Tuesday November 6th: 28 Cheshvan
Dotting the mountainsides of northern Israel are various castles, fortresses and other strongholds. Once such stronghold is called Nimrod’s Castle. Actually, it has nothing to do with Nimrod but is a sprawling Crusader fortress, a stronghold, that sits atop a mountain in the upper Galilee.
Another fortress, or at least the ruins of a fortress city in the upper Galilee, is Gamla. This ancient city was the site of a fierce battle between Jewish warriors and the Romans during the first Roman revolt. Today, because it is in the Golan, it continues to be a hotly contested region. Not very far from Gamla, is the border of Syria. As you know, this has been a volatile region and particularly considering the raging civil war within Syria – another stronghold.
From that point, one could go to a place called Banyas; in the Bible, it is referred to as Caesarea-Philippi. This is where Peter made his confession that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of the Living God. What’s so striking about this is that, in Messiah’s day, Banyas was a center of idol worship —a stronghold. Not far from Banyas is the ancient city of Dan where Jereboam set up an altar and a golden calf. This deed resulted in a spiritual stronghold being established in the midst of Israel; a transgression that ended in their exile.
In just a day’s time, one can visit all these locations in northern Israel, and every one of them is connected with a stronghold. Observing places like this brings to mind the strongholds of antiquity, but also the strongholds in our current world. Perhaps more importantly, it brings to mind the strongholds in our own lives, which brings us to something Paul addressed.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Messiah.” (Corinthians 10:3-5)
As we observe and consider the unsettling developments that are unfolding in our world and the potential collapse of everything in which we’ve placed our confidence, we must consider that God is exposing and bringing down strongholds. Perhaps He wants us to recognize just what a stronghold some of these things have been in our lives and then realize there’s only one remedy for the situation.
Every stronghold and every obstacle, regardless of how impenetrable it may appear to be, can be overcome. Deliverance and victory is possible in every situation, but that victory comes through our relationship with God through Christ. It’s “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.”
Whatever stronghold or obstacle we may have in our lives, let us appeal to the Father that, through prayer and obedience, it will come down and crumble into dust. Standing near the demonic stronghold of Banyas, Christ declared that His church, if standing on the truth that He is the Messiah and Son of God, would prevail against the gates of hell. When we submit to the authority of our Messiah, no obstacle, no stronghold of the enemy will be able to stand before us.