Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
“The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought-world.”
— Francis Schaeffer
The Enemy is a liar. John 8:44 says, “…there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
When the battle for our minds begins, it starts with a barrage of destructive ideas, suspicions, doubts, and fears. The enemy’s goal is for those lies to take root and to become strongholds in our minds that ultimately determine our actions. A stronghold can be a pattern of thinking that becomes so set in our mind that we convince ourselves it is right or true even when its not. It can lead us to destructive habits like addiction, self-hatred, depression, fear, unhealthy dependence on others.
Strongholds begin as small seeds, single thoughts planted in our mind. Over time, if these seeds are not weeded out, they take root and grow into full-fledged vices that dominate us. The good news is that we don’t have to live in the bondage these strongholds create. Through God’s leading and renewal, we can make daily choices to “put off” our old destructive habits and “put on” new choices which become new habits (Ephesians 4:22-24). “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJ).
The way we demolish strongholds is by binding our thoughts and our will to the will of God through prayer. As we persistently pray in this manner, the Holy Spirit brings to our mind areas and thought patterns that do not line up with the Word of God. When these thoughts enter our minds, it is our responsibility to compare them to what we know to be true based on the word of God. Romans 12:3 calls it a sober assessment. That’s how we discern truth from falsehood and begin to renew our mind. We look to Jesus. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). On the other hand, Jesus described Satan as a “liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Strongholds bind, but truth sets free. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Freedom comes by immersing ourselves in truth and renewing your mind. You may be going through a time of darkness in your life. Your faith and sanity are under attack; those destructive habits may be out of control. You don’t have to let the enemy destroy you or your faith. It’s on the battleground of our psyche that we win or lose the fight against Satan and his system to keep us bound by strongholds. Let God’s eternal truth demolish the strongholds in your life and set you free from self destruction.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.