Strongholds in the Bible (2 Corinthians 10:4) do not refer to a fortified physical structure or an external force summoned by the devil against you. It refers to ideas, theories, imaginations, reasoning, beliefs, and other things that are antithetical to God’s word and attack and captivate people’s minds, forcing them to think, behave, and respond in a certain way, preventing them from enjoying their inheritance in Christ.
Strongholds are false beliefs that we have gathered and consider to be true through experience. They are lies about you or problems in your life, but because they have invaded your heart and mind, you are likely to believe them and act on them. These false beliefs are strongholds because they come in the form of limiting beliefs, which lower your self-esteem and prevent you from moving beyond those false ideas.
False beliefs are mental habits that you develop as a result of your experiences, and they determine the experiences you have. For example, if I believe I am incapable of speaking in public, I will not attempt it, and as a result, I will never learn or receive feedback on my skill.
It’s important to understand that our beliefs aren’t always true; they’re only our best guesses at reality based on our past experiences, and they drive our behavior. Our views about ourselves and others prevent us from doing a variety of activities and, as a result, from having experiences that might cause us to rethink those beliefs. They make the world more predictable, so we are often comforted when a belief appears to be true, even if we don’t agree with it. Even in a calamity, saying “I told you so” is fulfilling.
The phrase “false belief” is significant. In fact, it’s the most apt description we can come up with for some of the nonsense we tell ourselves. The amount of misery we go through as a result of long periods of negative thinking and bruised emotions is mind-boggling.
Emotional turbulence, maladaptive behavior, and most so-called “mental disease” are all caused by false ideas. People’s destructive behavior is caused by their false beliefs, even when they are fully aware that it is harmful to them (such as overeating, smoking, lying, drunkenness, stealing or adultery).
When someone repeats a false belief to oneself, it appears to be true. To an untrained counselor, they can even appear to be true. This is partially due to the fact that they frequently include a kernel of truth, and partly due to the fact that the patient has never studied or questioned these false ideas. But please understand that the lies we tell ourselves come straight from hell. The devil himself engraves them and delivers them. He’s a master at spreading false information. He is the father of all lies.
He doesn’t want to be found out, therefore he always presents himself as if the lie he’s telling us is true. “Oh, I can’t do anything right,” they say. “I’m always making mistakes” and “I’m know I will make mistakes” are nice examples. When you’ve recently made a mistake, you’ll believe these lies. A false belief statement is “Oh, I can’t do anything right.” It’s impossible to not be able to do anything right. That is a lie and you are believing a lie if you believe words like that.
“We ask in this petition that God will protect and keep us lest the devil, the world, and our flesh lead us into misbelieve, despair, and other dreadful shame and sin,” Martin Luther wrote in explaining the significance of the Lord’s Prayer’s sixth petition (“Lead us not into temptation”).
We plead with God in this petition that God would guard and keep us lest the devil, the world, and our flesh lead us into misbelieve, despair and other serious shame and vice.” The repercussions of false beliefs do lead to despair and other “great shame and vice.”
Consider the things you tell yourself for a moment. What will you be persuaded by if you convince yourself your mother-in-law despises you or the person next door is a nasty neighbor and a bad so-and-so? What you tell yourself, you’ll believe. As a result, you’ll regard your mother-in-law as a personal foe, and you’ll regard your neighbor as a bad guy. Your mother-in-law and neighbor most certainly gives you a reason to say those things about them, so you can feel justified in your self-talk. You, on the other hand, are a victim of deception. A false belief is a stronghold because it enslaves us and forces us to live in a circle.
The Apostle James explains where toxic self-talk, or false beliefs, originate. (James 3:15)”This [superficial] wisdom is earthly, unspiritual [animal], even wicked, rather than wisdom that comes down from above.”
The devil is the source of negative and distorted statements that a person repeats to himself/herself. Your flesh takes them without question, and then these words of mental poison cause unpleasant emotional aches and pains, much like ruined, rotting food. According to Apostle Paul, eating this toxic diet will kill you. “Setting the mind on the flesh… is death,” he says. You will experience negative thoughts and participate in negative behavior if you continue to tell yourself distorted statements. Painful feelings that last for a long time are against God’s will.
God does not desire His children to be depressed, worried, or enraged indefinitely. Did you know that God wants us to have control over our emotions and actions? We can do that if we let go of our false beliefs and begin to pay attention to our inner dialogue.
Your pleasure and unhappiness are under your control. When you take the initial step and see your false beliefs for what they are, you’ll be on your way to liberation. Learn to spot them and put them in their proper place as devilish lies.
“You will know the truth, and you will be set free by the truth.” is a promise that Jesus made. Allow the truth to reveal your erroneous views for what they are. Bitterness, Fear, oppression, sadness, anxiety, resentment, rage, over-suspiciousness, and hypersensitivity can all be overcome. You may learn self-control while having a good time doing it.
What you believe matters a lot when it comes to emotional and mental wellness. What you believe makes a difference. You are not made joyful by other people, circumstances, events, or material possessions. What makes you happy or miserable is what you believe about these things.
If you believe it would be terrible if no one spoke to you at a dinner party, your mental and emotional selves will respond in kind. You’re tight while getting ready for the party, and you’re nervous on the way there. You’ll notice that you’re sweating and feeling uneasy. Your every desire is to find someone with whom to converse, to participate in activities, and to be loved. You’re perplexed as to why you’re so jittery. “Oh, those parties aren’t for me,” you may rationalize your feelings. “I’m a shy person by nature.”
Do you see how our erroneous beliefs force us to deny ourselves pleasure and the pleasant things that life in Christ has to offer?
Discomfort has never killed anyone, but our erroneous beliefs lead us to believe that it is terrible, awful, miserable, and horrendous, when it is, in reality, tolerable.
How you feel and what you do are determined by what you think and believe. In order to be free from fear, anxiety, worry and depression, it is important that we are not controlled by our human nature and mindset. Only a life that is controlled by the Spirit of God can experience peace from fear and anxiety. (Romans 8:6). “For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace”.
Take Every Thought Captive
Rather than physical dangers or threat, anxiety and fear are triggered by fear-inducing thoughts or attitudes. Indeed, one’s mental attitude or meaning is critical to one’s experience of fear. Only once we assign meaning to people, places, and events do they become fear-inducing. Until our minds and brains interpret them as harmful or frightening, a drive is just a drive, a store is just a store, and a speech is just a speech. Because thoughts are powerful, we must take care of our mind, which is the point of interpretation, in order to overcome fear.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2). A renewed mind is essential for taking control of our thoughts. What does it mean to be mentally renewed? A renewed mind is one that is no longer bound by the standards of this world, it is one that has been transformed. False beliefs that operate as strongholds and limiting forces are not tolerated by a renewed mind. The devil’s lies are not accepted by a renewed mind, only the truth of God’s word is accepted.
Are you desperate, afraid, anxious, abandoned, rejected, or experiencing other forms of emotional distress? You must understand that these are just tricks used by the devil to convince you to believe his lies. He understands that incorrect belief systems lead to incorrect choices, and that a series of incorrect decisions leads to an incorrect life. Correct belief, on the other hand, is right living.
Many believers suffer in silence, unsure of what to do about their inner torment. Believers frequently act as if they are free. God’s children are supposed to be able to experience the true freedom that He has granted them via His Son and His word. Let’s avoid getting caught in the midst. If you suffer from fear, anxiety, worry, or other emotional issues, this book is for you. The greatest approach to conquer this fear is to submit to God’s Word and bring your life under His control. “Casting down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
When the enemy of your soul brings bad thoughts into your mind, say something like, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject this wicked Imagination, and I take captive those evil thoughts in Jesus name.” “Leave me now, Satan!” I command.
On the other hand, if you go ahead and refuse to submit your life to God’s Word, you will find it nearly impossible to overcome the mental struggle that comes in the shape of negative thoughts.
Then you’ll realize how obeying God’s Word is beneficial to you. The issue is that our society has taught us something other than God’s perspective on obedience, particularly in the Western world, where personal expression and opinion are valued above all else. Although freedom is a good thing, if we don’t learn to obey God, we will never obtain true, eternal freedom.
When God’s children suffer with any thinking, stronghold, or evil mindset, we must remember that God wants all of you. God wants to have complete dominion over every Christian’s thinking. Our thoughts should be filled with God and Kingdom goals, and as long as they are, we will flourish and reject the bad concepts that the enemy tries to instill in our spirits.
That doesn’t mean the devil won’t try to assault our minds, but we’ll be more protected since we’ve surrendered our minds to God.
“Let this thought [attitude] be in you, just as it was in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5). In truth, we have Christ’s mentality. “Who knows the thoughts of the Lord to be able to instruct him? But we have Christ’s mind ” (See 1 Corinthians 2:16). This section clearly refers to absorbing thoughts, ideas, arguments, theory, reasoning, warped fantasy, and pride and bringing them to obedience of God’s genuine understanding.
The Bible does not instruct us to take power and control over other people’s thoughts and minds in order to bring them down, rather, we are instructed to seek power and control over our own individual minds. Because the mind is the most common target for the devil’s attacks, the devil employs a strategy of erecting fortifications in our minds that oppose actual knowledge of God.
This is one of the reasons why believers require the whole armor of God, including the helmet of salvation and the shield of faith, in order to defend themselves against the devil’s mental attacks. According to the Bible, believers should repent of their incorrect attitudes and mentally conform to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). “For whom he foreknew, he also predestined, that he could be the firstborn among many brethren, to be confirmed to the image of his son” (Philippians 2:5). “Let this mentality, which was also in Christ Jesus, be in you.” That one thing is our most powerful weapon against the devil’s deception. “Who has known the Lord’s thinking in order to instruct Him? But we have Christ’s mind “.. God renews our mind and emotions, allowing us to take captive every idea of fear, worry, and anxiety.
Our minds instinctively discern between positive and negative thoughts, as well as fearful and courageous thoughts, but only a renewed and transformed mind is capable of capturing negative, frightening, and wicked thoughts.
Mindfulness and Meditation
You’ve experienced what it’s like to surrender your life to fear and anxiety. You don’t get to experience it firsthand. But here’s the thing, here’s the deal. Your life is under your control and you are the mastermind behind it. You have the ability to choose how you react to fear, terrible memories from your past, or a sense of dread about an unknown future. You have the choice of fighting the war with anxiety or making peace with it.
Definition of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of nonjudgmental, sympathetic, and welcoming observation of one’s reality. Simple awareness, or paying attention to your experience from moment to moment, is the first step. You can be aware of both your inner and outer worlds, including your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.
You recognize that all of your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, both unpleasant and enjoyable, are temporary when you practice mindfulness. They appear and disappear, unaffected by any part of you other than your sensations, thoughts, and emotions. You become conscious of your own prejudices and obtain a fresher, better picture of each unfolding moment when you take a step back and witness this process from the perspective of a kind, unbiased observer.
You can quietly examine the distortions and fallacies in your thinking and their impact on your moods, rather of automatically responding to negative thoughts and flailing in a sea of unpleasant emotions. This frequently leads to more informed decisions.
The ability to be mindful is a basic human trait. It is the ability to be aware of one’s surroundings. It is a friendly, non-judgmental, and allowing consciousness. For thousands of years, people have been cultivating this quality through meditation. Mindfulness has traditionally been used to improve spiritual activities and aid in the realization of a greater purpose and meaning in life.
Mindfulness is all over these days, and some people tend to confuse it with “mindlessness,” which is the polar opposite. Others appear to believe that being aware entails having a mind full of something or attempting to fill one’s mind with something. All of this discussion has the potential to make something complicated out of something that is actually quite simple. Let’s try to get a more specific and clear knowledge of mindfulness right now.
The mindfulness method given in this section is based on a meditation-based understanding of mindfulness. The meditation-based method is based on a direct experience of applying attention and awareness to thoughts and other aspects of experience in the present moment.
The advantages and knowledge of mindfulness are derived directly from the mediator’s experience. You must meditate in order for this method to be effective.
Develop and sustain a consistent and dependable mindfulness meditation practice to teach yourself the act of attention and awareness.
The different aspects of Mindfulness
1. Mindfulness is defined as the ability to reflect accurately.
All human beings have the ability to accurately reflect, which is known as mindfulness. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they possess this ability or that they may and should cultivate it. Mindfulness is always present as a possibility, but you may not be employing it all of the time (or even all of the time). You miss so much of your life and are so imprisoned by habitual patterns of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and doing exactly because you fail to recognize and use this ability to be aware.
2. Mindfulness as a Quality
Sometimes mindfulness is referred to as a quality rather than a capability. The qualities include:
– Non-judgment and Openness: Mindfulness is believed to contain specific qualities, such as non-judgment, non-interfering, and non-allowing. Non-striving, non-rejecting, and non-denying are other terms for mindfulness. Just like the mirror reflects whatever comes before it, mindfulness opens to and includes whatever emerges. There is no pro or con to mindfulness. It makes no attempt to increase or decrease, to enhance or modify in any way.
– Kindness and Intimacy: Other essential characteristics connected with mindfulness as it is practiced and cultivated via meditation are intimacy and kindness. This form of intimacy entails being awake and open to direct experience of life in the midst of it, rather than being detached or divided from what is happening right now, in this instant. When you practice mindfulness, you are not detached or separated from your experience, but rather aware and in touch with it as it unfolds.
Kindness is an important aspect of mindfulness. When practicing mindfulness, many meditation masters emphasize the need of having a kind or welcoming attitude toward whatever emerges.
The welcome spirit of kindness or friendliness encourages you to be more receptive to the present moment. It also aids you in overcoming deeply ingrained patterns of judgment and aversion, which often function without your knowledge and prevent you from being present and paying attention on purpose.
3. Mindfulness aids compassion in dealing with pain.
It takes bravery to practice mindfulness because of its intimacy and inclusivity. As one’s consciousness of what is here expands, so does one’s awareness of painful and unpleasant experiences. To face such suffering requires courage and endurance. Everything, including pain and fear, becomes more visible and sensitive as you practice mindfulness. You should be aware that you can feel even worse at first.
However, this is simply one part of the healing and transformation process. You’ll learn to relax and be present as your meditation practice improves, even when anxiety, fear, and panic arise in the present moment. This is a capacity that you create through meditation, not a willpower act.
4. Discovering your open-hearted core awareness
Another part of mindfulness is the gradual finding of one of your center’s core of steadiness and harmony. This core is steadfast, unflappable, and a source of inner calm. Standing at this center, relating to present experience, even unpleasant present experience, you have a greater capacity to stay present.
Even the most distressing sensations, feelings, ideas, and experiences, such as fear, anxiety, panic, and concern, can be viewed as transient events in the mind rather than as “us” or as necessarily true with mindfulness.
You may help your own profound healing by just being present, and you will uncover and live more firmly in your inner zone of calm and equanimity. To be mindful implies to be entirely present in the current moment, with open-hearted awareness.
What is the definition of meditation?
Meditation is a transformational practice that entails:
– Focusing attention in a calm and steady manner.
– Developing a light and clear sense of awareness.
– Increasing your self-awareness and wisdom about yourself and your life.
– Having the virtues of kindness and compassion ingrained in one’s personality.
Meditation is the act of creating something new. Meditation is the act of expressing what you’ve seen or imagined with your mind’s eyes. The act of creating does not end with you simply picturing something and leaving it at that. You must construct and form it when you have seen it. Let us take a hint from God himself, who created man from within (Genesis 1:26-27). “……… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. After then, he molded man from the dust of the ground, according to what he had created from within himself. (Genesis 2:7). “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.
To meditate is to concentrate one’s thoughts on something, to contemplate or dwell on it, to plan or project it in one’s mind. However, in this case (Joshua 1:8). The Hebrew term “Hagah,” which meaning “to think,” “to mumble,” or “to scream,” is translated as “Meditate.” The three stages or levels of meditation are shown in this way.
As a result, meditation encompasses more than just wondering, brooding, or reflecting on something. It also entails whispering that concept under your breath, speaking it aloud to yourself, yelling it. To put it another way, you’re saying something with your mind on it. You’re persuading your entire system to embrace a particular truth.
Different Types of Meditation
There are numerous diverse meditation practices, however they can be categorized into two general categories:
1. A Focused or Concentrative Approach.
2. A Mindful Approach.
1. Concentrative Approach: This method entails practicing meditation in a way that emphasizes attention concentration, such as narrowing your focus on a single object. It’s possible that the object is internal or external. The item could be a sound outside of you, or it could be the sensation of your breath. It could be a simple phrase or word that you keep repeating in your head.
Jacob is an example from the Bible. Jacob’s father, Isaac, had taught him how to meditate. He’d learned the power of meditation and how to utilize his thoughts to manifest his desires. This is why, despite being confronted with numerous scenarios that should have worried him, he emerged victorious. He came out quite affluent after suffering many things for many years under his uncle Laban. (Genesis 30:37–38).”And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree, and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink”.
Keep a close eye on what Jacob was doing. He wasn’t performing a ritual, as some have assumed or speculated. He was assisting his vision in the same way that God assisted Abraham’s vision by having him count the stars. Jacob carved marks on rods from poplar, hazel, and chestnut trees to resemble the stripes, spots, and speckles on the bodies of the striped, spotted, and speckled animals.
He then placed these rods where the animals came to drink and mate, in order to aid his vision of them giving birth to spotted, speckled, and striped young, which he believed could happen if they mated in front of the rods. As a result, he concentrated on this.
This is how you can make your vision better. You meditate until the image of what you wish to see fills your entire consciousness. That’s why it’s sometimes tough to see anything while you’re meditating in your closet with nothing in front of you. Begin by reading scripture, or other things that are relevant to your vision. If you’re meditating and not focusing on anything, your mind won’t be able to create a picture. This is a skill you must master.
2. A Mindful Approach: The second group of meditation techniques focuses on awareness or mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation entails paying attention in a particular way in order to become more aware of the current moment and everything that is going on right now, without passing judgment.
The mindfulness method to meditation draws on your natural ability to recognize what is happening in the present moment, including thoughts. This awareness is developed by paying attention to whatever arises in the present moment on purpose, broadly, deeply, and without judgment.
True-present-moment awareness is the key to changing your anxiety experiences. It also enables you to notice your worried thoughts without judging them, to recognize them simply as thoughts that arise in the present moment, and to maintain a calm core that is not characterized by fear.
An example from the Bible is Isaac: We can see that Isaac had learned the same lesson that God had taught his father Abraham. He knew what to do with his thoughts and meditation sessions. When he was confronted with difficulties, he would have been terrified that everyone was quitting Gerar and fleeing to Egypt because of the horrible economy. During one of his meditation sessions, the Lord appeared to him and told him to stay.(Genesis 26:2).”And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of”. Isaac stayed put, and despite the fact that the land was parched, his well gushed water everywhere he dug. His crop thrived when other harvests failed. (Genesis 26:12-14). “And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of, And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great……..” He prospered and continued to prosper, according to the Bible, until the Philistines envied him.
He was a wealthy man who built his fortune through Mindfulness meditation.
When we use Mindfulness and Meditation to captive our thoughts, it helps us to easily eliminate the negative and fearful thoughts, in other to create and form a positive thought that will change us and make us live a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.
1. What are strongholds, and why is it important to take your thoughts captive?
2. A renewed mind is very crucial, when we talk about taking our thoughts captive. How then, can you renew your mind?
3. Define Mindfulness and Meditation.
4. How does Mindfulness and Meditation help to reduce fear, worry, anxiety, depression and other emotional distress?
5. Mention the approaches of Meditation with example.