Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13
This last week or so has been tougher for me emotionally than I’ve had for a while. Someone once told my mother-in-law that the second year is harder than the first, after the loss of your spouse. And I’m starting to think that my second year as a stay at home mom might be harder than the first as well. But I am charging ahead, day by day into this new phase of my life and I know things will get better.
This week we started our new Ladies Wednesday Morning Bible Study, Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer and I was warned, early and often, that when you start to deal with the strongholds in your life, that Satan will attack you even harder, and after this week, boy do I believe it!
I’m flipping through the first few chapters and reflecting on the things I have underlined:
The devil is a liar. Jesus called him …the father of lies and of all that is false (John 8:44). He lies to you and me. He tells us things about ourselves, about other people and about circumstances that are just not true. He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.
He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare. He has studied us for a long time.
He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil’s strong points is patience.
What has amazed me about the first several chapters of this book is how Satan uses the experiences of our lives to build strongholds.
Meyer defines a stronghold as, “an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.”
Meyer talks about specific events throughout our lives that may have built up a stronghold. It may have been events in our early childhood or teen years that affect us still today. It may have been a need for affection or acceptance by a parent or a desire to feel unconditional love that we never fully experienced as a child. I’m sure for me, Satan built some great stronghold foundations during my middle school years.
Satan has worked for years to build strongholds that affect our actions today.
Chapter 1 closes with this sentence. “Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions.”
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
I’ll keep you guys posted on how this study goes and what I am learning…as for now. Keep praying.