Part 1 – Understand Footholds And Strongholds for VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION
The difference between footholds and strongholds can be explained as follows. You hear many Christians speak often of footholds and tearing down strongholds. Rarely is it ever explained what is a foothold and what is a stronghold. The Bible verse that speaks clearly of strongholds is II Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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.”
God has shown me a very simple example to understand the difference between footholds and strongholds. A foothold can be described when a push-in intruder has one foot in your front door while you are attempting to push the door shut and lock it so he cannot enter. There is some difficulty to close the door. It all depends on the amount of force you need to use against the intruder’s force. You may need to use excessive force or little force. It all depends on how much effort you place behind your push. The desired result, which is very attainable, is you can close and lock the door. You can eliminate the foothold and expel the intruder. With a foothold, you can close the door quite easily. I recently experienced what a foothold is like by placing my foot in a door as if to enter while someone pushed forcefully to close it. It is easy to close the door with the right force because my foot was in so much pain that I could not enter. I had to pull my foot away. Did my foot hurt!
The problem becomes worse when the intruder, after gaining a foothold, now gains access into your house. (It is even more dangerous when you do not even attempt to close the door when his foot is in. You actually hold it open it widely for him to enter.) Now the intruder has set up a stronghold in your house. It will take much more than pushing the door shut. You will now really need much more force to evict him. His entire self is in. He is now in your house uninvited. His plan, in one way or another, is to take over and control your entire house, especially family members. (Personal Note: I know you can easily relate to what I just shared about footholds and strongholds in your own life.)
This is what occurred to my house and family when I was living as a very depressed Christian. I was very gullible to subtle, Satanic influence. Notice I said “subtle” – because this is how frequently the dumb devil works to gain access into our lives. He will twist even the smallest truth to poison our minds with error and lead us into sin. It becomes much easier to sin once the devil has a stronghold. As dumb as the devil is, we, in our flesh, are so much dumber. How easily gullible we become!
First, Satan gradually gained a small foothold into my family. He started with a small foot in my front door. I was too weak mentally to “spiritually” close the door. I probably, very ignorantly, invited him in. With me, the spiritual head of my family, being very depressed in my mind, I was blind to see his satanic influence gain this foothold. If I did see it, I was too fearful and not mentally prepared to deal with it. It can be described as if I tried to push the door shut very gently while Satan had his foot in the door. Of course, I would be unsuccessful. It is like closing the door in my own willpower instead of Jesus (through His love) pushing it shut through me. In my own willpower, I am totally at the devil’s mercy. This is deadly because the devil has no mercy. All my efforts are a lost cause. I failed to close and lock the door because I failed to let Jesus in me close the door and lock (seal) it with His Holy Spirit. The only obvious result is Satan’s foothold now becoming a stronghold. Satan was now in my house totally. He had free reign. He was gradually gaining more influence and control over the minds of my family. Can you imagine the “death” that would lie ahead for my family? How well can you see satanic footholds and strongholds in your life? You understand well the danger ahead for my family, especially magnified because I was mentally depressed. Satan would continue to easily influence his evil throughout my family. He sure had free reign to spread “death” throughout my family. It sure was many years of “death” as I now look back. All this occurred because I did not know how to let Christ stop him and take over my life. As my family situation became worse, I know Satan laughed every time I rebuked him or quoted Scripture to claim my victory. I was doing it in the self-effort of the flesh. I remember telling Satan hundreds of times, “I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus. I rebuke you. I rebuke you. I rebuke you.” And on and on it went. I said it so often and very confidently. Yet, nothing changed for the better; it only became worse. Do you know why? Because I attempted to do it instead of permitting Jesus to do it through me. My flesh became the center of attention as I battled Satan.
My life became like a football game with me as the coach and the Holy Spirit sitting on the bench waiting for my word to enter the game. Every time my depression became worse, the Holy Spirit would nudge me saying, “Let me enter the game, Coach Bob. I can really help.” Often, I would ignore the Holy Spirit telling Him, “Leave me alone. I know what I am doing. After all, I am the coach.” Every time I pushed the Holy Spirit away, He turned around with His head hanging down. Frequently, the Holy Spirit was left on the sidelines grieving. How easy it is to miss the Lord at certain times of one’s life!
To evict Satan would now require a lot more work and effort. But whose work and whose effort? It becomes much easier to defeat strongholds and footholds when Jesus does it through me.
To be continued……