Every spiritual stronghold is built on a lie.
With that in mind, the key to destroying a stronghold is to expose and reject the lie.
Notice I said the lie. At a point in time you believed THE lie. A single untruth. Something like, “Once won’t hurt.” “It’s no big deal.” “Nobody would care.” “God won’t care. “I have no choice.” “I can’t say no.” “Just this once.” “I must have this.” “Nobody will find out.” “This will help me.”
One of those may have been the first lie. The cornerstone for the fortress. But it’s the second lie that guaranteed the stronghold would grow. Why? Because the second lie guaranteed the first lie would never be challenged. Oh, it might be questioned. And regretted. But not exposed. And if not exposed never challenged.
The second lie? It’s just four words: “I’ll never tell anyone.”
That four word lie provides, not a stone for the fortress, but the mortar that holds every lie-brick together. Once the wall is built and the roof in place, we have a room where we can hide our most shameful secrets. Those things we’ve sworn no one would ever know. A place that welcomes and protects dark spiritual forces.
And so we compartmentalize these shameful secrets believing the lie that says, “As long as I keep it a secret, I’ll be okay.” And the companion lie that says, “If I tell anyone I’ll be rejected.” The longer the lie stays within the walls, protected by darkness, the more power it assumes as other lies attach to it.
But we only see the stronghold(s), like a tree canopy. We can’t view the root of the problem because it’s hidden underground. Out of sight. And so we prune the canopy. We deal with the symptoms of our problem. We take an anger management course. Or, a money management course. Or, we join AA, or NA, or SA. We get in a Bible study. We see a pastor, counselor or therapist. All of these are commendable and help us learn to manage the stronghold. But we’re never free of its influence or power. We keep the dragon on a leash. Or, does he have us on one?
And so we must identify the first lie we believed and acted upon. The first lie we’ve spent our life-energy hiding. The lie that convinced us we’re deeply flawed. I can tell you with certainty, that lie will not be found in the canopy, but in the roots.
Next week we’ll look at the root of the problem.