For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (2 Corinthians 10:4).
My granddaughter suffered another night of restless, interrupted sleep. It seemed to be an annoying pattern developing, and it was very troubling. Maybe some of you can relate. It goes something like this…It’s 3 a.m. and you’re wide awake. If I fall back to sleep by 3:30, I’ll get 7.5 hours of sleep. The cuckoo clock chimes 4 a.m. Okay, so I’ll still get 7 hours of sleep. Pillow over the head now to silence the 5 a.m. cuckoo, the 6 a.m. cuckoo, 7 a.m., and it’s time to rise and shine. So it goes—another night of troubled sleep.
Strongholds, as mentioned in the Bible, are wrong ways of thinking— “stinkin’ thinkin’” --if you will. The word stronghold means a fortress, like a castle that is erected in our mind and traps negative, harmful thoughts inside. Satan likes to erect such fortresses in our mind and very shrewdly knows exactly what thoughts to plant in these strongholds to bring us to places of discouragement and defeat. The Apostle Paul gives us a simple solution. Because of the tremendous authority Jesus Christ gave us over ALL the power of the devil, as evidenced in Luke 10:19 (NLT), where Jesus said, Look, I have given you authority over ALL the power of the enemy,” Paul encourages us to pull down these strongholds. Just tear them down! Use your words, backed by the authority of Jesus Christ, and simply say, “I pull down this stronghold of insomnia, fear, discouragement, addiction"…whatever is filling your mind with defeat.
David pulled down a pattern of stinkin’ thinkin’ by proclaiming scripture out loud. So did Jesus, as He confronted Satan in the wilderness when He was verbally assaulted and challenged by the devil himself. I like to think that David, in Psalm 4:8 (NLT), was proclaiming to himself and any enemies within earshot that I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety!! It was kind of like he was whistling past the graveyard, as he said this after fleeing from his son, Absalom, who was attempting to kill him with the help of the entire army of Israel—an overwhelmingly superior fighting force! That’s probably why David made this comment, O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, ‘God will never rescue him!’ (Psalm 3:1-2 NLT). Several verses later, he declared, I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. (Psalm 3:5-6 NLT).
Ten thousand enemies on every side? Now THAT’S cause for insomnia! And yet David, who had a heart after God and fully trusted Him, was really declaring, Though I am alone, yet I am not alone, for God is with me; though I have no guards to attend me, the Lord alone is sufficient to protect me; He can do it himself when all other defenses fail. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). Unless we are soldiers on a battlefield, it’s unlikely any of us have ten thousand enemies on every side as we lay our head on the pillow at night. But we do have the cares and frustrations and problems of daily life that can disturb our sleep. Quite frankly, demonic spirits can torment us at night, too, but in a word of rebuke, we can dismiss them.
My granddaughter, a student of the Word, came to me and announced, “Nana, I think my sleep problem is a stronghold.” We discussed the validity of pulling down strongholds and declaring what the Word said about her sleep, to erect a new pattern of thinking. We agreed together as she, out loud, tore down the stronghold of insomnia and declared what David had said: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. If Jesus used the Word of God to defeat Satan, so should we.
While we sleep, the Lord is watching over us. He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:1). Furthermore, Exodus 14:14 says The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. Normally, most of us are silent seven to ten hours every night (unless we snore, but I don’t think that counts). So we can rest in the fact that whatever difficulty we are facing can safely be placed in the hands of the Lord to address while we keep silent. Countless times when I am awakened by a troubling thought or fear, I have fallen right back to sleep by proclaiming out loud, as David did, I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Ask the Lord to show you what strongholds may be interfering with the peace and rest He promises us, then pull them down. If sleep is an issue, address it out loud, just as Jesus told the devil where to get off in Matthew 4:1-11.
The Lord’s got the night-watch covered. No worries, my friend. Sleep tight tonight. As you pull down strongholds of wrong thinking, new God thoughts will begin to fill your mind, and your life will change!
© 2021, Chris Werre