the enemy to entice them to be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. And over time the once Exuberant are left having the appearance of godliness, but denying HIS power.

Some stronghold dwellers are unaware of the walls around them, and they are those that feel a key in their pocket. They will reach for it and once THE DOOR is found will realize they didn’t need the key because it was never locked in the first place. He inserted His way out when their fear started making and placing bricks. The key was just the reminder that a Door still existed. They will “knock and the door will be opened,” Jesus standing there ready to show them Life.

The others though make me weep the most, I mourn their willful darkness.  They are the stronghold dwellers often content with the little castles being built up around them. Their walls are painted, their prisons decorated in

kaleidoscope colors. Illusions and holograms that are just dust and ashes.

Strongholds and prisons…Their similarities are striking, their differences astounding. Each inhabitant has a choice: stay or go? Fight or sit? See the walls for what they are or live in the lie? Ignore the walls and have parties behind them while sitting in the dark, or OPEN THE DOOR and step into LIGHT?

They is always, always, ALWAYS a choice!

 

From The Word:


For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬6 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1‭-‬5 ESV

https://bible.com/bible/59/2ti.3.1-5.ESV

Matthew 7:7-8 New International Version (NIV)Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

 

More about Strongholds in Scripture:

https://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-strongholds.html

 

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YOU ARE NOT A MOUSE!

This post was private for a bit, while Abba worked a few things in me, now it is time to SHARE it.   The Armor of God is essential for the Sheep, my prayer is that you see the essential need to wear it.

Be blessed, beloved!
Continue reading

fmf: STUCK!

https://www.fiveminutefriday.com
(start)

it feels like a theme

something i struggle to put words to

i feel it with my friends. acquaintances.

life.

somedays bad

somedays good

somedays just…no other words

well maybe curse words

but we don’t say those.

my uncle called me today…”i miss your dad”. yes, i miss him too.

rebirth.

impregnated with possibility.

anointing.

power.

am i afraid? definitely.

am i willing? ABSOLTUELY

i’ve grown so tired, so sad, so fed-up with this feeling.

it surrounds me like a fog.

heavy and tormenting.

but i know whose voice is whispering into it.

but OH i see the LIGHT up ahead…a glimmer. now brighter…

(STOP)

maybe this is a path, a rocky one that is slowly smoothing out the farther i walk upon it.

like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day one version says.

” This is the way, walk ye in it…”

if i’m walking i’m NOT STUCK!!

Isaiah 30:19-22 (NKJV)

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.
And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
You will say to them, “Get away!”

i used to link up weekly this tribe of amazing bloggers…maybe i’ll do it more. you can do it too, just click the box:

https://www.fiveminutefriday.com

in which i give myself a lecture

sometimes i have this internal lecture I give myself.

today’s lecture is brought to you by Proverbs 8 and goes something like this:
not everyone will agree with everything you do. sometimes someone will say they that don’t, but most times you will assume it, true or not.

either way, YOU listen and obey Jesus!

no one else is going to obey FOR you..and your excuses don’t impress Abba. they are not “reasons” or anything else but EXCUSES.

SO, when someone says something that you Could take as negative or something that will cause you to question what God is saying to you, YOU HAVE A CHOICE.  you can:

  • Listen to that assumption and let Satan distract you from the Path, continuing to be a bound up mess.

OR

because honey, you know His voice, but you’re REALLY GOOD at getting distracted from it. You’re REALLY GOOD at fear.  so, PLEASE FOR LOVE OF PETE do us a favor and STOP IT!! Trust Abba and obey!

you’ve spent way too much of this life letting others dictate your obedience. honey, you’re more grown now. you know HIM more. you KNOW the opinions that matter and the ones that DO NOT! YOU WANT HOLY SPIRIT POWER? REACH OUT AND GRAB IT!

embrace your calling! the time is Now!  Finally… Now!


 

while this is my internal lecture maybe it’s your’s too. maybe you need to learn what i need to learn…that YOU ALWAYS HAVE CHOICES. 

  • will you listen and obey?
  • will you let God use you for that thing He has set before you?
  • will you be who you really are, or will you keep pretending that you’re someone else?
  • will you let fear dictate your path?
  • who’s voice will you listen to?
  • WILL YOU CHOOSE WISDOM OR FOLLY?

some of your Path will lead to BIG things, and other parts of your PATH will lead to seemingly small things, but it is ultimately YOUR CHOICE on whether you answer WISDOM’S call or not.

 

Wisdom’s Call

Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
 beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
 My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.
 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.
 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power.
 By me kings reign
    and rulers issue decrees that are just;
by me princes govern,
    and nobles—all who rule on earth.
 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honor,
    enduring wealth and prosperity.
 My fruit is better than fine gold;
    what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
    and making their treasuries full.

 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
    before his deeds of old;
 I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
 before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
 when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
 when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
     Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.

“Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
 For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8 (NIV)

 

“So let go my soul and trust in Him”

i am a worshiper. a hymn lover.  one of my all time favorites is “It is Well with My Soul”

Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music released  “It is Well” that incorporates it, (listen here )  and tonight it’s on repeat:

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me


have you ever felt like you were on the cusp of something big? that GOD HIMSELF was about to blow your socks off?! you were desperately desiring to be changed…to no longer be content with the “normalcy” of your existence yet, in the midst of that excited expectation your were SCARED TO DEATH?! then this song comes on that you NEED to hear…that one line hits you like a ton of bricks:

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

because that’s what every changes that Abba wants to bring boils down to: TRUST and fear.

if we are honest  we fear  HIS POWER. we may want it, we may believe in it, but it terrifies us.

my fear looks like this:

“how will i ever be content with anything else once I’ve experienced HOLY SPIRIT’S POWER?”

and I HAVE NO CLUE!!

i know that HOLY SPIRIT will never hurt me. He will change and shape and recreate this mess of a woman who has been PLAIN BOUND UP for way too many years!

 

will you pray for me as i sing with a shaky, terrified whisper:

it is well with my soul. it is well with my soul. IT IS WELL with my soul. IT IS WELL, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!

 SO LET GO MY SOUL AND TRUST IN HIM…

 

i’m praying for all of us! that we would surrender to what He wants so desperately to do in us. however, whenever, whatever that is.

~s

 

 

(my current favorite version of It is Well by Joel and Amy Davis)

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 
“It is well, it is well with my soul.” 

My sin, o, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole 
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

It is well (It is well) 
With my soul (With my soul) 
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, 
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; 
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, 
Even so, it is well with my soul.

 

I’m doing a thing, wanna join me?

I’m not much of an accepter of challenges, mostly because i’m not very good at sticking with them. I do however, like them in theory. The village church released their SEASONS study that is based on THE CHURCH calendar in December of last year, and although it was a bit too complex for my Littles for Advent, I loved the idea of the yearly study so I downloaded it.

Fast forward to today when looking at the calendar I realized that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and I’m a week late preparing for Lent. Being raised in an Assembly of God church I never participated in Lent growing up, but again I like the idea of giving up something physical to focus on the spiritual for 40 days. So, I looked up my downloaded SEASONS from The Village Church, and did some catching up. No, I did not start at Advent and read all of the Scripture passages up to today, that’s a little too tedious for a Tuesday afternoon and I’m not feeling the best. But I did commit to following the calendar during Lent.

I may or may not be blogging my way through the next 40 days, but I am going to journal through it, at least that’s the plan. Do you want to join? If so head on over to this website and download the Calendar and jump right in.

Blessings, S

GRIT in 2018

as a family we do this thing.  i used to post about it, joined a tribe, but that feels like ages ago now. back when life felt simpler, not less hectic, just easier. life is now just as hectic but our girls are older, our life is more focused, my Mister works less hours, and we are pulling in. tightening the reigns on what we let consume our days, our thoughts, our lives.

this year i am rejoining the #oneword365 tribe and sharing our one word for 2018 with you, my readers who’ve held on throughout my silence of late.

grit.2018

background image courtesy of Bart Lumber https://www.flickr.com/photos/bartoszjanusz/6344730740/

i like that…FIRMNESS OF CHARACTER, INDOMITABLE SPIRIT, PLUCK.

especially the INDOMITABLE SPIRIT part. it gives me the sense of a person who isn’t easily swayed, firm. it reminds me of the ARMOR I wear (Ephesians 6:10-17) specifically this part:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. ” Eph. 6:14-15

…with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

you see, i want to be a woman who sows in peace, reaps in peace, dwells in peace! a woman who has an INDOMITABLE SPIRIT! i’m praying that over my 4 this year. that we would dwell, walk, sow, live, BE IN PEACE…WITH  GRIT!

 

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18

 

 

if you would like to join this tribe go to http://oneword365.com/find-your-tribe/ and sign up.

 

oneword 2018 graphic