Over the course of our lives, we face numerous challenges and create a good half of them for ourselves. We struggle with anxieties, uncertainty, death, conflict, and countless unnamed circumstances that weigh down on our hearts and minds. But they don’t just weigh us down, they also can consume and take over our lives. So often we allow our circumstances to keep us from coming out of our shell. Our problems keep us from breaking out of these “strongholds” and from living out our faith. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
I want to invite you into a brief image that describes how these spiritual strongholds behave. These strongholds are made up of the heaviest and sturdiest of bricks. Each trial or event lays down a brick at a time. They start out at ankle height, not very threatening or troubling. Not too much later, however, they tower over you, enclosing you in a windowless, brick room – with very little hope of escape. From the inside, the wall of strongholds seems impenetrable and it’s hard to find a place to start breaking this wall down. Although these strongholds are formidable, they are far from indestructible.
A parable in Matthew 7:24-27 says,
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
This verse can be approached from several different angles. For me, this verse has served as an encouragement for me in my life, but it has also served as a warning. It reminds me what God can and will do for those that take refuge and build the foundations of their faith on Him. We are not guaranteed a storm-free life, but we are guaranteed that we will not be destroyed. Our foundations will stand if they are built on the Rock – the Lord is our constant.
If you do get stuck, and you haven’t been building your foundation on the rock, don’t despair! There is hope! God is faithful, and he hears our prayers. If you turn to Him, He will listen.
Matthew 17:20 tells us that
“(…) Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
While this doesn’t mean that having faith enables us to literally do anything and everything in that sense, it does mean that God will meet us where we are at. That if we have even the smallest seed of faith, that God can and will provide us with what we need. He is our great provider and He is faithful all the time – including when we are facing spiritual strongholds.
As we continue the tug of war that life can be, it is important to remember that God holds us and the world around us in his hands. He is in control. We can rest in that fact. Let us find peace in the fact that the God we love and serve, answers prayers and cares for us. He meets us where we are at and He promises to never leave us, regardless of our circumstances. We can trust that when we are faced with the tallest of strongholds, that He will be there and He will answer us.