2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...
There is nothing like a stronghold of the mind to keep a person from living a truly free life in Jesus. Strongholds of the mind create mental attachments to persons, places and/or things that are very strong. When the strength of those strongholds exceeds that of our trust and faith in God, we fail to move forward into God's true purpose and plans for our lives.
The Kingdom of God does not come to earth through you when you are not free. Power flows through faith and trust in God that surrenders all to Him. True faith and trust in God is found when our greatest, and indeed only attachment is to Jesus and Jesus alone. Here are three ways we can find ourselves held back from true freedom. Each of these three are mental strongholds that keep us back. They start in the mind, then the body follows the mind.
We value safety over risk.
There is high value placed on safety today. Our culture wears helmets and pads for every activity. We are always looking for ways to be free from any possibility of harm. We seek financial safety by stockpiling money in our markets. We seek occupational safety through excellent performance at work. Following Jesus requires we lay our earthly safety aside and trust God for everything. God asks us to risk everything on His ability, not ours. How is your thinking in regards to risking for God?
We value familiar over unfamiliar.
Having things go predictably gives us great comfort. Many people are shaken by the unexpected, the unfamiliar, and the exceptions to the rules. We set schedules and expect them to be followed. God is much more spontaneous than that. He will call us to unfamiliar places, to be with unfamiliar people, and ask us to do unfamiliar things. Do you thrive on the familiar? Are you happiest when everything goes as planned? How is your thinking in regards to letting God take you into unfamiliar territory?
We value natural over supernatural.
God's supernatural power flows through those who have complete faith and trust in His ability and desire to perform the miraculous in this earth. Our tendency is toward the natural. Whatever we can do in our efforts is what we can do. We trust tangible, hands-on, methodical, calculable, concrete ways over expecting the supernatural to manifest on earth. Do you live out of the resources of the natural world or do you have bold faith and expectation in the supernatural reality of God? How is your thinking in regards to expectantly seeking God's supernatural power in your everyday life?
Begin today, taking every thought captive and submitting them to obey Christ. And be gloriously free in your mind!
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.