Overcoming Obsession… or Smashing Strongholds!

Please find my notes below for Drive Pt. 3 “Overcoming Obsession.”  (c) 2012, Terry Broadwater.  For personal use only.  For all other uses contact info@gccnetwork.org.

You’ve heard of the group “Smashing Pumpkins?”  Well, later you’re going to get a chance to experience something similar to that; only it’s going to be “smashing other types of garden vegetables, fruits, and maybe even some other cool stuff!”  But, first, this is Part 3 of the series called, “DRIVE- What drives your life?”  And we want that to be passion for the right things.  Last week we talked about the difference between passion and obsession and we need to further explore and talk about how to overcome an obsession.  Because obsession is passion out of control, as well as being a stronghold in your life!  Today, we’re going to learn how to let God’s truth over come the obsession and smash the strongholds!

Text: 2 Cor. 10: 3-5 (NIV) “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not of this world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Notice, that says, “we wage war” but “not like the world!”  It says, “We have weapons” but “not the weapons the world uses!”  And it says, “we demolish strongholds- smash, smash, smash strongholds!”  The Bible says, “I have divine power to demolish what?  Strongholds!”  Define “Strongholds”- (Greek) “ochuroma” and it literally means to “fortify” like a “strong castle”; “a fortified opinion or obsession!”  Three things about strongholds:

A stronghold is “a prisoner locked up by deception”- believing a lie as if it were true!  Ochuroma!  For women it’s the girl who thinks she’s fat and ugly, when in reality she’s not, so she becomes obsessed with dieting or with having to look like the models on TV.  A stronghold!  For men, it’s just the opposite- guys think they’re hot when they’re really not!  Like when we we’re on a cruise a few summers ago and guys are walking around in Speedos- that’s nasty, that’s a sin, you’re going to hell for that!  Men, you don’t wear Speedos!  God’s Word is clear on that!

A stronghold is “a place of strength where evil is entrenched”- it’s not easily exposed or necessarily obvious.  You may not even be aware that there is a particular stronghold in your life- but evil has some deep roots down deep in some place in your life, or in a home, or in a church because of an obsession- the domination of a thought, image, or other such thing!

A stronghold is “well protected and difficult to attack”- areas of life, in the mind, in people, places, where the enemy (remember this is spiritual warfare) has a very strong foothold and he’s not going to give it up easily!  And many times it’s because he’s been entrenched there for so long he’s really got dug in…

That’s “ochuroma”, a stronghold caused by obsession, a prisoner locked up by deception, a place where evil is entrenched, something that’s difficult to attack!  But, we don’t overcome those things with the weapons of this world- instead we have the weapons of God and divine power!  To do what?  To demolish strongholds!  And today the Spirit of the Lord is going to start smashing strongholds!

Three things God’s Word teaches us about smashing strongholds?  Do you want to know what they are?

IDENTIFY THE STRONGHOLD

  • You have to identify the stronghold that may already exist, or the obsessive tendency that can become a stronghold- see it for what it is.  This isn’t always easy to do because we’re being deceived in some way and don’t realize it’s a stronghold in our lives.
  • 2 Tim. 2:26 (NLT)“Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap.  For they have been taken captive by him to do whatever he wants…”
  • What is Satan’s greatest strategy?  To lie to you to make you a prisoner locked up by deception.  And his greatest weapon?  A lie!  Jesus said, Jn. 8:44, “There is no truth in him.  When he lies it is consistent with his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  Satan wants to fill your mind with lies and make you a prisoner, locked up by deception that is driven by obsession!
  • I’m going to give you 5 “strongholds caused by obsession” (actually found 142 listed on one website!) that Satan wants to hold you captive in.  We’re going to ask God to help us: To be able to say, “That’s me, that’s definitely an obsessive area or stronghold in my life!”

Material Obsession or Strongholds- Believing that “stuff” will make you happy.  “If only I had more money or a better job or if I could just go shopping every day…”  Everything in your life seems to always come down to the money; to the stuff; you become obsessed with it…

Addictive/Habitual Obsessions or Strongholds- You’re addicted to something, it’s a habit in your life.  Maybe you’re addicted to $4 starbucks coffees (me) And you’re obsessed with it, and you’re a prisoner locked up by deception in a stronghold of Satan!  Addictions/Habits.

Physical Appearance Obsessions or Strongholds- You don’t like your body, your nose, your ears, your lips, whatever…  “I wish my body was different…”  Some of you it’s, “I can’t stop eating all the time and look at me, I’m ugly, I don’t like myself.”  For others it’s the flip side.  You’re so about going to the gym everyday, sometimes twice a day!  You’re obsessed with how you look…

Relational Obsessions or Strongholds- You just don’t have good relationships and for the most part it’s because you’re so bitter, so critical, so judgmental, so obseesed all the time.

Spiritual Obsessions or Strongholds- the “bottom line” is that you just don’t trust God!  You want to be in control.  You want to manipulate.   Or you’re obsessed with ministry or what you do for God. 

Now, I know this is humbling, but it’s also right and it’s freedom from the trap, the deception you’ve been a prisoner of!  I don’t just want you to raise your hand but I want you to, with God’s help, identify your stronghold, so you can deal with it and defeat it!  So, that’s the first thing we do- identify the stronghold!

ATTACK THE STRONGHOLD

  • Attack, attack, attack!  Once you’ve identified it, you’ve got to go on the offensive!  You don’t hope it will go away or pray, “God will you please take it away…”  You attack.  Let me explain…
  • Prov. 21:22 (NIV) “A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.”  Notice it says, he “attacks!”  The wise man doesn’t sit around passively.  He attacks and pulls down the stronghold, defeats the obsession.  He attacks with the weapons of God!
  • Hear me clearly- that whatever area you have an obsession or a stronghold and you’re a prisoner locked up by deception, that is fertile ground for the evil one to pass it on to the next generation!  God’s Word says emphatically that generational strongholds can get passed down.  And if you don’t break it, it will break you and try to break your family, and so on and so on…
  • 2 Cor. 10:3 ““For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.”  The Greek word for “wage war” is strateia and it means “military warfare, fighting with a military strategy!”  How does the world fight?  12 step programs, investigations, classes, counseling, Dr. Phil, pills…  I’m not saying these things are bad or that they don’t help.  But, there is a more powerful, stronger, divine weaponry!
  • 2 Cor. 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not of this world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”   Divine “dermatose”- dynamite!  Dynamic power to demolish strongholds!  Say “demolish!”  Destroy, obliterate, smash strongholds!
  • That’s just not a humorous way to illustrate this- it’s very biblical!  You’ve got to attack your stronghold with God’s weapons so you can “throw it down violently”, smash it, level it, completely demolish it!

USE GOD’S WEAPONS

  • Armor of God   If you want to smash strongholds, “kathaireo”, violently throw down, then you need to put on the armor of God and use the weapons of prayer and truth!  Remember, this is spiritual warfare; this is being militant; this is going up against entrenched evil!
  • Prayer: Eph. 6:10-18 “The armor of God!”  Note v. 18 “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers…”  After you’ve put on all the armor, you need to pray.  Prayer is the first weapon.  Prayer that is strategically aimed at the stronghold and is in the authority of the name of Jesus!  In Jesus name!  Why?  Because He owns hell!  We are authorized in His name!  How many of you know that authoritative prayer, in the name of Jesus prayer, is one of your weapons to smash strongholds?  Are you using it?
  • Truth!  What did Jesus say?  John 8:32 “You will know the TRUTH, and the truth will set you free!”  We must learn to use the “truth” against the devil’s “lies!”  We’ve got to learn how to apply what God’s Word says to all those things that can be or are strongholds and smash them!  Now get this- you smash the stronghold with God’s truth!  Because when the truth of God’s Word smacks up against the devil’s lies, those lies shatter; they disintegrate!  2 Cor. 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We demolish everything that is not of God!  Throw it down!  Smash it!

We decide that we will no longer be a prisoner locked up by deception.  Rather that being the prisoner of the lie, we make the lie our prisoner!  And we make it obedient to Christ!  We let the power of the truth of God’s Word to change our thinking; it renews our mind; it sets us free from the lie; it smashes the stronghold!  “We demolish every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…”  Identify the stronghold.  Attack the stronghold.  Use God’s weapons!

What’s your lie?  What’s your stronghold?  What’s your obsession?  What deception is locking you up as a prisoner?  Is it a material stronghold?  An addictive stronghold?  A physical stronghold?  A relational stronghold?  A spiritual stronghold?  What lie are you believing in; where evil has entrenched itself?  Where are you getting suckered in by the devil?  Where is your life out of control and over the edge?

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”  I’m overcoming a stronghold in my life that I’ve very transparently shared with you.  And because I’m smashing mine you can smash yours with God’s weapons!

Prayer:  “God, right now, free people from the ochuroma, the fortified prison of deception!”

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