Breaking Strongholds – 2 Corinthians 10:5
2 Corinthians 10:5-6
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
Phrase 1: “divine power to demolish stronghold” (vs 4). The Greek word for demolish is kahairesis meaning “demolition, destruction of a fortress.” The original word for stronghold comes from the word echo meaning ‘to hold fast.’ The derivative, ochuroma, stronghold means ‘a stronghold, fortification, fortress. Used metaphorically of any strong points or arguments in which one trusts.’
You might think of the term this way: a stronghold is anything we hold onto that ends up holding us. Now let’s consider what Paul meant by demolishing strongholds. The word “demolish” implies a kind of destruction requiring tremendous power; to be exact, divine power. Much of the reason believers have remained in a yoke of slavery is because we swat at our stronghold like they are mosquitoes. Strongholds are like concrete fortresses we’ve constructed around our lives block by block, ordinarily over the course of years. We created them, whether or not we were aware, for protection and comfort. Inevitably, however, these fortresses become prisons. At some point we realize we no longer control them. They control us.
At peak strength, human effort is useless in demolishing strongholds. No amount of discipline or determination will do it. Satanic strongholds require divine demolition. Discipline and determination are often important factors in opening your life to the supernatural power of God, but only He can provide the divine dynamite. Remember, Satan’s power comes from his power to bluff.
Phrase 2: We demolish arguments and every pretension” (v.5). The Greek word for arguments is logismos meaning ‘a reckoning, calculation, consideration, reflection. In the Classical Greek writers, (logismos was) used of the consideration and refection preceding and determining conduct.’ These arguments are our rationalizations for the strongholds we continue to possess in our lives. We maintain excuses for not surrendering areas of our lives to the authority of Christ. You’ve had them. I’ve had them. Never forget that Satan persists where a stronghold exists. He supplies an endless list of rationalizations for the things we do and refuse to do. The other primary word in this phrase: pretension. The Greek word hupsoma means ‘something made high, elevated, a high place…figuratively of a proud adversary, a lofty tower or fortress built up proudly by the enemy. Pride.’
I believe we can draw three conclusions about strongholds based on this definition:
- Every stronghold is related to something we have exalted to a higher position than God in our lives
- Every stronghold pretends to bring something we feel we must have: aid, comfort, the relief of stress, or protection
- Every stronghold in the life of a believer is a tremendous source of pride for the enemy. Let that make you made and determine to stop giving him satisfaction.
Phrase 3: “that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (v 5). The Greek word for the phrase sets itself up to epairo meaning ‘to hoist up as a sail…to lift up the eyes, meaning to look upon.’ Satan’s goal is to be worshiped. This is what he’s always wanted. If Satan can’t get people to worship him directly, he accomplishes his goal by tempting people to worship something or someone other than God.
God created us to worship. We all worship something. According to the definition of epairo, the focus of our worship can be determined by the gaze of our eyes – what or who is the object of our primary focus. Don’t miss this: whatever we worship, we will also obey. Look at the first part of the definition: ‘to hoist up as a sail.” Sails serve both to propel and to determine the direction of the vessel. Strongholds affect behaviors!
Phrase 4: “we take captive every thought” (v.5). The phrase we take captive comes from the Greek word aichmalotizo, meaning ‘a prisoner, captive, to lead captive….By implication, to subdue, bring into subjection.” The verb tense in this phrase implies a REPEATED AND CONTINUOUS ACTION. We are all looking for a quick fix, but God is after lasting change – lifestyle Christianity.
Phrase 5: “to make it obedient to Christ (v.5). God wants us to be victors. We don’t become victors by conquering the enemy. We become victors through surrender to Christ. We don’t become victors by our independence from the enemy. We become victors by our dependence on God. Victorious lives flow from victorious thoughts. Thinking victorious thoughts come from setting our focus on a victorious God.”
I believe that 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a powerful scripture that can help all of us find victory over the strongholds in our lives. I would encourage you to read an article on the “articles” section that is called “What is the Core?” It addresses the issues of “strongholds” and how they impact behavior and identity.