What are emotional strongholds? They are houses of thoughts. Think of them as citadels, or fortresses around emotional pain. They are taking up real estate in our heart. They influence our thoughts which become words. Matthew 12:36 says, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Our heart is designed to be a reservoir of Scripture that we have hidden in our heart. It is there for the Holy Spirit to draw from when the need is present. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119 is full of verses about God’s word and its impact on our lives.
There should only be one stronghold in our heart. David expressed it well. Psalm 18:1-2 says, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Here is a verse I pray for folks who are stuck in sin. Proverbs 21:22 Amplified says, “A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.” There is the key. They are trusting in whatever their sin is. However, they have walled themselves in through self-deception. Their sin is wide open before the Lord.
Here is a verse we need to all heed. Hebrews 4:13 Amplified says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.” Any emotional stronghold that we hide behind is a figment of our imagination.
2 Corinthians 10:4 is the only way to freedom. When this verse is put into practice it will topple our emotional strongholds. It says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” Jeremiah 1:10 was God’s recorded instruction for His prophet. We can make a personal application. It says, “…to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
Our first action is to confess our strongholds as sin against God. That will open the way for His word to be activated. We need to acknowledge why we built the stronghold in the first place. It is usually a self-protective measure to guard our heart from being hurt again. We have to see this as a lie. There is NO way we can protect ourselves. We do not have the ability.
An emotional stronghold is created through hardening our heart against emotional pain. It runs in the category of ignoring rather than processing. Hebrews 3:12 says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” We usurp the Lord’s place. He is to be our Stronghold, not something that we perceive through our deception.
Verse 13 says, “…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Now let’s go to James 4:4 and apply it to ourselves and our relationship with the Lord. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?…” When we depart from the Lord through building our emotional strongholds, we are shutting Him out. He is the only One that can heal our wounds.
Luke 4:18 Amplified says, “…He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity).” This is God’s way. Let us start out this new year before Him. Let’s ask Him to reveal any emotional strongholds that are blocking His fullness in our lives.