“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
I’m considering the concept of strongholds. Some time ago I learned that displeasing thoughts can be very comfortable and justifiable, and can speedily become strongholds. When bad things happen, it’s very natural to feel and think a myriad of thoughts that don’t line up with God’s perspective. For me, before I knew it, I was widely opening the door for a stronghold other than God.
Acting in grace and humility when someone’s mistakes affect me leads to Him becoming my stronghold. But, I can’t act in humility on my own strength. Thinking on Jesus’ name is a way to manifest His power. Getting to know Him to learn about His heart for me through His word and in prayer enables my trust.
I would be remiss not to also mention that partners in prayer and accountability in the form of trusted believers is crucial.
Here are a few things that the Lord has placed on my heart to consider prayerfully.
- I asked Him to make me quickly aware when my thoughts are displeasing. I’ve been intrigued by my heightened sensitivity in this area. Once I become aware, I can ask Him to be my strength for obedience.
- In the face of adversity are my thoughts grounded in love? Most likely I’m upset or hurt which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. But if I speak or act out of pain, it can cause additional trouble. Sometimes I make that choice, (Romans 7:15). Sometimes our thoughts are so justifiable that we forget to ask the Lord His thoughts on the issue.
- What is directing–or the root–of my emotions? Sometimes the current adversity isn’t really that bad, but it triggers something else that really needs the Lord’s touch. Other times, it is very hard and needs prayer, truths and support through the process.
- What are the Lord’s thoughts regarding my emotions? I can ask Him to speak His truths to my heart or emotions. This has been a powerful source of Him becoming my stronghold. Being reminded of His thoughts and allowing them authority of my thoughts leads to victory.
- I can tell the Lord about my emotions in the face of struggle. Does this sound odd since He is well aware of our emotional state? I think so. But if we lack joy or contentment, it’s likely part of the healing process. It’s being honest with ourselves and Him and giving His Spirit a willing heart towards healing.
For me these points have a been part of a long journey. The first time I asked the Lord for His thoughts on a particular issue, a word came to my mind that I honestly didn’t know how to apply. It just didn’t make sense to me at the time. I don’t remember how much later it was that the spirit opened my eyes to the point of that word. But when He did, wow! It couldn’t have been more clear or more freeing. The Lord’s perspective took authority of my thoughts and emotions in that situation and became my stronghold at that moment.
How does the Lord work in your life to become your stronghold?