Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed in America. The word spread from Capitol Hill down into the valleys of Virginia, and the Carolinas, and evens into the plantations of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. The headlines read, ’Slavery Legally Abolished!’ However, the greater majority of slaves, in the South, went right on living as though there had been no emancipation. They went on living like they had never been set free.
In fact, when one Alabama slave was asked what he thought of the proclamation had gone into effect, he replied “I don’t know nothing about Abraham Lincoln except they say he set us free. And, I don’t know nothing about that neither.” How tragic. A war was being fought. A document had been signed and Slaves were legally set free, yet most continued to live out their years without knowing anything about it. Even though emancipated, they kept serving the same master throughout their lives.
Yet, so it is with many believers today. They have been set free, yet they remain slaves to the same strongholds that have gripped them all of their life. The fact of the matter is that every one of us, whether big or small must combat the hold that habits can have upon our life. In the text before us, the Apostle Paul speaks of these habits in the life of the believer. However, the word ’habit’ is not found in the verses of this passage. Rather, he uses quite a graphic word to describe that which harms us, hurts us, and hinders us, harbors us, and holds us. He does that by referring to these matters as “strongholds.”
Definition of Strongholds: “Patterns in your life that are deeply entrenched and habitually perform them that you don’t even recognize how they are hurting our spiritual lives. You don’t even recognize that you have the power to do anything differently How long have you been struggling with your sinful habits? If it is more than 6 weeks, it is a stronghold.
Are there situations in your experience as an individual where evil is entrenched in your life. Long-standing evil, protected, and resisting all attempts to overthrow it, persisting in holding you in bondage, darkness and despair? What can be done about it?
Paul says that one of the first steps is to identify strongholds. In verse 4. we’re reminded that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”