The work of the ministry includes giftings of and for deliverance. One of my giftings involves deliverance. It’s the pulling down of strongholds that scripture talks about. I’m speaking right now of self deliverance, but it goes beyond that when we mature. We’re called to become all new creations in Christ Jesus and that means that we co-labor with Holy Spirit in the rebirth process. The first stronghold to be dealt with is our own. We can’t stay who we were.
A stronghold might be what the world calls a mental block. It’s like a door shut in the mind that has never been opened. A dark place that has never seen spiritual light. Personality flaws, of various kinds. Maybe like fear, unbelief, stubbornness, stinginess, self hatred, frustrating reactions and emotions of all sorts. A natural way of thinking that can block spiritual vision and hope for better. “Well, this is how I think and this is how I am, so take it or leave it” That’s a root of the carnal nature that needs to be removed. Often our natural mental block is carried into our christian walk. It has been a part of us so long we think it always will be. But Jesus made a way that it doesn’t have to be permanent. This condition is among the old things that need to pass away so that new things can be created. Disciples of Christ are destined to be change agents and personal strongholds have to come down. Because a man who can’t change his mind can’t change anything.
5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.
Do you have a mindset that you’re not really happy with but you can’t break though into a better one? I have some of those, but I’m discovering a new thing. God says in Ephesians 3 that we can know his love, the height, the depth, the length and the breadth. He’s been telling me, “You need to plumb the depths, you need to scale the heights. I need to take you into far beyond places, new places that you’ve never even imagined. But it will require a hard stretch. You will have to trust me in ways you haven’t yet. You’ll have to leave some old comfort zones behind, not casting away your confidence in me while I’m doing a deeper work of disciplining. In these times what is in your heart surfaces and we will work together to deliver you from your own self desires. You won’t think I’m mad at you and you won’t get mad at me. You’ll have to endure with patience while I do what pleases me, and it won’t always please you. You’ll have to draw closer to my love and worship me when you don’t feel like it. But you’ll become a new person in Christ. Sweeter and more abounding in good fruits.”
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
Finally I was fully convinced that I could do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me. I found that the word of the Lord is clear. He wants to deliver his deliverers so that we can deliver others. As people of God we’re dearly loved by our Father. We’re called to add to ourselves and to steadily increase in spiritual fruit as we go forward on our life journey. To leave behind childish things and put on a new maturity. As adolescents shift into the teen years and then teens grow into an adult. We’re always needing to chose wisely and flow with him in shifting into new. We come to a point in our walk where we find that we can’t grow into a new maturity as long as we continue to identify with the immature. God wants us fully confident in him and who we are in him. In quietness and in confidence in him and who we are in him we have full authority over the works of darkness. Satan wants to block out knowledge of who we are in Christ, but we trust and believe the report of the Lord. satan is a liar and an identity thief. Many trials will come and tempt us but in God we are equipped to deal with the tempter and overcome. Our true and powerful heavenly identity is found in looking deeper into the heart of the Father and asking his wisdom to know and steward who we are in his eyes. And submitting joyfully to fighting the good fight of faith it will take to rise up into the glory that has risen upon us. He wants to fill our bellies with his living water and carry us along with him in his sweet river of life. We never outgrow our need to be reborn, it’s a continual process as we move forward into new times and seasons and new encounters. When we mature in our faith walk we become ministers of reconciliation to the immature, and to the lost.
Thank you, Father, for the fullness of joy that comes as the fullness of the life is surrendered.