If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Luke
chapter eleven. The book of Luke chapter eleven. We won’t
be long today. But please turn with me to the book of Luke
chapter eleven. And when you reach the book of Luke
chapter eleven, look at verse twenty-one.
When you get there, signify by saying amen. Come. Say
amen. There we go. Hallelujah. It says,
21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods
are in peace:
22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and
overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he
trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth
not with me scattereth.
24. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh
through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I
will return unto my house whence I came out.
25. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more
wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and
the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Let us pray.
Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for
the opportunity into come to Your house. We thank You for
the Anointing that removes every burden and destroys every
Father, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people
would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease I ask
that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart, Lord Jesus, be acceptable in Your
sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ holy
and blessed Name.
And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the
house of God.
When we look at the origin of a stronghold, it normally starts
when someone is a child. It normally starts within our
childhood. A stronghold can be defined as a practice way of
thinking that has become ingrained and automatic. It’s a way
that we practice thinking. We think this way over and over
and over again until it becomes ingrained, and until it
becomes our automatic way of thinking.
A stronghold has a life all it’s own.
I need us to listen today. Because too many of us in the body
of Christ have strongholds in our lives. We have things that
are in our lives that started when we were children, but we
have not been totally delivered from them yet.
And instead of trying to get delivered, we cover it up. But it’s
time to take the cover off of the stronghold and find out what
the stronghold in our lives really is.
When we look at a stronghold, it’s like the habitual habit. It’s
like an addiction. It’s like an obsession. It’s like a
compulsion to something.
You see, there are strongholds that people have in their lives
for different things. Your stronghold may be a desire that you
have for certain things. I won’t get into that today. I don’t
want to hit you right where you are. Oh, hello, somebody.
But you understand what I’m saying today.
It’s your personal way of thinking. But God is trying to get us
out of our own way of thinking completely, so that we can
pull these strongholds up at the root.
Strongholds are areas in our minds where a person is held
captive. And the perceptions of the person become distorted.
It’s sort of like these glasses that I have on. You see, there
can be some white flowers outside. But through the tint in my
glasses they’ll be looking like a yellowish color. And though
you keep telling me that the flowers are white, my perception
(oh, my God, my God) is distorted.
Until I take my glasses off, and then I can see that all that
time that I thought one way (oh my God, my God), my
thinking was all wrong. My perception was off. It was
And that’s how it is with a stronghold. It will cause my
perception, the way I perceive things to be, off. It can make
me think that my brother hates me when my brother really
loves me. It can make me think my sister hates me when my
sister really loves me. Oh, my God. I must be preaching to
It’ll cause my perception of things to be off. It’s sort of like a
job too. When you know somebody else is more qualified
than you, because they’ve taken out time to go to school and
get a little more training... Oh, my God, my God. But in my
mind I think that I should have that job. But if I just spent a
little more time and got the training that I needed, maybe that
job would be mine.
That kind of distortion in our thinking will cause us to blame
God. It will cause us to start saying, “God, You’re not fair.”
Because we perceive things in a distorted way.
It’s like a father to his son. Most of us, and a lot of us... I
can’t say most of us. But a lot of us grew up without our
fathers. Or either the woman in the house had the dominance
in the house.
And when this happens, when you’re dealing with a son, his
thinking may become distorted in a certain way. I don’t want
to go here, but the Holy Ghost is leading me here. Oh my
God, my God.
See, he can only see through the eyes of a woman. And so
when you look at him... Not all the time, but a lot of times,
his characteristics may be a little feminine. You don’t want to
hear me today.
Not saying that he’s gay. But he can only see it the way a
woman saw it. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost on me today. His
way of thinking, a lot of times, is distorted, because he has not
had a male figure there to help him and rear him on about
how to be a man, somebody.
A woman can only give a boy a certain amount of knowledge
into becoming a man. But it takes a man to bring up a man.
And that’s why... Now here’s the rest of it. That’s why when
you see a woman, and she has a boy in her house, but there’s
no father in that house... Men of God, you need to get on
your job and adopt those sons as your sons. Oh, I ain’t going
to get much clap out of that. Because it’s going to be too
It’s the same way with a little girl. She’s got to have a
woman influence in her life. Or else when she grows up,
she’s going to be a little bit too manly. Ain’t nothing wrong
with a woman holding her own. Don’t get me wrong. But
ain’t no sense in no woman acting like no man.
And that’s what even happens in the pulpit. You see, a
woman... A lot of time a woman minister, instead of being
who they are, they begin to take on a man’s row. And they
start to preach like a man instead of preaching like a woman,
like they really are. Their perception is distorted.
And that’s what a stronghold in our lives will do. I won’t be
able to see things the way they really are.
It’s like a child, when you tell them it’s really like this, and
they keep saying, “No, but it’s like this.” But you were there.
And you talked to the person about it. But they keep saying,
no, it’s like this. And eventually you say, “Okay.” Because
you can... It’s like you can’t convince them.
It has to be a place of deliverance. See, you can’t holler and
scream at nobody to... Hollering and screaming at them ain’t
going to get them delivered. It’s the Word of God that’s
going to get them delivered.
The perception of someone that has strongholds in their lives
When a person is wounded, their perception of the way things
are also becomes tainted and distorted. Let me tell you how.
Before you can even come up on them, their defense
mechanism kicks in. You can see them in a distance, and
most of the time you’ll... When a person... When they see
you and they automatically drop their head, they’re trying to
get themselves together. A lot of times they’re trying to put
on another face. Oh, I got this one on now.
“Hey, how you doing?” Oh, I feel Jesus today.
When a person is wounded, no matter who it was by, their
defense mechanisms kick in. And no matter how much you
tell them you love them, how much you hug them, how much
you kiss them, something’s still in the back of their mind and
saying, “No, they don’t.” You constantly got to prove
yourself over and over and over and over. But didn’t that
show you? But over and over...
It’s like Jesus. He told us, He said, “I love you with a love
that you can’t even comprehend.” He said, “I go to prepare a
place for you.” But He got to tell us over and over and over
again. Because something hurt us, and it has turned into a
stronghold. And even when we lift up our hands, our hearts
are not right.
Strongholds will distort our perception, even about God. You
may see your brother or sister prospering. It’s their season to
prosper. But there’s a stronghold in us that says, “Why them
and not me?” I might need to say that one again.
We begin to think that God is a respecter of persons. It’s their
season. They’re bringing forth in their season. And if they
latch on to their season right, that season will continue over
and over and over and over again. But if in their season
they’re prospering, but they don’t know how to give in that
season, then it’s going to stop. And they going to have to
wait for that season to come back around again.
Strongholds will distort our thinking. It’s like when we get
the money, instead of opening up to give, the stronghold will
make use close down.
It’s like a dinner plate, isn’t it? Have you ever seen
somebody at the dinner table? And instead of just sitting back
and eating their food, they’re hovering over it.
It will distort our way of thinking. Darkness reigns in those
areas of the mind where there are strongholds. There’s a
system of logic rooted in a lie, that that particular individual
comes to accept.
A stronghold is a lie. And we all know who the father of lies
is. He’ll plant that seed there, and cause us to believe a lie.
And most of the time he’ll try to make us believe a lie about
ourselves to pull our self esteem down. And that’s why when
we come into the presence of other people, we’re not who we
really say we are. A stronghold is a lie.
“Here I am. Take me or leave me.” That’s what you’ve got
to say. But in the process of you saying that, you got to say,
“There’s some things about me that need to change. But take
me or leave me. I’m not saying take me or leave me because
I’m perfect. Because God ain’t through with me yet.” Can I
get an amen in the house of God today?
A stronghold is a lie that we have come to a place where we
accept it to be true. If it’s a lie, then you need to tell the devil
to pack his bags. He doesn’t have any business being there.
The thought patterns begin to become alienated from God.
The things that I think about are alienated from God. They’re
not according to God’s Word. I become fixated on things that
are contrary to the Word of God. And when I’m fixated there,
a stronghold develops.
What stronghold do you have in your life that you need to get
rid of? I find in the body of Christ that most of us have some
sort of stronghold that we need to get rid of. My stronghold is
an appetite. And I want to eat.
But I’ve got to grab hold of that thing. Do you hear what I’m
saying today? I’ve got to grab hold of it and say, “You will
not be victorious over me. But I have the victory over you.”
You have to learn to be honest with yourself.
Strongholds. When a person has a mental stronghold, it
affects their decision making ability. Every decision that they
make, they’re constantly wondering whether or not they’ve
made the right decision. And they’ll go back and forth, back
and forth, back and forth, never coming to a place where they
said, “This is it.” They’ll change it at the last minute.
It affects the decision making process. The decisions that we
make will be distorted.
I need somebody to pray for me today. Because the devil
don’t want me to get this out. (Tongues.)
But it started for must of us during our childhood, when folks
spoke things over us and into us. That’s why you got to
protect your children. You can’t let folks speak negative
things into them.
Now they can discipline them. Hello, somebody. But you
can discipline without speaking negativity into them.
Discipline is not negative. Discipline is positive. Contrary to
the way we think, discipline is positive. And it will have a
positive affect on a person, if it’s done in the right way.
A person with a mental stronghold becomes an emotional
command post that the enemy has entered into. Their
emotional about everything. Anything and everything.
They’ll be calm one moment... And I’m not talking about
somebody with a condition. They’ll be calm one moment.
But the next moment they’re flying all out. Then they crying.
And then they happy all over again. Something’s wrong with
See, because what it does to the people around them, it causes
them to walk on eggshells. See, and then that person thinks
that everybody... There ain’t nobody that like them. They get
a complex, don’t they? Everybody hate me. Everybody
But the perception is distorted. They don’t realize that it’s
really them. I feel a little tightness in here.
See, everybody not going to like you. But everybody ain’t
going to hate you either. You can be just as sweet and
humble, and somebody will find something wrong with you.
Get on my last nerve. Why? I don’t know. I just can’t stand
The perception becomes distorted. They think things are one
way, but really they’re another way. And no matter how
much you try to explain to them... Listen. Look. Listen.
There’s a grip on them in their mind that says, “Okay. I hear
you. But.” There’s always a “but” in the vocabulary. We got
to get the “but” out the vocabulary. Kick the “but” out.
When we look at strongholds, it’s the primary strategy of
Satan. And that’s what he’s trying to use to destroy the body
of Christ. When a stronghold comes into the midst of a
people, it brings sabotage and conspiracy along with it.
Because it’s always trying to break up and never trying to
It’s his primary strategy. Strongholds distort the perceptions
of everything. And everyone has had one, one way or the
But according to First John one and seven, it’s the Blood of
Jesus that gets rid of the stronghold.
Turn with me there to First John chapter one. Thank You,
Holy Spirit. Sometimes we got to see it to believe it. In verse
seven of chapter one of First John, it says,
7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another...
See, if we walking in the light, we can fellowship together,
7. ...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from
It’s the Blood of Jesus that needs to be applied in that
stronghold area. Because it has cleansing power, delivering
power, that is needed in that particular place.
You can huff, puff, kick, scream, all you want to do. But until
you apply the Blood of Jesus to the situation, the stronghold’s
going to get stronger and stronger and stronger, building up
power, from the friction and the strife.
But the Blood of Jesus will disperse it and cause it to be
wiped away. The Blood is a weapon that disables every
If we do not arrest the stronghold, this is what will happen. It
will prevent and retard our spiritual growth.
Many of us say to ourselves, “I need... I should be further
along than what I am.” But if you look deeper, there’s some
Let me tell you something. When you ready to move up, God
going to move you up no matter who in your way. I need to
say that again. When you are in a position spiritually and
God is ready for you to move up and be elevated, I don’t care
who’s in your way or what’s trying to block it. He’s going to
move them out the way. And God is going to raise you up
anyhow. Can’t nobody hold God back, contrary to what we
But if there’s strongholds that need to come down, no matter
how I’m saying in my mind I need to be elevated, there ain’t
going to be no elevation. If there are things that He needs to
work out of my character, He can only bring me up step by
step. It’s a process, a process, a process.
Strongholds cause conflict, separation, bitterness, jealousy,
envy, strife, confusion, competition, hostility. My God. The
list goes on and on and on. It causes all of these things. And
that’s why I’m trying to say that most strongholds started
when we were children.
Either we were teased on the playground. Or either mama
and daddy spoke into our lives, or other folks, things that
were hurting and not helping. And we’re still not delivered at
the root. And that’s why we cannot have relationships with
anybody else that has any substance to them. All our
relationships are surface, because of the strongholds.
But when you can get into a deep relationship with somebody,
that means that you working on you. Hello, somebody.
When you not only can get into a deep relationship with
somebody, but you can keep the relationship...
It’s one thing to be in it, but it’s another one to keep it. Isn’t
it? Then that means that the strongholds that were holding
you back are leaving you. You’re unmasking the devil and
saying, “You got to go.”
Strongholds. When we look at them, they give the devil and
his demons more and more power. That’s what they do.
Because they got a foothold there. And they know they have
a foothold. And they going to try to stay there. And no
matter what you say, if it’s not according to the Word of God,
then they refuse to move.
Another thing that a stronghold will do. It will keep you from
your destiny. If you don’t come and I don’t come to the place
where I know that I have a stronghold in a particular area...
Don’t get sleepy on me. Then the stronghold is going to hold
me out of destiny. (Tongues.) It’s going to hold me out of
that place of destiny.
See, you have a destiny for your life. That nine to five ain’t
just it. Let me tell you. See, a lot of times we think that nine
to five is just it. This is my destiny. Uh, uh. I got a destiny
in God. And just like Jesus fulfilled His destiny and Paul, I’m
getting in line. And I’m going to fulfill my destiny. But first
I’ve got to get all these strongholds out of my life.
When we look at Peter, Peter had a whole bunch of
strongholds in his life. He was prejudice. He was
presumptuous. He acted out of turn, spoke out of turn, moved
out of turn. But he was a man. So these things were rooted
into him when he was a little boy.
But Jesus helped work those things out of him. By the Word
of God. That’s what does it.
See, when we get a word like this, and we know that it’s
hitting us somewhere, see, if we start trying to ball up, see, we
ain’t going to be delivered. Stop trying to hide, and expose
that devil. Expose that devil. Tell that devil he got to go.
Distortion of our perception. I feel the Holy Ghost in this...
You might not feel it, that you’re as good as somebody else.
But the Bible says they that judge themselves by themselves
are not wise. See, He sees us all the same. I don’t care how
anointed you think somebody else is. He ain’t looking at
them better than He looking at you. He looks at us all the
God’s perception about you and I is not distorted. It’s not. If
He said this about you, then so it is. I don’t care what nobody
says. If God said one thing about you, then so it is. If they
think something else, let them deal with your God. His
perception about you is not distorted. He knows who you are.
Strongholds. They even produce financial problems. Now
this is an area that we need to touch on. You see, when I do
counseling, I say that there has got to be something put away.
You got to put it away. I don’t care if it’s five dollars a week
or ten dollars a pay period. You need to put something, if it’s
two dollars, put it away.
See, a stronghold would tell me to spend everything I get.
And then when that day comes, when that calamity or that
disaster comes, I have nothing in the bank to be able to turn
back on. Because I don’t save anything.
You say, “Well, pastor, all I got enough is to pay my bills.”
Save a dollar. Save it anyhow. I’m giving you some wisdom
A stronghold will tell you that you don’t have enough when
you serve the God of more than enough. A stronghold will
tell you to hide your finances. We knew you didn’t have no
money yesterday. But the check done came in the mail. And
you going to hide your hand back here again today. And
nobody know you got no money. Oh, you need to laugh on
And even with the offering, a lot of times we don’t want to
put it there, because there’s somebody going to know that we
got a little extra money that doing the books back... Oh, my
God. So we rather send it somewhere else so won’t nobody
Financial problems come from strongholds.
When I’m riding my children to school in the morning, I tell
my children... And I been talking to my son since he was
smaller about credit. I show him my credit card. And I say,
“Look. When you have credit, you have to pay your bills.”
But see, a lot of us when we were growing up nobody took
the time out to... We saw them paying stuff. But you know,
the... It never registered.
When a child goes off to college, they’re going to give that
child a credit card. Something’s going to come to them in the
mail and say, “You can have this credit card.”
“But I don’t have a job.”
“We’re going to give it to you anyway.”
And then they run that credit card up. And they don’t have
the money to pay it. And they’re just getting out in life. And
they start off on the wrong foot. It’s a stronghold. That’s
what it is.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been there. But we’re
coming up out of there. Oh, I won’t get an amen in the house.
Debt is a stronghold. But see, we’ve got to learn that when
we get out of debt, stop going back in debt.
I had a Sears card come in the mail the other day telling me
that this limit has... I put that thing in the garbage. Oh, you
don’t hear me. Somebody else called on the telephone telling
me, “You already approved for the...” I ain’t call them back.
See, when you get out of that place, don’t get back. It’s good
to have maybe one credit card for emergencies. But when
you flip your wallet, don’t let it just be like a picture book.
Hold it up to the cash register. Talking about take your pick.
Give them this one.
They say, “Well, ain’t enough on there.”
You put that one back. “Well, try this one. Now try that
one.” Oh, you ain’t never been there.
It’ll keep us down. It’ll keep us bound. I’d rather walk in the
store with money in my pocket. And they say, “Sir...” I’m
just strolling. “Sir, can I help you?”
“Just looking.” And by the time they turn around, I done
turned around. Walking on out the door.
And then they might say, “Mm, he must ain’t got money
anyway.” They’ll never know, will they?
That’s where we’ve got to get to. And when we keep our
checkbooks, we’ve got to balance our checkbooks.
I know this is basic one on one. But when I see other
people... I’m not saying all of us don’t do our checkbook.
But other people do, of the other persuasions. But we’ll write
a check. And we don’t know nothing.
If you’re not going to write anything, then you need to get a
checkbook that got a carbon copy up under the bottom, so that
you’ll know everything that you owe. I won’t get an amen in
the house of God today. They make them like that now.
They do. They do. They really do. Yeah.
But that’s what we got to start doing. We got to get these
strongholds out the way. And when they give you an
opportunity, you know that bill is high. And they give you an
They said, “Well, you know, what can you pay on this?” You
better tell them something. Don’t just keep ducking and
dodging them, with your caller ID, knowing it say out of area.
Go ahead and get the courage up and say, “Lord, I know
there’s nothing there. But I’m going to answer this call
anyway.” And when you tell them the truth, a lot of times
God will give you favor. It may be like the middle of the
month. They say, “Well, just send me something so I can
hold this account here.” Am I making any sense in the house?
Because you ain’t going to be in the shape you in now all the
time. But when He do give you that money, you need to start
paying some things. Hello, somebody. That’s what we have
to start doing to get these strongholds out the way. We got to
do it. We have to do it.
It’ll cause financial strain, And while we’re spending it... We
can’t even enjoy it while we’re spending it. Because in our
mind we already saying, “Golly, I know I got to pay that.”
You really not enjoying it. Really not. Because that demon
in your mind.
Strongholds will even try to make the Word say what we want
it to say. When I have a stronghold that I want to hold on to,
I’ll read a Scripture knowing it says one thing. But I’ll try to
read it and turn it around to make it say what I want it to say.
That’s what a stronghold will do.
What is the real underlying cause of that stronghold that may
be in your life? What is it? If we don’t really get it that first
time, like the Scripture says, he’s going to try to bring more
demons into that place.
But when God delivers you, there’s got to be what we call
maintenance. There has to be maintenance.
When you have a car, you have to do maintenance on your car
in order to keep it running right. I don’t care what nobody
told you, you’ve got to get an oil change. You have to. If you
don’t do it at the recommended amount of mileage or time,
then you needed to do around there somewhere, or else you
going to have problems. And it’s going to wind up costing
you more money than it should have cost you.
If I don’t take care of this stronghold properly and keep the
maintenance, it’s going to cause me more problems than it
should have caused me. And I’m going to have to spend
more time trying to get this stronghold out than it should have
been. It’s going to take more time than it should have taken.
Strongholds have got to be pulled up at the root. You’ve got
to get the general. If you get the general, then all the other
soldiers are going to follow. But if you don’t get the general
(that means the one that’s in command, the leader), you can
be binding this, that and the other, and the general still sitting
right there commanding the other ones. “You go do this. Do
You’ve got to get the general. If you know what the general
is, you know who he is, then stop playing with him and get
him. Don’t play with him no more. Because one day you
might try to play, and it might be the last day that you play.
If I keep putting fire to my chest I’m going to get burned. If I
put a snake to my chest, he’s going to bite me.
Whatever the stronghold is, get rid of it. But in the midst of
getting rid of that stronghold... I need to say this. There has
to be a balance. I can’t try to get rid of a stronghold and go
too far to the extreme.
Because when I go too far to the extreme, then that means
after a while while I’m there I’m going to get tired of being at
the extreme. And then instead of coming back to balance, it’s
going to make me fall all the way back over again.
But if I find that balance, I find that place of balance in God,
where I’m not just wild... I mean eccentric to the point where
I’m so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good. That’s
what I’m talking... Oh, my God.
Then I can’t move in the Kingdom of God. But when I begin
to find a place of balance, then God can really use me. He
can use me when I have balance. He’s not requiring you to be
the wild and eccentric person all the time. You got to know
There’s certain places where I go to the extreme. And then
there’s certain places where I maintain.
Find balance. Get delivered, and find balance. I’m going to
say that again. Get delivered, and find balance. And you and
I will be able to live a happy and a healthy Christian life.
Come on, give God a handclap of praise.