Pulling Down Strongholds in Your Life Part III
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 two messages, we learned that God expects Christians to use the powerful spiritual weapons He has provided.
- 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 strongholds in my life pulled down?”
These are such strongholds as 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 is 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.
In our last sermon, we gave you a sample set of biblical medicine for pulling down the stronghold of carnal anger and temper. In this 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 Intemperance in Eating
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 eat fattening foods. What I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat is a choice. You have the strength that I need to make the proper choices. Please give me strength in this area of my life to do your will.
Colossians 1:9–10, NKJ: “We…do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him [please him in all respects], being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”
Dear God, it is your will that I please you in my eating and in my use of my body. I wish to walk worthy of you and this means I must have your approval of what I eat, when I eat, how much I eat, and how I care for my body through exercise. Please strengthen me to do your will in this area of my life.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20, NKJ: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
Dear God, my body is not mine; it belongs to you. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You command me to glorify God in my body. I am not bringing glory to you when I am way over the weight You wish me to weigh. Please forgive me for letting my appetite and my desires and enjoyment of eating rule over the wisdom you wish me to follow for good health. Help me to glorify you today in my eating and my exercising.
Galatians 5:22–23, NKJ: “But the fruit of the Spirit is…self-control [temperance].”
1 Corinthians 10:31, NKJ: “ Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Dear God, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control—not self-indulgence. Please forgive me for eating either more than I should or things that I know are not good for me. Help me to tune in to the fact that what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat is of concern to you. Please help me to learn self-control. It does not please you for me to overeat or to go on “quick” weight loss diets. You wish me to learn self-control and temperance in all that I eat. Being over-weight does not bring you glory, and it is a poor testimony to others. Please forgive me and help me to “tune-in” to your Spirit and will in my eating and exercising.
Romans 8:14, NKJ: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Galatians 5:16-17, NKJ: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust [gratify the desires] of the flesh [your body].
For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you can not do what you want.”
Dear God, I am to walk in the Spirit in my eating. When I am walking in the Spirit I am empowered to refuse to give in to the desires of my mind and body (my flesh). I am empowered to please Jesus in the things I eat, the amount that I eat, and when I eat. Please help me to learn how to walk in the Spirit in the realm of my eating and exercising. When I walk in the Spirit I will not over-indulge the desires of my fleshly appetite to the degree that I eat more than I should.
Romans 12:1–2, NAU: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Dear God, my body belongs to you. I am not to be conformed to this world. Worldliness is any attitude or behavior (including how much I weigh) that is not in harmony with your Word. When I am eating more than I need, when I am overweight, I am not walking in the Spirit or practicing the fruit of self-control. Please forgive me of this area of worldliness in my life. I wish to surrender anew my body to your full control and eat and exercise under the control of the Spirit this day.
Ephesians 3:16-17: “I pray that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell [make himself fully at home; be in total control of every area of your life] in your hearts through faith.”
Dear God, you are able to give me strength through the power of the Holy Spirit so I will be able to eat and exercise as you wish me to. This happens only when I let Jesus have full control over every area of my life—including my eating habits. Oh God, please help me to make the right choices today. You promise me the strength to do this as I yield to your full control.
Matthew 17:20, NKJ: “So Jesus said to them,
“Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Dear God, I am not looking for a “quick solution” to my weight problem. I am asking you to increase my faith to believe that I can, with your help, change the patterns of my eating and exercising so this “mountain” of extra weight will be removed from me. Help me to believe that I can change and learn to eat and exercise in a manner that will glorify You and help me weight what You want me to weigh.
1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Dear God, what I eat, when I eat, and how much I weigh are important to you. I am to do everything “to the glory of God.” Your glory is your unique excellence. How much I weigh and what people see when they look at me reflects on you, since I claim to be a Christian and love you. You tell me that I am to glorify you in my eating. To eat more than my body needs is bad for my health and is a poor testimony to others who look at me and see that I am out of control in my eating habits. Please forgive me and help me to walk in the Spirit Who desires to teach me to glorify you in my eating.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJ: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Ephesians 5:20, NKJ: “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Psalm 34:1, NKJ: “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Dear God, as I close my prayer time, I will give thanks and adopt the right attitude toward making this change in my thinking and eating. Help me not to feel sorry for myself. Help me not to complain about not eating things that you do not want me to eat. Help me not to criticize others in my mind who are also over-weight. Help me to be praiseful and thankful that I have this opportunity to walk in the Spirit in my eating and exercising and please you in this area of my life.
Ask God to help you to believe wholeheartedly that He will bring transformation and empower you to live the way you know God wants you to live. With God, all things are possible!
Commit yourself to full victory in every area of your life.
If, by God’s grace, you are willing to follow the prescription directions for the spiritual medicine, you will discover God’s Spirit, Word, and prayer can pull down the strongholds from your life.
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.