Overcoming Strongholds

Overcoming Strongholds
by Beth Moore

First Corinthians 6:17 speaks of this supernatural consolidation: "he who unites himself with the Lord is one with in spirit." The key to victory as we occupy this triangular temple is to bow daily, perhaps a half dozen times daily, to the control of the Holy Spirit over our lives. Our bodies and our feelings and personalities are wonderful components sanctified by God when the Spirit is in control. I am convinced that a huge part of wholeness in the life of a believer is when God has been allowed to sanctify (take over and set apart) our whole spirit, soul, and body.

Before we get started with our Scripture-prayers, I'd like for you to see one more very important truth encased in 1 Thessalonians 5:24. Thank goodness the Word says, "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." You and I cannot get our bodies and souls under continued control. Cease trying to "get yourself together" and be disciplined in your own strength. It is useless. We might make it work for a little while, but failure is imminent, and when it comes, it is very destructive. The King James Version offers some interesting wording in Colossians 2:20-23 that applies to our subject.

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as through living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances. (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using:) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Notice the phrase will worship. You see, if a man could truly subdue all his fleshly appetites by the pure power of his own determination, he would simply worship his own will. If the Word of God is about anything at all, it is about God's will rather than ours. Our liberty is paradoxically discovered through the will of God rather than our own. God will never allow us continued success through our own fleshly determination to "touch not, taste not, handle not." He knows we would end up worshiping our own wills and methods. Through the might of His Holy Spirit released through the authority of His Word, we are empowered to say no to things we should--to our excesses, withholdings, compulsions, and harmful consumptions--and say yes to freedom, moderation and better health. When we bow to God's authority, we invite Him to take control, and He is the One who does it, as 1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells us.

The question of authority is one we are challenged to answer every single day. The concept of rededication our lives to Christ only at infrequent revivals or conferences can prove disappointing and defeating. Joshua 24:15 suggests a far more workable approach: "Choose this day whom you will serve" (emphasis mine). Christ repeated the concept when He called us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. Do you want to know something wonderful? A daily recommitment is not to ensure that we'll never fail, but to help us develop the mentality that every single day is a new day. A new chance to follow Christ. Obedience to God is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is something to which we recommit every single day, no matter how we blew it the day before. Victorious living is not an instant arrival. It is the pursuit of one victorious day at a time until the sun sets enough to begin forming victorious habits.

So, are you just about to give up? Good. Give yourself up to God, to the authority of His Holy Spirit. Both Galatians 5:22 and 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that self-discipline is a work and a quality of the fruit of the Spirit. Stop feeling guilty because you don't have any self-discipline on your own. Neither does that together-looking person next to you. None of us can master ourselves. Some yokes may be more obvious than others, but all of us have had them. God is the only One who can sanctify and make every part of us whole. . ."and He will do it." All He wants is our trust, our belief, and a little time.

"Praying Gods Word" by Beth Moore, Overcoming Food Strongholds, pages 150-152, Broadman & Holman Publishers, ISBN 080542351-6

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