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Understanding Mental Strongholds Part Three:

June 24, 2014
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Understanding Mental Strongholds Part Three:

man building wallUnderstanding Mental Strongholds
Part Three:
How You Developed Strongholds

You know that you, and every other person on the planet, have strongholds. So how did they develop? All of mankind acquired core beliefs based on your individual experiences. These experiences with your families of origin, communities, peer groups, environment, culture, and geographical and political influences, all formed ideologies and philosophies. These beliefs make up your mental strongholds. They are roots deep within you. Your roots have hidden receptors that receive or reject information from God, self, others, and nature. They cause you to reject or receive God’s truth and the application of His Word in your daily situations.
For example, plants gain sustenance through their roots which penetrate the soil to receive nutrients and water. Likewise through your root systems, your spirit reaches out to God and to others to drink in the ten essential human needs identified in the Scriptures. In his book `The Great Command Principle` David Fergusson identified these needs. They are: acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval, attention, comfort, encouragement, respect, security, and support.
Unfortunately, when your needs are not met according to God’s plan, you develop defective ways of meeting these needs. Too often you turn toward self protection, no boundaries, alcohol, compromise to gain acceptance, and many other destructive life skills. These methods strengthen the strongholds that feed on your negative life experiences, such as rejection, betrayal, criticism, bitterness, condemnation, shame, abandonment… and the list goes on. The roots of your core beliefs or mental strongholds are deeply ingrained and often hidden from you.
For example, if you grew up in the South you probably have a southern accent. It was formed so long ago that you don’t even realize that you acquired that pattern of speech. If you worked to overcome a heavy accent and succeeded, you may find in moments of stress or excitement that you flash back to patterns of speech learned in childhood. Manners of speech are from within you, but stronghold patterns guide you in how you reach out and try to meet your needs from the world and others.
Your root system of strongholds forms deep ruts in your mind. They are like tire tracks in the mud. Have you ever had your tire veer off the pavement and get trapped in a rut that was hard and firm? That is how the mind operates. Your thought patterns will search the environment to prove and uphold these faulty beliefs, trapping you in your mental ruts. Some of these ruts are strongholds that you don’t even recognize are present, but you return to them.
These deep ruts come in two forms. First, is the flesh nature that was not developed, chosen, nor learned through your experiences. These thought patterns were inherited simply because you have descended from Adam and Eve. The second type of deep rut is the way of thinking that developed in you from infancy through your life experiences. Even from the womb your spirit was keenly sensitive. These roots are so deep that you may not even be aware of their existence, yet they guide your daily lives and may entrap you in self defeating behaviors.
These ruts or strongholds often serve as channels for fleshly behavior. Like tires stuck in hardened mud, they run deep. If you are not flexible and cannot turn out of them, the slightest bump in life steals your joy and peace in the Spirit. As part of your root system these strongholds, if left unchecked, inhibit or completely prevent your ability to receive nurture and truth. Even good patterns must find death on the cross, or you may claim a self righteousness through performance and the flesh.
Some of these strongholds may have enabled you to survive damaging circumstances. That is likely why you trust them. However, when they remain in your life they protect wrong attitudes, beliefs, and patterns of thought that you have learned to trust and value more than the truth. They provide access for the enemy’s assaults. These false beliefs are fertile soil for him to gain a foothold to hinder your life.
You must choose to make room for God’s renewal and restoration that will replace your old ways of thought. God does not take strongholds from you forcibly; He wants them to be surrendered. You must seek God’s help to sort through your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions. Let Him create the “mind of Christ” in every corner of your soul.

Dr. Michele

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