In my last post, I addressed the fact that strongholds are by nature illogical because you cannot oppose the God of Truth and operate in logic. Second Cor. 10:5 defines a stronghold as “arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” In other words, whatever God is for, a stronghold will automatically be against, no matter how illogical that may be.
Target’s bathroom policy demonstrates the illogical nature of the spirit of tolerance: “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. …We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. …Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
(Sidebar: unless, of course, you happen to believe gender is sacred and that there’s something fundamentally wrong with a male using a female restroom or vice versa; then there’s no inclusivity for you. But inclusivity is our core belief.)
Conservative believers are up in arms, crying foul in response to the all-inclusive policy that, ironically, excludes us. We look at each other and ask, “Doesn’t everyone see how illogical this is?” We feel the need to do something in light of such insanity, so we write articles and post on social media, hoping our logical explanations will help others see the light. But it doesn’t have the impact we had hoped for.
Because strongholds don’t respond to logic.
It’s not that we shouldn’t be vocal about the truth and take strong moral stands in the natural. We absolutely should. But we must discern that the real power behind our actions in the natural comes from recognizing our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. The enemy is not Target, the executives who instituted the policy, the people who condone Target’s policy, or the liberal media; the enemy is the enemy. And you cannot fight a supernatural enemy with natural weapons.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:3-4).
God gives us weapons to demolish—to totally destroy and annihilate—strongholds, and yet the only way we will demolish strongholds if we recognize what’s happening in the spirit realm:
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
The reason people are giving in to the illogical spirit of tolerance is because they have been blinded by the enemy, and only God can remove the veil that keeps them from seeing the truth. We can’t shout loudly enough or argue logically enough to open spiritually blind eyes. We must utilize our spiritual weapons, asking God to remove the blinders of the enemy. Otherwise, we will find ourselves exasperated in the natural and lose the battle in the spirit.
Consider how the believers responded to persecution in Acts 4:29-31: “’Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
The book of Acts didn’t happen because the apostles were savvy strategists who persuaded others through their articulate logic. In fact, Peter and John were described as unschooled, ordinary men; yet they were unschooled, ordinary men that had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). Acts happened because persecution drove believers to their knees, and they cried out for God’s boldness and anointing to spread the gospel. And, then, when they acted, the Holy Spirit showed up.
Unfortunately, our response today doesn’t always reflect Acts 4. Most often, we respond to persecution with natural actions rather than responding first in prayer. Granted, I am making a wide generalization here, and there are believers and churches who have increased in prayer as persecution increases. But for the most part, the Church in the West—and I include myself in this—is prayerless. We don’t need God; we’ve gotten used to handling things on our own. Prayer takes too much time, too much effort; it’s inconvenient—especially the kind of corporate prayer we see in the book of Acts. Who has time for that? We have more important things to do. And besides, it sounds superstitious to say that the massive cultural shift we are seeing can be traced to a spiritual stronghold. We’re too intelligent for such simplistic thinking.
What would happen if the Bride of Christ responded to today’s persecution by praying like the early church? What if we were totally dependent on God to open blind eyes and give us Spirit-inspired strategies to demolish the enemy? What if all our natural actions were birthed first in prayer so that God’s boldness and anointing were present, making everything we did a prophetic act that releases His power and demolishes the strongholds of the enemy? Could it be that our prayerlessness is why we see the strongholds of the enemy gaining ground while the Church’s influence wanes?
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:10-13).
In my next post, I will offer practical tips on how specifically to pray in response to the strongholds we see at work in our culture.