There are two major supernatural battlefields: the external and the internal.
The ExternalThe external war is, of course, deliverance. When Jesus sent out his buddies, the disciples, he sent them out to cast out demons and heal the sick. This is a battle with the lowest level of demons, the foot soldiers in the army of the kingdom of darkness.
The internal war is within your soul: your thoughts, beliefs and emotions. This is a daily battle.
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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." II Corinthians 10:3-5
Think of strongholds as brick walls. Each brick is a thought entering our mind and, wow, there are a lot of negative thoughts.
Every thought is either faith-based or fear-based. Guess what these thoughts are:
“I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I smell like cheese.”
Well, you may smell like cheese but the rest are fear-based thoughts keeping you from living freely. And once we have the pattern of thinking (negative, toxic fear-based thoughts) our brains will attract more negative thoughts like metal to a magnet.
Therefore, we are more apt to believe negative stuff about ourselves. Next thing we know, we’re controlled by fear, rejection, self loathing and anger. Yuck! Each brick, each thought builds into a belief system and won’t let us grow beyond the restrictive walls. We aren’t free to live, be loved, and pursue our dreams. I’m sure it’s easier to see how this hampers other people. Think about what holds you back, what lies you believe about yourself.
Out of the Mouth the Heart Speaks
Have you ever heard a fight between two people, in real life or even in a movie. They’re bickering back and forth, then the lies they believe about themselves come roaring out. Someone yells, “You’re never home because... you don’t love me!” Has it ever been said that he doesn’t love her? Probably not. So where did that come from? Lies that have formed into a stronghold. Now she can’t feel loved by him because she’s convinced herself that he doesn’t love her. Drama, drama, drama.
If you start unpacking the lies you believe about yourself, then your parents, siblings, friends, don’t have to work SO hard to convince you that they love you. It’s all about changing the way you think and believing that you are lovable just because God says so. Similar to Descartes’ phrase, “I think, therefore I am,” God wants us to believe, “I’m alive, therefore I’m loved.” If you take charge of those wild thoughts and give them over to Jesus, you may actually begin to trust, believe, hope, love, be self-controlled. (That sounds like some awesome fruits of the Spirit!)
Strongholds + Demonization = Running in mud, uphill, with concrete shoes on
So before deliverance… demons support these strongholds. They want you to believe your lies. It is like swimming upstream when trying to tear down strongholds before deliverance. You can try but you don’t get very far. We’re working so hard to be a good Christian person when one simple deliverance session would kick out the opposition once and for all.
After deliverance, when the demons are gone, we can tear down the towers of worthlessness, selfishness and anger and allow God to heal us.