I recently finished reading, "Demolishing Strongholds" by Johnny Hunt (it was part of an 8 week men's Bible study at Calvary Church of Clearwater). It's a fantastic book that deals head-on with common struggles among men (pride, greed, pornography, inaction, etc) that tend to become deep-rooted habitual self-destructive behaviors ("strongholds") that not only limit our potential and push away God's desired blessings, but also act similarly in our lives as a very treatable (and preventable) chronic disease slowly killing our spiritual life as well as our quality of life. The ironic thing about most strongholds is that we are the ones who invite them into our lives and give them residency, comfort, and nourishment. Strongholds thrive on our own foolishness, lack of self discipline, and apathy. God gives us the wisdom, self discipline, and fighting spirit to overcome any and all strongholds in His power, but we tend to ignore these options and opt to feed the enemies within instead of starve them to death. The payoff for keeping the stronghold is usually an instant short-term emotional & psychological thrill. BUT it comes at a high price typically costing us our joy, freedom, peace of mind, fullness of life, closeness to God & others, longevity, full potential, greater opportunities, future, marriages, friendships, and the list of casualties goes on and on. The capacity to demolish strongholds is one of the many things Jesus came to provide through His death and resurrection (aka: Happy Easter!). The amazing gift of God to enable us to engage in spiritual warfare and valiantly fight to take back lost territory currently occupied by the enemy is, in actuality, the ultimate opportunity to live out Gladiator & Braveheart everyday. This real life fight is better than any movie or video game ever created. And the real life ecstasy that is experienced by regaining each inch, each yard, each acre of your lost & stolen territory is almost indescribable. It's possible. It's real. And it's AMAZING! But it doesn't just happen. You have to be intentional. You have to be strategic. You have to be partnered with the power of the Holy Spirit and armed with a sharp sword (God's Word) & a shield of faith. And just as importantly you have to FIGHT. Relentlessly. Ruthlessly. Ferociously. You have to run to the battle draw your sword and take on every occupier of your territory. With each advancement you'll gain back lost freedom, lost joy, lost fullness of life, lost fruit, lost respect, lost opportunities, lost potential. You'll be unleashed. Unstoppable. Nothing will be out of reach. Pick a stronghold. Develop a wise strategy with The General. And fight like a WARRIOR! Your freedom is worth it! Demolish your strongholds in Jesus name!!
PS: Thank you Calvary Church of Clearwater (and many other churches) for investing in men's ministries! Eternity will one day show the eternal dividends of this investment =)
STRiVE to THRiVE!