“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:4–6, ESV)
Strongholds are built in our thinking. They are patterns of thought, sets of assumptions about reality that become the filter through which we interpret life experiences. We assign meaning to past experiences and our past becomes the grid through which we interpret our present and anticipate our future. For example: a past experience of rejection leads to a way of thinking about our own lack of worth and significance which leads us to relate to others in ways that provoke more rejection or to receive rejection from others whether it’s there or not, or both.
Bill Johnson says “I can’t afford to have a thought in my head about me that God doesn’t have in his head about me.”
That’s really the bottom line. When my way of perceiving reality doesn’t line up with God’s way of perceiving reality, one of us is wrong. It’s not God. So much of the Christian life and the journey of discipleship is about surrendering to God in ways that result in my way of thinking aligning with God’s way of thinking. When we have ways of thinking that are raised up against the knowledge of God, we have a stronghold that needs to be destroyed.
God’s way of thinking is truth. So the ways we think about God, about ourselves and about others that are out of alignment with God’s way of thinking are rooted in deception. Lies must be replaced with truth.
But this is more than merely replacing bad info with good info. When I think about my worth and significance in a way that doesn’t match the way my heavenly Father values and loves me, I have more than a self esteem problem. I have a source problem. I need to change my source of truth.
There is a father of lies. There is a kingdom of darkness. Bob Hamp says “spiritual reality is empowered by agreement.” When my thinking isn’t aligned with heaven’s thinking, it’s aligned with a different kingdom. When I don’t agree with God, I’m in agreement with a different father: the father of lies. When I hang on to ways of thinking about reality that don’t match the ways God thinks about reality, I’m actually clinging to an agreement with a different source of truth, a source of truth that only deceives. In my agreement with darkness, I am yielding to the influence of darkness. I am empowering a different kingdom.
What does God think about your value, worth, beauty, strength, capacity, purity, righteousness, etc? If you think less of yourself than God does, this is no mere self esteem issue; it is a choice to empower another kingdom in your life.