A stronghold is a tree.
What we see is the canopy—the angry outburst, depression, addiction, jealousy, dishonesty, impurity, and fear. What we can’t see are the roots. Because of that we spend time and energy pruning what can be seen without digging up the root. We cut off leaves and branches. But they grow back. And we get frustrated at our inability to change.
The root feeds the branches. It nourishes the stronghold. It’s the root we must go after.
If the root system had a tap root it would be a truth or love deficit. Something happened that created a sense of unworthiness. Or, we believed a lie that distorted our view of reality. Maybe both occurred at the same time. But a deficit was created that we’ve worked hard to fill.
Five roots grow from the taproot: injustice, trauma, generational issues, bad names, heart-ties.
Injustice: Brad battled outbursts of anger. He tried counting to ten and holding his breath before speaking. But it didn’t work. When he got mad there was no holding back. Seems he had a brother who was his dad’s favorite. He battled feelings of inadequacy. He knew it wasn’t fair and it angered him. Research tells us disrespect and injustice trigger anger in men, and women. But more so in men. The root had to be cut.
Trauma and generational sins: Sue battled depression and sexual promiscuity. Her dad sexually abused her for ten years, beginning when she was four. She told her mother who said she could kick out her dad but then they wouldn’t have a place to live, or food or clothes. Being abused didn’t seem as bad as living on the street so Sue endured the abuse until she was old enough to run away. She had been traumatized by the generational sin of her father and the indifference of her mother. Both had to be dealt with.
Bad Names: Josh had a knack for sales and led in company sales with three different companies. The problem was he repeatedly sabotaged his jobs by offending his boss. It’s not a surprise when you consider that his dad frequently told him he was a loser who would never succeed in life. Often we think of a curse as what a witch does when she pokes needles into a doll. More common is what happens when someone speaks condemning words to another person. Those words get repeated by the recipient over and over again until they shape their thinking, their behavior and their identity. Since Josh believed he was a failure, he made sure he was.
Heart-ties: I realize the subject of soul or heart-ties is controversial. I used to think it an absurd idea until I thought it through biblically and observed the power of such ties in a person’s life. I’ve spoken with both men and women who were sexually intimate with their “first love” and never got over the loss of the relationship. There are, of course, other kinds of heart-ties. But those bound to a lost love often find themselves fanaticizing about that person years or decades later. This results in unhappiness with their marriage partner and in some cases, caused them to reconnect with that person through Facebook or another means.
At a point in time the root sprouted in a person’s life because they believed a lie. Brad believed the lie that said he was inferior to his brother. Sue believed the lie that said she was a bad person for allowing her father to abuse her. Josh accepted the lie that said he was a loser. Others believe the lie that says they lost their one chance at true love.
Since the root must be identified and cut off, how do we discover which root is the source of the stronghold? Next week I’ll discuss that. I suspect the answer will surprise you.