Would you like to pull down a major stronghold in your life?
One that is a common obstacle to most people’s spiritual growth?
Is it time for the release you and I need?
For a number of reasons, October tends to be a “warfare month.” It is a season when the atmosphere seems unusually charged with spiritual static.
Will you join me this month in doing battle against the enemy?
First, let’s invoke the protection of the blood of Jesus over our family and friends. Then, let’s take on a stubborn stronghold.
A Catalytic Conversation
Every so often, I have conversations which The LORD uses as catalysts for my further study and spiritual growth.
A few months ago, when Ted, a dear DPM friend from Montana, called to chat, The LORD used the topics he raised to stimulate my thinking.
In fact, Ted’s first question during our recent conversation became the inspiration for this letter.
Here is what he asked: “Dick, what do you think it means to ‘take every thought captive’ to the obedience of Christ?”
Our ensuing discussion of 2 Corinthians 10:4–5 started me thinking more deeply about the weapons of our warfare, which are “…mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.”
New ways to take the initiative in “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Here is the question our call prompted: What is my most stubborn stronghold?
Unwilling to Change
Your answer to that question may be different than mine. But for me, without a doubt, one of my biggest strongholds is sheer stubbornness. (That’s why I used that very word in the title of this letter.)
Being stubborn is not only a negative character trait. In my experience, I have found it to be a hindrance to spiritual progress — not only my own, but that of fellow Christians.
For me, stubbornness has been a stubborn stronghold.
We see this hindrance all through the Word of God. Jesus said to the Pharisees, who persisted in their opposition to the message He was bringing them:
“You search the Scriptures… and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” John 5:39–40.
Isn’t that one of the clearest indications of stubbornness? Refusing to abandon our own plans in favor of the plans Jesus has for us?
A Warning Rejected
Another chilling example of this kind of obstinacy is the refusal of the people of Israel to respond to Jeremiah’s warning in Jeremiah 18 after his encounter with the potter.
The LORD directed Jeremiah to warn the men of Judah that He was about to bring disaster upon them unless they changed their ways:
“Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good,” Jeremiah 18: 11.
What was their response to this warning from The LORD? This is what the men of Judah replied to Jeremiah:
“That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates [stubbornness] of his evil heart” Jeremiah 18: 12.
Why would anyone choose their way over God’s way? Especially when He is offering us life and light? Why do we stick to our plan? It is our stubborn stronghold.
A Season of Refreshing
Perhaps this is one of those occasions when I am speaking only to myself. If that’s the case, I‘m okay with it, because this is a reminder I regularly need to hear.
But let me ask you a direct question. Is stubbornness an issue you need to deal with in your life?
In Part 1 of his message called “God’s Program for the Close of the Age,” Derek Prince shared a positive characteristic of this particularly prickly theme.
It is a warfare message by Derek, but one which contains a strong element of hope and encouragement.
“Judgment must begin at the house of God. This is the message of the close of this age. If God’s people will repent and turn back to Him, if they will get right with Him — and I must add right with one another, which is the great problem in modern Christianity — then there will come seasons of refreshing.
The word “times” is used twice in the King James [in Acts 3:19–21]. But they are different words. This is “a season,” like the spring or the fall. We will have a beautiful spiritual spring season of renewing and refreshing.
We know how beautiful it is in the spring, don’t we? When everything begins to turn green and life comes back. Well, God’s people can have a spring season of refreshing—if they will only turn away from their sin and their stubbornness.
If we turn from our rebellion and our wrong attitudes and relationships — if we get right with God — He says, “I have seasons of refreshing that I’ll send to you.””
Hearing It for Ourselves
Are you ready for a time of refreshing to come to your life? The LORD promises that a dramatic transformation will take place in us when we abandon our agenda and open ourselves to His plan for us. We see this so clearly in the life of Saul before he had become the Apostle Paul.
Saul had been intent upon his own evil strategy to persecute Christians. Then came his life-changing encounter with Jesus, when he asked the most important question of all in Acts 9:6: “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Are you ready to ask The LORD that same question?
Are you ready to give up your own fruitless designs in return for God’s better plan?
Let’s pray that together now.
Lord Jesus, I have been moving forward persistently with my own thoughts and plans. I have been intent upon seeing those accomplished.
Now I see that despite my good intentions, my plans may not be in line with Yours.
Right now, I humble myself before You. I take this moment to ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
In Your presence, I place my agenda on the shelf, and I open my heart and my hands to Your plans and purposes.
I belong to You, Lord. Please forgive me for any stubbornness that may have captivated me.
I pull down that stronghold right now — any thought that needs to be taken captive to the obedience of Christ.
I place my future in Your hands, Lord Jesus. Have Your way — and only Your way — in my life. Amen.
Standing in the Battle
You and I may experience some warfare connected with what we have just prayed. The enemy of our souls doesn’t give up easily when we take intentional steps to place the direction of our lives squarely in the hands of our Lord Jesus. You may need some help in this battle. And that’s exactly why we are here for you at such times.
Please allow us to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you take these bold steps — pulling down stubborn strongholds and replacing them with solid, godly foundations.
You may want to start that process with “God’s Program for the Close of the Age (Part 1),” the teaching from which we took Derek’s quote.
It will provide some helpful groundwork for the transformation upon which you have embarked today.
It is our great pleasure to make helpful materials available to you through Derek Prince Ministries.
We are here to serve you… and we want to thank you for your prayers for the work we are doing, and the contributions you have supplied to make that work possible.
We are honored to be a partner with you in the purposes of God.
Just the Beginning
As we conclude this letter, here is an interesting thought. Sometimes, when you and I begin the warfare process, the first victory can lead to many more victories.
This truth falls in the category of what is often experienced in deliverance — when we take the major step of dislodging the strongest primary spiritual blockage.
Often, that initial victory clears the path and opens the floodgates to greater freedom. May it be so with us!
You and I might need to be prepared for The LORD to do a major spiritual house-cleaning in us as a result of the prayer we just offered.
It may be just the beginning of a significant transformation in our lives. And how has it all started? It began in us the moment you and I acknowledged and did battle with our most stubborn stronghold.
All the best,
P.S. Once again, we send you our love and thanks for your partnership with us. We deeply appreciate your prayers and your gifts. Please don’t forget to download week one of “God’s Program for the Close of the Age (Part 1).” We know it will encourage you.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.