Hey everyone! I pray your week has been going well 🙂 My week has been a little chaotic, but in a good way. But I’ll go on to talk about that a little later. I want to talk about a ladies retreat I had the pleasure of attending about two weeks ago. Every year, the UPC Michigan district campgrounds has conferences and events during the summer time and each July is Ladies Retreat!
Now when most people think about a retreat, they think about spas and facials, poolside chilling, but not this retreat. It’s far better in my opinion because it’s a spiritual retreat. Women from a variety of different cities and churches, even states sometimes, all come together for this three day even where powerful women of God speak and encourage ladies of all ages. I remember the first time I attended, which was probably about six years ago now. I was in awe of how many women came together for this spiritual event and even more in awe at the presence of God I felt within the place. It was and still is an amazing experience.
Each year has a theme and this year’s theme was Captured. It came from 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 which states the following:
It’s such a powerful scripture that was really transformative to be preached to about. The main verse that stood out to me was verse five where it talks about casting down imaginations and high things. If we think about it, this directly relates to the strongholds present in our lives.
Now a stronghold can be a variety of things that the devil can use against you to keep you away from God and living a holy life. Some examples are depression, hopelessness, unforgiveness, lust, an unwillingness to submit, and pride. This is just a short list of the many things that can block your relationship with God and overall, your spiritual growth. They can stem from unanswered prayer requests, neglect, past trauma, fear, or even doubt. Strongholds operate out of your mind and the bible tells us in James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (KJV).
The bible is very clear on holiness standards and how God wants us to live for Him. We can’t have one foot in with Him and keep the other foot in the world. We have to make a choice. Light and dark cannot coexist and God doesn’t want only half of us. Of course He knows that our flesh constantly attacks our minds and it can sometimes be hard to stay on the right path, but that’s why He gave us His Holy Spirit. Now let me clarify: having the Holy Ghost doesn’t mean that your life will automatically become easy and problem free. The devil will try to attack us more once he sees us living for God. But it is proven that with God’s spirit within us, we have more power to fight against the attacks of the enemy.
So how can we remove strongholds? We uproot them, pulling out the weeds that have taken root in our minds and replace them with godly things.
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 (KJV)
If we want to bare fruit for God, we need to tear out our strongholds and plant mustard seeds of faith. Without faith that God can guide us through our trials, we will forever stay stuck in what’s oppressing us. Not to mention, but it really hurts God when we choose not to trust Him. I mean after all, He knows exactly what our outcome will be. He sees every obstacle that could possibly come our way.
Going off topic a little, my son, brother and I went to an escape room a little while ago. This was my second time experiencing one, but for them, it was their first. But although I had previous experience, I still found it hard to find all the clues to get out of the room. They struggled a bit too, but even after working together and using all out whits, we still ended up needing all three clues that the game included. When I was writing the above paragraph, this is what popped into my mind. Those game masters watching us try to escape knew all the clues we needed to find. They even knew where other teams messed up in their thinking along the way, aka knowing the obstacles that would come up. They knew how to guide us and just patiently waited for us to ask for clues.
This is very synonymous to the role God plays in our lives. He knows what we’re struggling with and He knows the way out of it. But He’s not just going to give us all the answers. We have to play an active role in our spiritual lives and once He sees that we’re trying, He’ll be more prone to helping us. Sometimes we can have doubts about if we will make it out of a certain situation, but that’s where trusting God comes in. God and His word are one and we know that Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Bringing down strongholds requires work that is done in a systematic matter. It’s not an easy fix. It takes time and sustainability. If you think about it, if a person is trying to quit or begin a new habit, things don’t just change overnight. It is a process. The same goes for eliminating your strongholds.
We must remember that satan is ruthless! We can’t be weak minded because he constantly tries to put lies in our minds. We need to pray for courage to successfully face our strongholds. We can’t be cowards if we want to be successful. Remember, the Holy Ghost gives us power to fight ANY and ALL attacks of the enemy. You just have to reclaim that power! We must remember that God will never leave us, especially in our times of trouble. Once we eliminate our strongholds successfully, a change will begin to occur in our lives. We must not think about how others will perceive us while we’re going through our trials. If we’re serious enough about getting rid of these strongholds, we won’t let anything or anyone stand in our way.
In closing, this was just a snippet of the word I received while attending the ladie’s retreat. As mentioned before, it was a very powerful experience and I can’t wait until next year! For anyone who has the burden of a stronghold on their life, I pray that these words encouraged you and that you begin to take the necessary steps to eliminating them. God wants to see our resilience and our level of commitment to Him. We just need to trust the process and have faith that God’s will will be done in our lives. Thanks for reading this post and if you found it helpful, share with someone who may need it. In my next blog post, I will be discussing how we’re moving YET AGAIN and give some updates about my pregnancy 🙂 So until next time guys!