There is a story in 1 Samuel 9 that clearly displays how God intercepts. If you haven’t read it recently, I encourage you to refresh your memory. Saul’s father’s donkeys got lost. He sent Saul and a servant to go look for them. They looked for days and were about to turn back. Watch how this all played out through God’s interception.

In 1 Samuel 9:6 Saul’s servant told him about the man of God that lived in the city. They decided to seek out the seer to tell them the way to go. In verse 11 they asked a young woman where they could find the seer. In verse 12 she said that ‘today’ he was coming. As they were heading into the city, verse 15 says, “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying.” 

In verse 16 the Lord explained to Samuel how he was to anoint Saul as commander over His people Israel. Verse 17 says, “So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people.” In verse 18 Saul met Samuel and asked him where he would find the seer.

Samuel instructed him to go up to the high place to eat with him. Then he told him that the donkeys had been found. Now watch how the Lord had set up the next scene. In verse 23 Samuel said to the cook, “…Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, Set it apart.” In verse 24 the cook brought the thigh portion to Saul and Samuel said, “…Here it is, what was kept back. It was set apart for you…”

When the Lord is ready to present what He has set apart for us, He intercepts our way. It doesn’t say, but I would imagine that Saul and his servant were frustrated that they could not find the donkeys. They had no idea that the Lord had orchestrated the whole entire situation. Years ago the Holy Spirit gave me a definition for frustration: God intercepting my way to redirect me into His way.

Think of some other times that the Lord intercepted folks. Saul of Tarsus was intercepted. His life was radically changed. The Lord gave to him what He had kept back. Paul took the gospel to the Gentiles. Through God’s interception you and I have the privilege to receive essential instruction for our walk with the Lord. Paul wrote many of his epistles while in prison. 

I think of Hagar also. When Sarai treated her harshly she fled from her presence. The Angel of the Lord found her and spoke to her about the child she was carrying. In Genesis 16:13 she said, “…You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees…” There was another time where He intercepted her. The Lord had a hidden provision for her. When she was in absolute despair, he revealed Himself to her in a new way. Abraham had sent her away with her young son Ishmael. She was in the wilderness. Her food and water ran out. She placed Ishmael under a shrub and sat across from him and cried. 

Genesis 21:17 says, “And God heard the voice of the lad…” Then an angel of God called out to her to see what her problem was. Verse 19 says, “Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water…” It doesn’t say, but I believe the well was there all along. What provision is near you that you do not yet see? The next time you feel frustrated, stop and be still. Ready your heart to receive God’s interception so that He can direct you into His way.

True Love

God’s love cannot be described in human terms. When we go back to Psalm 119:15, contemplating His ways takes us into a realm of limitlessness. There are several verses that come to mind. The first is Psalm 103:7. It’s a verse I have often pondered over. It says, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.”

I love Romans 11:33 which says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” There we have it. No matter how much we contemplate His ways, we won’t find an end to them. Hebrews 7:16 was written about Jesus. It says, “Who has come…according to the power of an endless life.”

Endless life. He is from eternity to eternity. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Verse 26 says that we are made in His image. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “…He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

God’s love has no limits. Here is a surprising verse. Psalm 78:40 says that the children of Israel provoked the Lord and grieved Him. Verse 41 says, “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” 

How do we limit God? Ephesians 1:13 says that when we believe His gospel for salvation, that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Verses 31 and 32 explained how we can grieve Him.

They say, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Couple these two verses with 1 John 2:10. It says, “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”

The above set of verses are God’s way. They are His prescription for health. When we violate them, we put our health in jeopardy. Proverbs 3:8 says that when we trust in the Lord, acknowledge Him in all our ways, and we fear Him, “It will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones.”Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

Here is the crux of the matter. When we live experientially in God’s love for us, we will desire to care for our bodies which is His temple. He dwells in us to empower us to follow His ways. That desire will keep us from sinning against His love for us and for others. 1 John 5:2 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.”

Slaying Giants

I love the story of Dagon. You can read about it in 1 Samuel 5. I have a personal application. In the 70’s I had my house up for sale. A fellow came to look at it. When he saw my desk he asked what I did for a living. I told him that I had my own bookkeeping business. He offered me a job.

I went to his place of business. He showed me where my desk would be, which was across from his little office. As I walked into his office, there was a life size picture of a nude woman. I asked him to take it down, which he refused. I told him about Dagon. I said that I would ask the Lord to make it fall like Dagon. The next morning I walked into my office and the picture was bent over on itself. He took it down. 

What is defying the Lord in your life? David faced a giant with confidence. In 1 Samuel 17:45, he said to Goliath, “…I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

The giants that we ALLOW to remain in our lives usurp and defy our God. The Lord uses our adverse circumstances to shake what we have not removed. Let’s start with our thoughts against ourselves. They are thoughts based on lies that we have believed. 

When our thoughts do not align with what God says about us, then we need to renew our mind with His truth that will set us free. Psalm 119:73 says, “Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.”

We learn something through a process. First we have to hear it. Then we need to understand it. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live…” Incline means to listen favorably.

There are so many Scriptures that tell us how the Lord sees us. We need to believe them and apply them to our lives. Joshua 1:8 says that we are to ‘observe to do’. Psalm 119:5-6 says, “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed when I look into all Your commandments.”

It is essential to read His word daily so that we can apply it. Just reading it is the first part. To observe means to mark it as something significant that will bring inner transformation. You see, the lies that we believe diminish our understanding. They blind us through deception. The truth is opaque, but the lies are bright and in our face.

Proverbs 2:1 says to receive and treasure. Verse 2 says, “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.” King Solomon was instructing his son, yet we can make personal applications.

Verses 3-4 say, “Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasure.”  Verse 5 is the result. It says, “Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Contemplate means to deep dive into something through our thoughts. Let’s take one of God’s ways to contemplate. Do you love yourself? In Matthew 22:36 a lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment of the law was. He spoke the first one, and in verse 39 He said, “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I encourage you to ask yourself: how do I love myself? This is not an answer of self-love. It is an understanding of how much we are loved so that we are able to express His love through us to others. John 15:12 says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Power Of Words

What are you speaking to yourself through your thoughts? We are called to bless. That includes ourselves. Do you speak life words that affirm who you are in Christ? What do you think when you make a poor decision? What is your inner reaction when someone criticizes you?

James 3:9 applies to us as an individual as well as our relationship with others. It says about our tongue, “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.” Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

I know what I am writing about. In my years of self-hatred and self-rejection, I cursed my body with my words. Knowing what I know now, I can only imagine how my body shuddered every time I said, “I hate you body.” Through my death words, I was cursing my body that is made in the similitude of God. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 was not a reality to me. Though I knew the verse, I did not live in the knowledge of its truth. It says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

We ‘practice the truth’ when we make it our own. It is experiential truth that sets us free. I was slowly destroying my health by my negative thoughts which became spoken words. Our thoughts control our brain, and our brain controls our body. How did I course correct? It was through my intimate communion with the Lord. He used my trial of falling into the ravine to woo me to Himself.

I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior in 1958. Yet, I knew nothing of intimacy with Him until 1977. The Lord knows us intimately, but it is not until we open our heart to Him that we can experientially dwell in that intimacy. John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…”

Revelation 3:2 was Jesus’ message to the dead church of Sardis. Listen to His words. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.” Hebrews 12:27 says, “Now this, Yet once more, indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

Colossians 2:6-7 tells us how to strengthen the things which remain. This is about our faith. It says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

I want you to take a moment and think about your life and your walk with the Lord. When we speak negatively over ourselves, that is a dross that undermines our faith. It is time to examine our hearts. We live in unprecedented times. We need to remain steadfast and immovable in the face of evil. I encourage you right now to stop and say this verse out loud. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows right well.”

Honey-Laced Words

This is the title of one of my ebooks that were published in 2016. It is also the title to chapter 5 in my book: Victorious Heart: intimate communion with God. Lacing our words with honey is all about imparting grace to our hearers.

Psalm 45:2 was written about Jesus. It says, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.” Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be a blessing to others?

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Watch what happened when Jonathan dipped the end of his rod in a honeycomb. 1 Samuel 14:27 says, “…and put his hand to his mouth; and his countenance was brightened.”

Do your words brighten the countenance of the one you are speaking to, or cause their face to cloud up? Our heart is revealed through our eyes. William Shakespeare said that our eyes are the window to our soul. We can often see the inner health of a person through their eyes. Have you ever seen a sad, angry, or troubled person? Then you know what I am saying.

What is behind honeycomb and the health of our bones? Google says that the inside of our bones is structured like a honeycomb. The honeycomb mesh structure gives our bones strength. When osteoporosis sets in, it creates patches within the bone that are not supported.

You have heard of bone marrow. I love this verse in Job because it is a picture of health. Job 21:24 Amplified says, “His pails are full of milk (his veins are filled with nourishment) and the marrow of his bones is fresh and moist.”

Here is a picture of someone’s bones that are not healthy. Proverbs 17:22 says, “…a  broken spirit dries the bones.” What causes a broken or crushed spirit? Death words! Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”

Jesus came to set broken hearts free. Luke 4:18 Amplified described it as “…who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity).” Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

Harsh words of rejection have a slamming effect on a tender heart. School children rejected by their peers is so devastating. I remember walking home from grammar school. I was being called names, but stood up to those bullies. I put my hands on my hips and said, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ It was a lie of course, but I had learned how to live that lie as self-protection.

Hateful words hurt, maim, cripple, and crush. There is healing through forgiveness. How a person calls you is not who you are. You are made in the image of God. You are of great value to the Lord Jesus who died for you. He bore the sins against you, as well as the sins that you commit (past, present, and future).

Take note. We often erect emotional walls in our heart because our spirit has been crushed by death words. This is not God’s way. His way to freedom is through life-giving words. Listen to these verses in Psalm 71:3 and 6. It says, “Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You.”

Instead of getting stuck in the crucible of a crushed spirit, live your day with an attitude of gratitude. Praise the Lord in your heart. When our heart is lifted up in praise, the power of life flows through every cell and tissue. 

Psalm 146:2 says, “While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” Our praise opens the way for the Lord to permeate our space. Psalm 22:3 says that God is enthroned on our praise. As we confess our unforgiveness for those who have hurt us with their death words, we can offer up a sacrifice of praise. Hebrews 13:15 says that thanksgiving is the fruit of our lips.

Where Do Words Go?

We know from Isaiah 55:10-11 that God’s words have a targeted purpose. Think about your words as seed in light of verse 10. It says, “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”

Do your words water the heart of the one you are speaking to? Do they have substance that will bear fruit? Let’s look at 1 Samuel 3:19. Do you catch what God did with Samuel’s words? It says, “So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground.” Wow. Have you ever said something that you wish you hadn’t?

God designed our heart to think so that our thoughts would be our words. He also gave man a free will. We are the only ones who can control our thoughts. It is up to us. No one makes us think the way we do. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Death words are derogatory, critical, condemning, destructive, and the list goes on.

What are life words? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Samuel’s words were prophetic. God used him to speak to His people. He did not let one of his words fail. Do your words fail to impart grace?

Isaiah 55:11 says of God’s words, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” How can we speak so that our words will be a life-giving seed that will prosper in the heart of the one who heard it?

When our heart is full of God’s words, they will empower our speech to be a fertile seed. God’s word is a truth-seed. Psalm 15:2 says, “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.” Psalm 1:2 says of one that God blesses because, “…his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”

What we put into our heart, and what we keep in our heart affects every one of our thoughts. Thoughts become words. It isn’t that we are spouting Bible verses as our words. It is the cultivation of truth that impacts our words. Think of 2 Corinthians 1:4. It says, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble…” The words that the Lord used to comfort us in our trials cultivated our heart. 

They plowed up the soil in our heart. He used them to remove any clods of doubt, fear, unbelief, or worry. He sowed sustainable seed that would sprout and grow to fill our hearts to give us His True Comfort. As that seed began to bear fruit, it became part of our thought process. When someone in a trial asked us to help them, our words were laced with the same grace the Lord imparted to us in our trial.

Treasure WithIn: His Light

2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” Have you ever thought about the truth that we cannot MAKE our light shine? We can’t fake light. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

There is a huge difference between making and letting. Letting His light shine out of us is synonymous with the fruit of the Spirit. We do not produce the fruit of the Spirit. We bear it as we submit our will to the Holy Spirit’s work. Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

1 John 2:16 helps us understand this truth. It says, “For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.” Building emotional walls could be categorized as the pride of life. The emotional walls are self-protective measures rooted in pride. 

We have the audacity to even think that we can control anyone or anything. John 15:5 clearly indicates our state. It says, “…for without Me you can do nothing.” Isaiah 64:6 is a great reminder of our own efforts. It says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf.”

In the tree’s dormant season, the leaves all wither and fall to the ground. It is God’s process for new growth in the springtime. Psalm 1:3 was the description of one who meditated in God’s word day and night. It says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth the fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Do you see the difference? Our way of doing things will fade as a leaf. God’s work IN us, through our submission to the Holy Spirit, will never wither. It is a spiritual work with eternal roots. Colossians 2:7 says, “Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

The word ‘taught’ means that there is a teacher. Solomon taught his son wisdom that the Lord gave him. Proverbs 2:1 says, “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you.” The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. 1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

It is when we abide in Christ, that our light shines the brightest. Our emotional walls have to come down, otherwise we block the brightness of a shining testimony. Here is the key: we follow the Holy Spirit INTO the light that He is leading us into. He works in light that dispels all darkness. If we try to take down our walls in our own strength we will fail. The walls will come down through our submitted heart: one wall at a time until the strongholds are demolished.

Walking Into The Light

First we need to recognize that our emotional walls are sections of our emotional strongholds. Second, our walls are open before the Lord. He knows every layer that we deceptively believe in. 1 John 1:5 was Jesus’ message that John wanted his readers to understand. It says, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

Psalm 139:12 says, “Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Our walls of darkness are illuminated before the Lord’s eyes. John 3:20 says that those who walk in darkness are practicing evil. Wait! What about a believer? 

Negative thoughts are dark, because they are against. Either they are against ourselves, others, or our circumstances. They are classified in Matthew 15:19 as evil. It says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” We are born again in His Light. Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”

John 3:20 says, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed.” Did you live in a night-life before you were saved? Then you might remember how dark that darkness was. Then His Light of the gospel penetrated that darkness, and you were instantly transported out of that darkness! 

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:13 is an apt description of our experience. It says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Here is how we walk INTO the Light for deliverance from our emotional walls and strongholds. Romans 13:12 says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Verse 14 says, “…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts.”

We ‘cast off” and ‘put on’ at the same time when we follow the Holy Spirit INTO the Light that He is. He is the Spirit of Truth. The only way that we will be freed is through experiential truth. We experience God’s truth when we make it our own. We put it on like we put on our clothes for the day. Ephesians 6:14 says of this piece of God’s armor, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…”

I love the picture in 1 Peter 1:13 which says, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind…” Here is the note in my Bible: …comes from Orientals necessarily gathering up their long robes with a belt to prepare for action. Our thoughts precede our actions. Epehsians 4:23 Amplified says, “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind (having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude).” Renewing our mind with truth is walking INTO the Light.

Processing Emotional Pain

Burying our emotional pain only adds another layer of wall to our emotional stronghold. What is God’s way? First we have to remember that His ways are higher than our ways. Anything that we concoct in our own strength will fall short. Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Hannah poured out her heart before the Lord. She was depressed, she wasn’t eating, and her heart was grieved. 1 Samuel 1:10 says, “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.” Verse 13 says that she, “…spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard…”

I call this ‘the dark night of the soul’ because I have been through this. There is so much anguish that it cannot be expressed in words. It is a heart language of emotional pain. Eli confronted Hannah, thinking she was drunk. She answered him in verse 16, “…I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, I have…poured out my soul before the Lord.”

Let’s go to the interchange between Nehemiah and the king. Nehemiah 2:2 which is the question the king asked. It says, “…Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart…” Proverbs 15:13 says, “…by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 17:22 says, “…a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression…”

Emotional pain was caused by something in our past. Remember, a few minutes ago is our past. Since this is the case, we have to process our past pain in our present. 2 Corinthians 5:17 helps us. It says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Our past is passed. We cannot go back and change anything that happened. It is essential that we truly believe that our past is in our mind. Therefore to process emotional pain from the past we have to deal with our thoughts. I like to think of buried emotional pain as something relegated to a dungeon in my heart. The emotional pain continues to cry out for release. It filters through every thought process, even when we choose to ignore it.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” We are a composite of our thoughts. That is scary when we refuse to not dwell in the negative. It makes us a very negative person that does not see good when it comes. Our soul is jaded, cynical, and critical. We live in denial of our root cause. It sets us up for disease.

The walls of Jericho were wide. I’ve heard that a chariot could ride on it. Our emotional stronghold is built with multiple layers of emotional walls. As formidable as the walls of Jericho to man, it was nothing to the Lord. He caused them to fall down flat. He will do the same with ours when we confess them as sin, renew our mind with Scripture, and build new strongholds of truth.

Toppling Emotional Strongholds

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.