In the Book of St. Matthew, chapter 17, verses 14-21, Jesus deals with the subject of strongholds which we sometimes have to face. The disciples were confronted with a situation over which they had no control and, facing failure in their efforts to accomplish success, they had to ask Jesus why they were not successful. We, too, will be confronted with success issues while on this Christian journey, but just because difficulties will come, it is not a time for us to give up trying. Continuing to try is just what we must do.
In the New King James Version of the scripture above, we read the following, “And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” In this text, Jesus is letting us know that we need more than showing up power. We need a strong faith to deal with some of the strongholds we will be confronted with in this journey.
Many people are asked to do some things simply because they go to a certain church, or are seen in the company of certain people. And indeed we do have certain ones who try to gain notoriety by associating themselves in the company of influential people. But association will not bring spiritual strength. Spiritual strength can only be gained through personal spiritual exercises, and that calls for a life of prayer and fasting and staying in close conversational (prayer) association with the Lord.
Let each of us set aside a regular time where we can dedicate ourselves to prayer and fasting and a conversation with the Lord. My dedicated time is Sunday. I set aside time each Sunday for fasting and prayer and being in conversation with the Lord. It is not always necessary to fast the whole 24 hours each Sunday; but rather it is the ‘quality’ of time and not the quantity of time we spend with the Lord. Please be encouraged to set aside a regular time in which you too can be in conversation with the Lord. It is healthy for the soul.
Sometimes many strongholds will come in our lives, but with sufficient faith in the Lord, none of them will be impossible to overcome. All things are possible if we only believe, for “there is nothing too hard for God.” He made the world out of nothing. Certainly He is in control of everything in the universe. The way we deal with strongholds is to know that the Lord is in complete control of all things, and for us to have the faith to know, without doubt, that there absolutely is no failure in Him.
Again, let each of us set aside a time of fasting and prayer in order that our time with the Lord will increase our level of faith. In addition, let us not get to the point where think we don’t need to seek the Lord for more and more faith and spiritual strength each day.
We often ask the Lord to take us to another level. Well, let us not forget that at the new level there will be new challenges we must face. Let me encourage each one of us to join in with the Annual February Fast during the month of February 2010. Please join in with us by going to the web site www.prayerandfaithcenter.com and signing up with your commitment to participate. You can also sign up by writing to email@example.com. Ask your friends and associates to also join in with us and present the idea to the pastor of your church for total congregation participation.
Let us build a defense against the strongholds which we will face in this spiritual walk with the Lord. Remember, these kind come but by prayer and fasting. Let us join in with the war against the spiritual strongholds which come against the brotherhood.