Strongholds and Giants – Pastor Ben Sanders

Today we continue our series called “Promised Land.” We have already learned that God’s promises have a command attached to them, so His commands have promises and His promises have commands. We learned that our faith walk can be a lot like a roller coaster with its many ups and downs, but God is there in them all!

Today, we are going to talk about something that affects each and every believer in some form. Let’s talk about strongholds and giants. Again, we look at Numbers 13: 25-28. The spies were sent to scope out the land and they came back with amazing news. They said it was beautiful and a land flowing with milk and honey!! There were men actually carrying giant grapes! The people were ecstatic and ready to go. “Oh yeah, there is one other thing.” They said. “There are men as tall as giants, we were like grasshoppers compared to them.” The people were terrified as we all would be! Joshua and Caleb were filled with faith and knew that God would go with them and deliver these men into their hands. The others however didn’t have time to think about God being with them, they were too busy focusing on the size and scope of the strongholds and the giants.

In the beginning, they had a physical problem with the size of the giants, but then it became a mental struggle because fear and doubt set in. Finally, it became a spiritual issue because they doubted and disobeyed God.

We deal with this same progression in our own lives. God tells us to do something that in the natural seems terrifying. We grapple with it mentally or physically and then it becomes a spiritual snare.

Now, the Israelites were promised fruitfulness, sweetness and prosperity. In the same way, we are walking in God’s promises and He promises us fruitfulness as well in the form of the fruits of the Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

These things are amazing, but the moment you accept Christ you step into war with satan, but have no fear, you are not alone. God gives us what we need to fight satan and it’s in this arena you need to understand what a stronghold is. A stronghold is a place of consistent mental and emotional resistance. When you have a situation that arises that is contrary to the Word of God and you know what to do, but you feel resistance to do it…that’s a stronghold. You could walk up on a group at work telling filthy jokes and immediately the Holy Spirit nudges you to walk away. However, you feel this resistance to do so because you may look silly or self-righteous…this could be a stronghold. You know you are a Christian and you would never talk that way at church, but you also feel a little resentment that you can’t just take part, what’s the big deal? Stronghold!

There are some reasons why strongholds exist in our hearts, and we will look at three. First of all repeated, willful sin will build a stronghold. These are addictions. Time after time, brick after brick you will erect a stronghold that appears to be unbreakable. However, with repentance, prayer, accountability and right choices you can replace each brick of sin with bricks of righteousness.

Another way they form is through trauma. You may have experienced great trauma as a child or in relationships etc. and now there is almost a knee jerk reaction that you have to certain things. These reactions are because of a stronghold on your life due to trauma. God can ask you to do something and out of self-preservation you default to fear and tune God out. This isn’t how we are meant to live.

The last way we will discuss today is with pride. This is a big one and it can be a giant stronghold in our lives. The pastor could be preaching and in your mind you could be assigning the examples given to everyone around you, but yourself. Especially in marriage it can be so easy to hear something and say, “That’s right! My husband/wife does that!” While you do the exact same things. Pride causes us to feel that we are superior to others and that we have got it together. When God calls us to take council from someone and we feel an immediate grrrr because we have more experience or we are older etc., it’s a stronghold.

Please remember as you read this and find truth in these words, you are never alone. God has given us the tools necessary to tear these strongholds down and the biggest way is with the truth of His Word! For every stronghold including, addiction, trauma and pride, there are scriptures to combat them. You can Google scriptures on any topic and you will find your weapon!

We can live free from strongholds in our lives. It’s not always easy and it may not feel so fun, but we have a loving Father! He cares so deeply for you and the human condition, and He sent His Son so that we can walk forgiven and empowered by His Word.