Friday, January 15, 2021

Sister Tarpley: Spiritual Strongholds

Mr. Bradford & Mrs. Janet Ross have been residents of Carrollton, TX since 1989; and are members of Bethel Bible Fellowship Church where they enjoy serving God and the community. Mr. Ross works as an Assistant Account Manager at Fay Servicing and Mrs. Ross is a retired professional from AT&T. They have two children, a son, Nicholas, a graduate of Newman Smith High School (NSHS) and a 2015 UT Tyler graduate with a degree in Business Management; and a daughter, Brooke an NSHS graduate also; and a Spelman College 2018 graduate with a degree in Chemistry.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4

One of the great discoveries I made in later years in my walk with God has to do with living in victory over generational strongholds. The Bible speaks of punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations. (Exodus 20:5.)

The only way out of living under the curses of generational strongholds is to acknowledge them before the Father and repent of their reign in our lives. This breaks the curse’s future effects.

A stronghold is a fortress of thoughts that controls and influences our attitudes. They color how we view certain situations, circumstances or people.

When these thoughts and activities become habitual, we allow a spiritual fortress to be built around us. We become so used to responding to the “voice” of that spirit, that its abode in us is secure. All of this happens on a subconscious level.

As a Christian, I discovered that some people have been influenced by a generational stronghold of insecurity and fear that was manifested in control.

This subconscious fear motivated some to become a workaholic, to seek recognition through activities, to control others’ behavior to avoid failure and to have a relationship with God that was activity-based instead of relationally-based.

One day God will bring about a number of catastrophic events that will force them to look at what was behind these events. They will found that the influence of these strongholds was at the core of these symptoms. The Bible speaks of this war on our souls.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3, 5-6).

The steps to freedom for some came when someone shared that these were sins that they were harboring and in order to walk free of their influence, they needed to repent of them.

It was through the power of the cross that they no longer needed to be subjugated by their presence. Once they took this step, they began to walk free of their influences.

Besides salvation, this became the most important discovery in their entire Christian walk. Their relationship to Christ changed immediately.

They began to hear God’s voice. They began to trust Christ in areas they never thought possible. They could truly experience the love of Christ for the first time.

What are the true motivations of your heart? Have you ever looked deeply at these motivations? You might find that these subconscious motivations may be preventing you from experiencing the fullness of Christ in your life.

Ask God to reveal these to you and then repent of their influences. Ask Him if other people see you as a faithful friend or a burdensome buddy? Pray that you will be the kind of person that other people love and appreciate; not a person that others want to avoid. And pray that you will be a good friend to others.

“A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

Ask God to help you improve your friendship skills . . . and to be an example of His love in all you do. Thank God in Jesus’ name and give God praise.

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