Pulling                    Down Strongholds

                               By Phil Scovell

                             2 Corinthians 10:4-6

     4   For the weapons of our warfare are  not carnal, but mighty through
     God to the pulling down of strong holds;
     5   Casting  down imaginations,  and  every high  thing that  exalteth
     itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every
     thought to the obedience of Christ;
     6  And  having in a readiness  to revenge all disobedience,  when your
     obedience is fulfilled.

          He was in  his mid fifties and  had been using illegal  drugs, of
     one type  or another, for  the majority  of his adult  life.   Now his
     desire was  to walk  clean before  the Lord.   Raised  in church  from
     childhood, he should have started  with a solid foundation but due  to
     physical and emotional trauma, resulting  in anger and hate and guilt,
     his  ability to walk with the Lord was spiritually frustrated.  Hence,
     the drugs  he used  killed the  pain.   The problem,  of course,  with
     drugs, or sexual immorality, and  any other form of habitual behavior,
     is the  artificial generated  mechanism that  becomes the  synthesized
     substitute  for a  complete catharsis  of human  behavior and  thus is
     easily expressed by profligacy.  This is especially amplified into the
     acute range of woundedness when physical abuse is part of the trauma.

          We opened with a basic prayer and asked the Holy Spirit to direct
     us.   Then I prayed about the feelings he had at the moment he decided
     to go get high and the specific emotions he had at that very moment of

          "I'm in a cave.  I see some light," he reported, "but I can't get
     out because there  is a  large black  thing, dressed  in heavy  battle
     armor, blocking the exit to the cave.  It won't let me out."

          "Ok," I said.  "Lord Jesus,  does this lying spirit have a  right
     to be here and blocking his exit?"

          "It says it is his job," Keith reported.

          "Lord Jesus?  What is the source of this lying spirits job, as he
     calls it, which  gives him license, as  he thinks, to stop  Keith from
     experiencing  total freedom and  is thwarting your  healing process in
     his life?"

          Keith then  said, "Well, I'm back  to where we  have been before.
     You know, when I was being physically beaten by my father with a belt.
     No.   Wait.  Now I passed beyond that memory and I'm in the woods with
     that girl I told you about before.  Remember?"

          I did remember that  prayer session.  Keith had  noticed boys and
     girls  were different, as  so many of  us did, long  before becoming a
     teenager.   He  and a  little girl  in the  neighborhood began  sexual
     experimentation  as childhood  preadolescence.   This  was, without  a
     doubt, what the lying spirit was attempting to guard in order  to keep
     this adult  man from  now walking free,  thus, a  stronghold had  been
     created by a pubescent act of preadolescent behavior.

          "Lord Jesus?" I asked, "did  you know about this experience Keith
     had with this little girl?"

          "He is there," Keith said, "and appearing  over and above us.  He
     saw everything.  He is fully aware of what I did."

          "Ok," I replied, "good."

          At  this exact moment,  I felt an  unholy covenant, an  evil soul
     tie,  had  been   established  between  Keith  and  the  little  girl.
     Otherwise, how could a  battle harden and armored lying spirit be able
     to keep him trapped?  I asked  Keith to pray these words after me  and
     he did.

          "Heavenly  Father, in the name  of the true  Lord Jesus Christ, I
     break this  evil soul  tie that  keeps me attached  to this  girl.   I
     confess  it was sin  and ask  you to  forgive me.   Create in  me, the
     attitude toward her,  that you want me  to have.  I take  back all the
     ground I  have given the  Enemy, and I  give it  back to you  for your
     honor and  glory.   I pray  this in the  name of  the true  Lord Jesus

          I  then prayed  something  like this:   "Lord  Jesus,  I call  to
     attention, the lying spirit keeping Keith trapped.  I dismiss him, and
     all those working under  his authority that we may not  see right now,
     from their assignments  against him.  I bind them all together as one.
     I strip them of  their armor and weapons.  I bind  all their words and
     utterances, and everything they have  spoken against Keith I bind back
     to  them.   I remind  them that  the  blood of  Jesus Christ,  and the
     finished cross of Jesus Christ, stands between them and Keith.   I now
     command then to go to the place that the true Lord  Jesus Christ wants
     them to go.

          "Lord Jesus?  Is there anything you want Keith to know or see  or
     feel right now about what we are praying about?"

          Note.   I did not  wait to  see if the  lying spirits  had obeyed
     because I knew they had to according to Scripture.

          "I'm  free," he  suddenly announced.   "I  feel His  presence and
     peace.  I  feel it deep down  in side of me.   This can't hurt  me any

          "What about the  armored lying spirit back at the  cave where you
     were trapped inside?" I asked.

          "He's gone," Keith reported with confidence, "and I see even more
     light than before.   I'm not fully out of the cave yet  but I see much
     more light than before and nothing is blocking my exit."

          There  is a  great deal  more  that occurred  during this  prayer
     session  than time  would permit  to  explain but  these are  the main


          I wanted you  to see how we  can be tormented by  lies guarded by
     lying spirits.   These particular types of lies are strongholds, in my
     opinion, and they  are guarded often, by lying spirits  who attempt to
     hide themselves to make it more difficult to locate the very lies they
     are  guarding.   The  mind  will  attempt,  in severe  situations,  to
     suppress, or repress,  the pain and thus  even the true nature  of the
     memory can  be morphed into  something other than the  original memory
     event.  It  makes little difference because Jesus  knows exactly where
     they, the lying spirits, and the lies  are hiding, and He is more than
     willing to expose the lies for what they are.

          Strongholds,  relative to  the  severity of  the  trauma, can  be
     block,  suppressed,  from  the conscious  mind,  or  repressed, hidden
     excluded,  and  even  altered.    Although  the  damaged emotions  can
     surface,  the  actual  event  can  become  metamorphic;  only  looking
     something  like the original in vague  terms.  This makes the horrible
     memory emotionally and intellectually manageable.


          For example, I  was praying with  a woman one  time who had  been
     sexually molested multiple times during childhood.  During  one prayer
     session, one in which we had been to before, something changed  in the
     context of the memory  event itself.  She, at the age of six, was left
     home  alone with a house guest living with the family.  She had always
     said he  molested  her, as  others  had, but  this  time, due  to  her
     Dissociative  Identity Disorder, or multiple personalities, one of her
     alternate personalities  spoke up  during the  heinous encounter,  and
     offered to assist  us in becoming aware  of what was really  going on.
     In the midst of  the worst of the memory,  she now admitted she  truly
     had been raped  by the man and  described the complete details  of how
     she was  treated by  him  before and  afterwards.   This included  his
     promise to take  her to the store to  by a chocolate candy  bar if she
     kept  their little  secret.  In  a very  literal sense, from  that day
     forward, she became addicted to chocolate.  In fact, she admitted that
     it made her  feel better and more  pleasant and calm whenever  she ate
     chocolate but she was under the impression that her love for chocolate
     was tied to her father who awarded her often by buying  her chocolate.
     The lie was finally exposed, the truth was made known by the Lord, and
     now she can eat chocolate as she wishes and doesn't feel the emotional
     and psychological addictiveness  to the candy.  I  personally consider
     this another classic  example of a  stronghold; so well hidden  by the
     Enemy,  that the  psychological  trauma, which  created  the pain  and
     woundedness,  is emotionally and  intellectually manageable.   You can
     see  how  the  event  was  changed  just  enough  so  that  she  could
     psychologically  manage  the  trauma, not  to  mention  the tremendous
     physical pain and  bleeding that occurred, which she  experienced as a
     six  year  old   little  girl.     Since   her  "helpers,"   alternate
     personalities had  been created  as a  very young child  due to  other
     events, she had learned to cope with prior acts of sexual molestation.
     Since she  was already multiple  personality, one of her  helpers, who
     was assigned  to  assist in  keeping  the  secret in  order  that  the
     authentic  child could  live with  the pain  that the  trauma created,
     assisted her  in hiding  the real  truth  that she  had been  brutally
     raped.  Thus,  the literal memory event  was changed to  something she
     had learned she could tolerate  emotionally and mentally at that young


          Now, once  the lies are exposed and removed  and the truth of God
     is spoken by  the Holy Spirit,  they do not  return and that  specific
     area of woundedness  is eternally healed.  That's  right; the healing,
     renewing of the mind, is  final.  No, the  memory is not modified,  or
     changed in any  way, other than  the application of  the truth of  the
     Lord Jesus Christ when unveiled.   Thus, when the memory does come  to
     mind, as commonly as any other memory we may recall, there  will be no
     pain, fear,  guilt, or  suffering associated with  the memory.   There
     can, of course, be sadness, as is the case with grief.  My father died
     forty-five years ago  when I was eleven and I still  miss him and feel
     emotional sadness to  this day as a  result of that  void in my  life.
     Such  sadness is  natural  and  not destructive  nor  has the  sadness
     distorted the memories of my dad.


          Footholds,  as  I see  it,  are  lies easier  to  locate  and are
     generally on  the surface, that is, they can  be seen because they are
     not suppressed or  repressed.  Lying spirits may  attempt to block the
     healing power and authority of the true Lord Jesus Christ but it makes
     little difference because they are no match against the Master Healer;
     Jesus The Christ.   Besides, the True  Lord Jesus Christ is  master of
     all spirits; good  and evil.  Lying spirits, of course, don't like the
     fact that the  True Lord Jesus Christ  is their Lord and  Master, too,
     but they will obey His Word; like it or not.


          Finally,  what I  call  handholds, are  nothing  more than  lying
     spirits  attempting  to invade  our thoughts  and feelings  to implant
     lies.    The use  circumstances,  mostly,  to  attempt to  invade  our
     thoughts.  Learn to pray, and becoming God aware, easily exposes these
     attempts  and impede  their  intrusion,  thus,  taking  every  thought

          Most of us suppress, or manage,  our woundedness by activity.  In
     psychological terms,  we modify our behavior and activities to control
     the pain we feel when it attempts to surface.   We become overly busy,
     for example,  or involve ourselves  with hobbies to the  extreme, body
     building and exercise becomes paramount, we focus excessively  on what
     we  eat, or  don't eat,  we may  decide to  volunteer  for everything,
     church meetings and  specialized Bible conferences and  cruises become
     an outward  expression of spirituality, Scripture memorization becomes
     addictive, and even our financial giving to ministries can be  used to
     keep that guilt buried  deep.  Long hours of prayer  also can become a
     substitute for peace.  I used  to read the Bible through, from  cover-
     to-cover,  once a month until  I passed the  100 mark.   Some even use
     fasting  as a  God-arm-twisting exercise  to get  His attention.   No,
     there  is nothing  wrong  with any  of these  things unless  they have
     become behavioral substitutes for the authentic peace of God.

          Of course, there  is always the old fallback,  legalism, which we
     have fine  tuned theologically to  perform better than a  well trained
     circus animal.  You know the Christian drill: Not going to movies, not
     renting,  God  forbid,   recorded  movies,  only   watching  Christian
     programming, giving your computer away, fasting, (there's a good one),
     and even winning  more people to Christ  than anybody in  your church.
     If you don't think any, if not  all, of these things can indeed become
     a  spiritual  mechanism to  bury  woundedness even  in the  life  of a
     Christian, then you already are living with deceitfulness.  No, silly.
     It doesn't mean you aren't saved; it means you are deceived and likely
     don't know  it.  No,  I didn't say  you are less  of a Christian  as a
     result; you just  want to walk free,  don't you?   Me, too.  So  let's
     work together.   Let's become God Aware and know His voice better than
     any other so we can walk perpetually free and spiritually conscious of
     His presence in our lives.

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone

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