Elaine’s gastric lymphoma led to a decreased appetite and thus to her receiving less nutrition, and to a bleeding ulcer and the loss of blood that would carry available nutrition and oxygen throughout her body.
Something similar happens in churches when those with power use it in sinful ways. They can be of the pew or the pulpit, but they establish strongholds that deceive and/or intimidate others. Gaining control, and preserving tradition often motivate them, and they are enabled by position, wealth, personality or pseudo-spirituality.
Strongholds hinder the flow of life into the Church. They are one reason that many fail to hear discerning or prophetic voices about what God is saying to the Church, voices whose call for change threatens the status quo.
Those who attempt to address strongholds, even privately to leaders, are often judged as “walking according to the flesh” as in v2 in II Cor. 10:1-6: https://biblia.com/bible/esv/2-corinthians/10/1-6
Leaders often protect strongholds by pushing discerning voices aside and even acting to silence them. They may think they are doing it to protect the flock, but they are deceived.
Strongholds are spirit in nature and there comes a point when our best hope is to deal with them in the spirit realm as Paul writes in v4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR
We have celebrated the birth of Jesus our Savior, but the Abundant Life that He offers only comes from bowing our minds and hearts to His Lordship. He alone must rule over the Church. Satan does all he can to diminish His rule, and strongholds are a primary tool.
It is painful to see them immobilize otherwise godly leaders. Even men whom we partnered with closely in ministry in their pre-leadership days can suddenly view us as an enemy of the institution they now lead.
The battle in the spirit realm will intensify in 2022. Those with eyes to see both the Light and the darkness, and who are filled with the Holy Spirit, must destroy strongholds in the Church in Jesus’ Name – – but it’s a high calling and there’s a price to pay.
Where are the warriors?
Kidron, Ohio USA
Dec. 27, 2021
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