Select Page

Breaking the Fear Stronghold

Last month I was praying for my pastor and the safety of his family when the prayer turned around. God delivered a treasure I wasn’t seeking when I saw my pastor didn’t have any fear, I did.

Processing this with God, I never recognized how fear was controlling my decisions and prayers.

A history of traumatic events kept latching over me. It started with post traumatic stress and moved into post-partum depression after my kids were born. I was blind to the effect these fears were having on my spiritual life.

I latched onto a childhood event and a stronghold of fear took root in me.

This unhealthy stronghold had a big impact on how I raised my children, traveled on holiday, and communicated in marriage. Because fear is a strong virus, it was suffocating Fruits of the Spirit inside me.

And it’s contagious.

Examining my own history, I saw where seeds of fear were planted. It happened during a traumatic neighborhood event with a serial killer.

While processing the event through the heart of a child, I decided I wasn’t “safe” and learned to depend on my own abilities instead of trusting in God.

Every decision I made was processed through a fear-filter. If life gave me two options I’d always reach for the one with the least amount of danger.

In movie theaters. malls, and church I’d examine the room for an exit route. My highly visual mind had already mapped out my survival and how to protect my family. I survived a deadly airplane crash at the mall using this instinct. The pilot who died in the crash was a high school classmate and I was shopping at the mall when he crashed and burned several people in his path.

A circumstance that happens to a family member, friend or neighbor is not a fear designed for me. But my fear-based mindset was like a magnet and picking up fears like compounding interest.

Since praying for my pastor I’m walking away from fear. Don’t worry, I’m not going sky diving or something silly like walking on hot coals. I don’t need to prove to myself that I’m not afraid. My fears will be taken captive to Christ.

Looking back at my journey of fear, I learned to run away from danger and flee. Then I learned to wrap myself with a false sense of security. When I had children I started passing fear into the next generation with “helicopter parenting.” It was suffocating to be me!

The Man Who Put Me Under A Stronghold of Fear

Each time I write about this event it brings up nausea in me. Seeing his photos and reading his news stories trigger a vomit-reflex. My innocence was shattered, three of my neighbors divorced, and our small town no longer trusted people.

As I saw hope destroyed around me I adopted a spirit of fear.

Here’s the story.

“On Dec. 9, 1978 the Golden State Killer emerged in Danville, where he raped a woman alone in her home. He went quiet again, disappearing until April 1979, when he attacked a couple in Fremont. His behavior spiked in June, when he raped two teen girls in Walnut Creek and one woman in Danville. His final Bay Area crime was on July 5, 1979, when he broke into the home of a Danville couple (my neighbor and the family I babysat for). After that, the Golden State Killer moved onto Southern California and escalated to almost exclusively murders.” (source: SFGATE)

Here’s the number of years I was in captivity: 40. If you’ve read the Bible then you’re familiar with wilderness seasons of 40 days or 40 years. They are markers of turnaround.

“Revival-hood” is a word!

You’ll hear me say this on the video (below) as my mind took the word “revival” and added the “neighbor-HOOD” to the end of it.

There you go….

 

 

Me Myself and Pride

Earlier today I was tempted to share a shocking story where “I was right and he was wrong” but the Holy Spirit stopped me. As I reached for the phone I felt a tugging inside my heart. So I asked myself, “Does this honor God?”

I knew by sharing the story it would become gossip, and the root of gossip is a stronghold of pride. Knowing this truth,  I resisted the urge to dial the phone and share my “victory.”

I’m beginning to realize how pride wounds others, not just the person carrying the stronghold. When I accepted immediate correction and spiritual redirection I saw myself delivered of the stronghold.

image source: HauteStock

Self-examination led me into the Scriptures and then deeper into my heart with prayer. As I dig into my past and look for attachments where pride took root it wasn’t difficult to find.

I was the little girl with blond hair and blue eyes, getting verbal rewards for perfection and physical disciplines for my many mistakes. In my innocence I taught my brain that pride feels good and failure hurts. Whenever I wasn’t perfect, I was spanked… and it hurt.

To avoid physical pain I adopted the posture of pride. We all know what the Bible says…pride comes before a fall.

While God is showing me I’m mostly delivered from a stronghold of pride, He will test my endurance.

Sometimes He puts people into my life to mirror what I dislike in myself.

When I gossip or take a victory lap because someone else has failed, the real loser is me.

WIth the help of the Holy Spirit and great Bible studies, I’ve learned to slow down and practice self-control. Before I type a reply or call a friend, I’m anticipating how my actions look from Heaven’s view.

Even if nobody on earth knows, the authorities in Heaven know when I’m self-centered and walking by sight- not by faith.

The glory belongs to God in all things, not in me.

If you’re read this far into my story, then I’ll add personal application too. Here’s how to process the temptations when they happen:

#1 Is what happened true? Yes

#2 What will happen if I shared this? It would be gossip, slander, division and disrespect. These are fruits of the flesh.

#3 What will happen if I don’t share it? It’s still true but it’s NOT about ME.

#4 Where is Christ in this? The story is true and not sharing it helps me imitate Christ.

When we take someone else’s’ mistakes and measure against our own perfections, we are the one Heaven sees as having a stronghold in need of correcting.

Pride leaches to our hearts like a blood-sucking parasite. Once rooted, we adopt a posture of ENTITLED. We e decide we’re entitled to eat anything we want, buy anything we want, do anything we want. It feeds the stronghold.

How are you breaking free from pride? What testing opportunities have you recently passed through? I’d love to hear from you today as we encourage one another to live a life of visible faith.

 

We’re on the Damascus Road to REVIVAL

The Bible says: Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” Acts 9:8-9,17-19 NIV

 

Friends, I dreamed on April 11, 2019 that Jesus is filling His saints with blood transfusions (blood of Christ) and giving them wider eyes to see like Paul. So cool!

In the dream an eye doctor named Paul was putting huge contact lenses over my eyes while I was in a hospital room with men and women getting blood transfusions and rejoicing.

Also in the dream, I posted this event on Facebook as it was happening #revival #eyestosee

 

Let’s pray over this: Jesus, we pray for the scales to fall from the eyes of your saints. Let us see signs, wonders and miracles as the Holy Spirit moves on Heaven and on Earth. Equip us with the eyes of Paul and the blood of Christ for the revival ahead. Amen.

 

image: Bigstock-79485067.

Bible Scholar NT Wright explains the Misunderstandings of Damascus Road

The Bible Project

John MacArthur Sermon