If you’ve got a character battle you keep losing over something like anger, lust, bitterness, jealousy, or depression, maybe the source of the problem is spiritual. For years I’ve helped men and women develop a strategy to rein in out-of-control appetites. I’ve always based my guidance on sound biblical exposition and the most current research available. Unfortunately, I had zero training and experience in dealing with spiritual strongholds. Consequently, while my books helped many people, they offered little substantive help for those battling a stronghold.

In recent years I’ve learned much about the subject and have seen many people liberated from years, if not decades, of slavery to a destructive appetite. Two weeks ago I pointed out the five roots of a spiritual stronghold. While you may know the canopy of the stronghold—the part you can see, like an angry outburst—you must identify the root of the problem to find freedom. You need to identify the moment you first believed the lie that started the destructive thinking and behavior. That blog gives some examples which may help.

When I’m ministering to someone and want to know the root of their issue, I ask a few questions and then I do the unexpected—I ask God to provide the answer. I’m not asking God to help me find the root through a lengthy series of question. I’m asking him to show me the root. Once I make the request, I wait silently. And God usually comes through.

We shouldn’t be surprised that God will tell us the source of the problem. After all, Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). The apostle Paul wrote about how the Spirit of God reveals to believers “All that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). He then went on to say, “For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). The “all things” is an exhaustive statement which surely includes the roots of a spiritual stronghold. The Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus three times as the “Spirit of truth,” and once by Paul. It makes sense then if we want to expose the lie that planted the root of a spiritual stronghold, we must begin with prayer.

Take a moment and review the following list of stronghold roots: injustice, trauma, bad names/curses, heart-ties and generational sins. And then ask the Lord, “Which of these is the root of my problem? When did it get planted? What lie did I believe?” And then listen for God’s answer.

Next week I’ll tell you what to do with the answer. Or, what to do if you didn’t get one.

Photo by Chlot’s Run, CC

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