Pulling Down Strongholds in Your Life Part II
Scripture: II Corinthians 10:4
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds”
In our last message, we learned that God expects Christians to use the powerful spiritual weapons He has provided. These weapons,
- the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17);
- prayer and supplication (Eph. 6:18);
- faith in our powerful God; praise to God for His wonderful works, promises, and Person; and thankfulness in all things and for all things (Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18),
are able to pull down the strongholds that the world, the flesh, or the devil have built in our lives.
The crucial question we asked was this: “How can I have the strong olds in my life pulled down?”
Such strongholds include bitterness, ill-will, unkindness, unchristlike temper and anger, envy, lust, jealousy, worry and anxiety, addictive habits, a critical spirit, laziness, self-centeredness, compulsive buying, compulsive eating, or other intemperate behaviors. We listed thirteen biblical precepts or principles that God expects His children to employ in their lives.
The thirteenth was “Learn to use Scripture as spiritual medicine.” We then asked, “How badly do you want the strongholds in your life pulled down? Badly enough to discipline yourself to take spiritual medicine for 60 days?”
Before you say, “Yes,” please read the following prescription requirements!
Prescription for Change by the Power of God’s Word and Spirit (4 times/day for 60 days)
1. In the morning read each Scripture and pray each prayer before you begin your day. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over whatever your problem area until noon or lunchtime.
2. At noon or lunchtime, read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over your problem area until suppertime.
3. At suppertime read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Believe God to strengthen your inner man with His Spirit to give you victory over your problem area until bedtime.
4. At bedtime read each Scripture and pray each prayer again. Review your behavior throughout the day. Did you walk the entire day in the power of the Spirit?
5. If you should do or say something that you know the Holy Spirit was not pleased with, immediately ask God for forgiveness. Purpose never to stop seeking God for deliverance and victory over your problem area.
The ultimate goal is to learn to walk moment-by-moment in the Spirit (to live under the guidance and control of the Spirit).
6. Take this Scriptural medicine for 60 days and report your progress weekly to someone you trust for accountability. Here is a sample set of biblical medicines for pulling down the stronghold of carnal anger and temper.
In the next sermon, I will give sample sets for pulling down the stronghold of intemperance in eating. Place the scriptures and the prayers on 3×5 cards and carry them with you throughout the day.
Say each scripture audibly, thoughtfully, and slowly, and pray each prayer sincerely. Don’t rush through the cards.
Pulling Down the Stronghold of Carnal Anger and Temper
Philippians 4:13, KJV: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Dear God, You have the power to change my life. No one makes me angry. Anger is a choice. It is a conditioned reflex to something that irritates me, and I have practiced giving vent to my irritation through unchristlike anger. This is wrong. God, please help me to stop this wrong behavior. You promise that through Christ who strengthens me that I can get victory over this sinful anger and temper in my life.
James 1:19–20, KJV: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath [slow to become angry]:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God [man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires].”
Dear God, I ask You to help me to obey these verses. When I get angry, I do not respond like I know Jesus wants me to. Oh God, please strengthen me with Your Spirit so I will no longer be controlled by my anger. Please help me to live the righteous life that You, God, desire of me.
Proverbs 29:11, KJV : “A fool uttereth all his mind [always loses his temper]:
but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards [holds it back].”
Dear God, I do not want to be classified with the fools. Please help me to stop losing my temper. You have the power and grace to enable me to stop allowing anger to cause me to say things and act in ways that are not Christlike.
Proverbs 17:14, KJV: “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.”
Proverbs 17:14, NIV: “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
Dear God, help me to become aware when I am becoming irritated and cry out to You for the grace, wisdom, and help of Your Spirit to control my attitude and actions. Oh God, Your Word says I don’t have to be a victim of my temper. Help me to be careful what I say when I am feeling irritated or upset.
James 3:5–6: “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a matter a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.
The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature;
and it is set on fire by hell.”
Dear God, my words can cause great damage to others. Oh God, please help the words of my mouth to be guided by your Holy Spirit. I don’t want my words to be used by the devil to hurt other people. Please forgive me and grant that my words will be kind and gracious words—words you are pleased with.
Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication [unwholesome words] proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good [appropriate; according to the need] to the use of edifying [building up; helping], that it may minister [give; impart] grace [help, strengthen, encouragement, instruction] unto the hearers.”
Dear God, help me to stop saying things that hurt others. Please help me to learn how to say only those words that have age, that is, they are appropriate, gracious, and edifying—words that will encourage and strengthen another person to be a better Christian. Please help me to stop saying things that don’t have these three characteristics—things You call “corrupt” or unwholesome talk. I want to be kind to others, just like in reverse circumstances I would like them to be kind to me.
1 Corinthians 13:4–5, NAU: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly (not rude);
it does not seek its own (self-seeking), is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered (it keeps no record of wrongs).”
Dear God, please fill my heart with Your love for other people. Your kind of love is patient; please help me to be patient with people. Your kind of love is kind; Oh God, I need Your help so I can be kind to people who irritate me and love them like You want me to. Your kind of love does not get mad and say things that are unkind or harsh. Please give me Your kind of love!
Proverbs 28:13, KJV: “He that covereth [conceals] his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Dear God, I confess my problem with sinful anger. I ask You to forgive me and to help me to never allow anger to gain control of my attitude or actions. Oh God, please give me the power of Your Holy Spirit in this area of my weakness. I renounce it as wrong and sinful. With Your help, I confess my sin and purpose to forsake it. Please have mercy upon me.
Matthew 12:34, 36–37: “Out of the abundance [overflow] of the heart the mouth speaketh [the mouth speaks from what fills the heart].
But I tell you that every idle word [careless word] that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
For by your words you will be justified [acquitted], and by your words you will be condemned.”
Dear God, the words that come out of my mouth reflect the condition of my heart. Oh God, I want my heart to be pure and clean. I want my thoughts toward other people to be pure and clean. Please help me to be careful with my words. I must speak only kind and gracious words.
Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength [rock], and my redeemer.”
Dear God, I ask You to guard and guide both the thoughts I think about other people and the words that
come out of my mouth. I want only kind and gracious thoughts to be in my mind and kind and gracious words to come out of my mouth.
Dr. Allan P. Brown teaches such courses as Christian Beliefs, Doctrine of Holiness, Wisdom Literature, Hebrew, Preaching Holiness, Romans and Galatians, and Letters to the Hebrews.
He has been on faculty at GBSC since 1996 and is the author of several books and articles.
Dr. Brown also speaks at churches, camp meetings, revivals and more.