Liberty Savage

B. Childress
Nov 30, 2007

When you first come to Christ, your life is like a pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces.  How the puzzle pieces will fit together is not
clear.  This mystery is further complicated by our lack of understanding that many of your most cherished pieces won't fit
in the final picture.  Most often we want to hold on to our favorite pieces - you had acquired them; you were familiar with
them; they were yours, and you are ready to fight to keep them.  But God has been waiting to help you throw out the
wrong pieces and put the right pieces into place.  When you accepted Christ as your Lord and Master, you gave the Holy
Spirit the green light to start your spiritual engine and begin the process.

Undeterred by such preconceived notions we may have as new believers born into the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit
begins His work anyway.  He will usually put the border together for us first, giving a godly definition to the boundaries
and limits of our lives.  Then He hands us our first piece to place into the picture. If you were a new Christian, you
grabbed it and hit the ground running - we tried to find the spot where it should go and, after much frustration, decided it
didn't fit anywhere.  So then, we sought after a different piece, the brightest-colored piece in the pile and God said, "No,  
not that one.  Take this one."  We often reject things that God wants to give us because they look uninteresting.  We
grab for the brightest pieces instead, only to find that they won't fit anywhere in our life.  That does not mean they will
never fit, they just won't fit yet.

There is a purpose and an order to the arranging of the pieces of our lives that require certain pieces to be in place first.  
Many of the biggest and brightest pieces require strong foundational pieces to support them.  
These foundational
pieces include patience, love, submission, restored relationships, jobs, friends, education, the fruit of the
Holy Spirit, gain and loss, joy and sorrow, opportunities to act upon, and times of waiting.  And mixed all
through is the mystery factor - those wrong pieces we will not surrender.
So the Holy Spirit continues His work.  
Just when we begin to think we nearly have our picture completed, God suddenly enlarges our borders. There are new
areas to fill and the picture keeps growing.  So the Holy Spirit continues His work.  Just when we begin to think we nearly
have our picture completed, God suddenly enlarges our borders.  There are new areas to fill and the picture keeps

We often resist all surrendering to God and are bored with foundation pieces.  But we must understand that God won't
use you extensively if you don't have foundation balance.  We must keep an open mind so that we can readily and
expectantly grasp the revelation of His truth (His Word - the Bible).  Certain things we are taught we accept as
single-level truth not realizing that the initial truth from Him can be like an uncut diamond - vastly valuable and filled with
potential - but with its full brilliance not yet revealed.  Once He has been allowed to cut multiple facets into a diamond and
polish it, it becomes far more complex then it was in it's original state.  It is these additional facets of truth that turn
single-level truths into brilliant understanding.

There are too few who want to endure the time spent, energy expended, or stretching that goes with opening up His
truths.  But He is willing to reveal their full brilliance to you
if you have room within your soul (your mind, will, and
emotions) to receive it.
 Many do not want any more than surface understanding. Too often they are like the person
who says, "My mind is made up.  Don't try to confuse me with facts."  It is a tragedy when the truth is frozen in one
dimension within a believer.  The acceptance of truth in it's simplest form often leaves much to be desired. This is what
happens when you accept something as truth in it's simplest form without pursuing further understanding.

Diligently reading the Bible and reading the Bible numerous times does not guarantee spiritual wisdom and
understanding unless you turn what you read into experience and relationship.  Jesus acknowledged that the religious
Jews of His time had studied the scriptures and searched them earnestly, believing eternal life lay within the words.  Yet
they were missing everything they were supposed to learn from them:  He was standing right before them, yet they did
not accept Him as the Messiah, nor were they willing to receive the overwhelming abundance of true life in Him.

You must move past just reading the Word to actually experiencing it.  Many life-giving concepts in the Word become
unshakable  personal truths you will never forget once these concepts become experiential in your life.  Faith does
indeed come by hearing the Word, but faith grows by experiencing the Word.  Faith and experience turn hope into
manifested reality.

The Body, Soul, and Spirit

You have communion with God's Spirit through your spirit.  Your body is in touch with the earthly things of the world
around you, receiving and responding through the five senses.  Your soul consists of your mind, your will, and your
emotions - your character and personality.  Your body, soul, and spirit make up who you are as a unique individual - a
fearfully and wonderfully made tripartie being.  Yet at times these three parts, designed to work smoothly together, bump
into one another.

Your Mind - is like a mainframe computer that is constantly gathering information from the world through the terminals of
your senses.  The mind receives or rejects input according to what it has been preprogrammed to receive, analyzing
what it does accept to arrive at various conclusions.  These conclusions are strongly influenced by what your senses
perceive as truth.  Unfortunately, your senses can be completely deceived.

Your Emotions - flavor your mind's conclusions.  Emotions are like powerful God-given spices to enhance your life.  
These emotional spices add greater, adequate, or lesser amounts to your perceptions.  Filled with sensory perceptions
and emotional flavoring, your mind's conclusions are then downloaded to your will for some form of action - fight, flight,
fidget, or file for later.  Sometimes your will authorizes a reactions quite the opposite of what your born-again spirit would

Your perceptions of a particular situation and the amount of "spice" your emotions add to these perceptions can lead to
inappropriate reactions.  To respond wisely to your circumstances, your mind, will, and emotions must be submitted to the
will of God and the mind of Christ to override erroneous input from your senses and emotions.  If you are not, you can
make very wrong choices.  The best choice you ever made was to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.  Every other
choice you make from the point on, even wrong ones, will ultimately be worked together for good when you love God and
are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:26).  Wrong choices may slow down your progress because of their
consequences, but if you repent and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you by them, so that you can get back on track.  Your
present, your future, and your relationship with the Lord and others will only be diminished by an inability on your part to
willingly receive God's grace and mercy for restoration and wholeness.

Your Enemy

You will be intensely battled whenever you try to pursue God's plan for your future, for Satan is waging a very personal
assault right now to prevent you from doing just that.  Satan knows your name, your phone number, your address, your
fears, and your strongholds and he customizes his attacks accordingly.  You must learn to use the Keys of the Kingdom
to pray and dissolve your fears and shatter your strongholds that have given Satan the power he has to wreak havoc in
your life.  Satan is no dummy.  He knows full well that your fears and strongholds are his only edge over your life and he's
been using them to access and attack your whole being your entire life.  You have believed you were protecting yourself
by the strongholds your soul has built, but you have actually been cooperating with Satan's plans against you.

Stronghold - the Greek word for stronghold is "ochuroma" which basically means to fortify by holding safely - what one
uses to fortify and defend a personal belief, idea, or opinion against outside opposition.  We "build" strongholds to fortify,
protect, and defend what we have chosen to believe about ourselves, about others, and about God - even when we are
dead wrong.  If you have believed and bought into a lie, your soul will fight to protect that wrong belief.  The lie might be
that you are unloved, unwanted, unnecessary, unsuccessful, unworthy, or any of those ugly un-words. If you have
decided the lie must be true, your soul will erect a stronghold to defend your right to believe it.  Repeated attempts by
those around you to convince you that it is a lie will be viewed by your soul as attacks, causing it to reinforce it's
protective stronghold.  Satan knows this and loves it.  Deception is his most important weapon; Ezekiel 28 tells us that he
was created perfect and with great wisdom.  He can be a powerful enemy if he is still able to deceive you today, but as a
believer, you are protected by the Blood of Jesus Christ and your standing in Him.  However, if you have built strongholds
around unresolved issues in your life, Satan will be on them like a magnet on steel.

He will turn his vast knowledge (accumulated over your lifetime) of your unmet needs, unresolved issues, unhealed hurts,
bad memories, pain, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and hidden sin into an arsenal against you.  He will trick you and
tempt you by circumstances and situations that reinforce your hurt and fear of having these areas exposed.  Satan
cannot read your mind, but he has kept exquisite  records of your life.  He and his demonic pals know exactly how to use
their storehouse of information to bring about predictable responses in you.  KNOW that Satan is not the root of your
problem.  He only uses what already exists in your soul - toxic, self-protected unmet needs, unresolved issues, and
unhealed hurts.

The Root Problems

First, our root problems lie in the vulnerability of our damaged souls and their strongholds erected to keep additional pain
out, but they also keep existing pain
inside our souls.  These strongholds, which are erected by a wounded soul to
protect lies birthed from our perception of traumatic experiences we have been through, also keeps God's truth out.  
Secondly, the old nature or unsurrendered soul is another of the believer's root problems.  
Binding and loosing make it
possible to surrender that old nature while making room to receive God's full healing and restoration.

God's truth can always stand testing and remain unchanged.  Deception, misunderstanding, and human theories never
stand up to serious testing by His truth.  You do not have to throw out God's truth that you have in order to embrace
more truth:  "new truth" may only be additional facts of the very truth you are already believing - there should be no
conflict, only a deeper understanding.

We Are New Creatures

In our early years as Christians, we may be puzzled as to why the Word of God is not manifesting itself in power in our
lives with signs and wonders following.  We may experience feelings of failure and discouragement and eventually give
up on victory and slip back into old patterns.

Clogged Filters

Our minds have been used to functioning as filters for everything we have ever heard and experienced.  A mind filled with
unresolved memories and unmet needs from the past is a mind clogged with pain - a mind that will cloud and pollute the
truth it receives today.  The filters of our mental and emotional "receivers" can also become clogged or jammed and this
jamming (like telephone lines) scrambles the receiving units so that vital information being transmitted perfectly become
dirty noise or static.

Unmet needs and unresolved memories from yesterday become the source of strongholds protected distorted ideas, bad
attitudes, and wrong patterns of thinking.  It can take a lifetime to overcome these deeply ingrained patterns of thinking if
you do not have the Keys of the Kingdom prayer principals to tear down strongholds around them.  But God's love,
mercy, and unfailing faithfulness will help us press through.  God's timing is a mystery to us, for His ways are not our
ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).  On through the revelation of the Holy Spirit are we ever able
to understand what god is doing in us, in others, in the spirit world, and in His perfect timing for such works.

Are The Doors of Access Open?

The Word of God says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."  James 4:7
Suppose you take a stand against the devil, front and center, clothed in your spiritual armor and resist the devil and they
flee. They will only circle around to see if you really have it all together and they find your back covered with signs that





The enemy is going to check you out from all angles to see if you are as strong as you think.  If you aren't God's mercy
may save you from a mortal "wound" because He desires to protect you, but you will probably take a major hit from the

God is longsuffering with many of our stubborn streaks, always working to help you come into the fullness of truth in your
relationship with him.  But God will not pardon or condone the sin of the strongholds in your life, regardless of what cruel
and terrible things that have been done to you.  God will not allow you to hang on to unforgiveness and bitterness.  You
will never enter into the fullness of your inheritance dragging strongholds behind you.

Right Standing with God

If you are not in right standing with Him because of protecting wrong things in your soul, even though you are washing in
the blood of Jesus and the recipient of His mercy, you can cause God to oppose your prayers.  It is the prayers of the
one who is in right standing that God hears - it is the righteous man or woman whose communications lines are up and
whose strongholds are down who consistently reaches the ear of the Father.

Many believers simply do not believe God would oppose them because of self protective strongholds in their lives.  His
mercy has spared many in such disbelief and disobedience, but His mercy will not always be extended towards their
determination to believe a lie.  Existing strongholds are always reinforced when a believer chooses to ignore God's plea
to tear them down,
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are
not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And
having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
 2 Corinthians 10:3-6  

Strongholds can exist even in those who deeply love the Lord.  Some realize they are there, but they've given up on ever
destroying them - deception.  There are those who only know something is wrong, but they believe it is guilt over having
failed - discouragement.  Then there are those who refuse to admit anything is wrong, denying the reality of their pain
and despair - denial. Strongholds can be torn down by any believer!  The word "loose," in Matthew 16:19 means to
destroy and demolish.  There is a great power in praying to loose the strongholds in your soul.

Reconciliation and Restoration Promised

But God is merciful.  The Word of God says God has committed unto us the ministry and the word of reconciliation (2
Corinthians 5:18-19).  The Greek word for "reconciliation" in these verses is
katallage, meaning exchange or restoration
to favor with God.  Part of this occurs as we are transformed by the renewing (renovation) of our minds (Romans 12:2).  
To renew means to restore, rebuild, reestablish, and renovate.

The grubby, stinky, stained, old things in your mind, will, and emotions have to be shoveled out, torn up, stripped away,
broken apart, and removed to make room for your divine renewal to begin:
loosing is the key to getting rid of old things
in your soul. Let's turn to the Word for types.

From the Old Testament:

The woman in Second Kings 4, the widow of the prophet, was about to lose her two sons into slavery to satisfy her
creditors.  She had nothing left to her name but a little oil.  She cried out to the prophet Elisha for help.  Elisha told her to
ask all her neighbors for empty jar and then lock herself inside with the jars and her sons, and begin to pour the bit of oil
into those jar.  Elisha promised it would not stop flowing until all the jars were filled.  She would be able to sell the oil, pay
off all her debts, and live on what was left over.  What if that woman had not bothered to clean out any old contents from
the jars?  The miracle required completely empty jars, jars capable of receiving as much as they could.  Your miracle of
receiving from God may be diminished, perhaps completely blocked, because your jars are full of old rubble.

From the New Testament:

The first miracle Jesus ever performed was turning the water into the wine at the wedding in Cana in John 2:7.  Jesus told
the servants to take jars and fill them to the brim with water, which He then turned into wine for the wedding supper.  He
filled the jars with a miracle.  What if those jars had been filled with refuse, with old waste?

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from
the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must
receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the
world began"  Acts 3:19-21

We can be refreshed and revived and recover from the effects of previous experiences as we make room in our souls to
receive renewal and restoration.

God has promised restoration all through His Word:

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the caterpiller,
and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the
name of the LORD you God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed."
 Joel 2:25,26

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
 Romans 12:2

God has always wanted to restore men and women to himself.  He sent His Son to die on the cross to bring about a
blood-bought way for man to come fully into that restoration.  Jesus is now being retained in heaven until this has been
fully accomplished.  We partake of this restoration by making room to receive it.

Receiving Restoration and Renewal

Everything in the Word of God exhorts us to expect restoration and renewal.  But so many Christians aren't receiving and
experiencing that restoration and power in these last day.  They are too busy trying to defend themselves against the
enemy.  Who has time to be used in miracles and signs and wonders?  Who has time to lead captives free or heal the
sick?  With the exhaustion from life's grinding pressures, struggling to pay the bills, keeping a roof over their heads, and
fighting to prevent their families from falling apart - indeed, who has time for such things?  So, who has time to walk in the
Spirit and do what Jesus did, let alone even greater things?  The believer who has learned to conquer his or her old
nature:  the unsurrendered soul.  Any believer can resist the enemy and cause him to flee.  All believers can walk in the
power of the Holy Spirit, receive from God, and bring about deliverance through the cleanness of their own hands.  You
can tear those strongholds down, those strongholds that are protecting the lies and doubts and fears that allow Satan to
torment you. Hell is only able to sustain its program against you when it is not resisted:  it is very difficult to resist the
enemy if you are like a house that is divided - a house that opposes itself.

We can receive mercy and healing from the Lord.  The key word here is "receive."  It can be very difficult to receive
anything if you are already full of something else. You simply cannot heal yourself of a strong will to survive or by working
in a program. You are healed by surrendering everything in your life - past, present and future - to the will of God and
then receiving healing from Him.  The only way to be free is to strip your unsurrendered soul's old nature of everything it
derives power from, tear down the strongholds you have erected to deal with the toxic waste of your past memories and
fears, and then allow God to spiritually realign your life.

Understanding Strongholds

Strongholds are what you rely upon to defend and protect your right to believe something or to protect something you
greatly fear being exposed.  Listed below are just a few examples:

Being painfully deceived by people that you trusted.  The stronghold: justifying the belief that you must protect
yourself against every being deceived again.  Defending this wrong belief will even cause you to resist intimacy with God.

Serious doubts about whether or not the word of God works for you.  The stronghold:  protecting you right  to
resist being too gullible about the promises in the Word.

Being rejected.  The stronghold:  The false belief that you really are independent and self-sufficient, needing no one.

Having been told that you have a lot of unmet needs.  The stronghold:  the false belief that you are very secure
in who you are, projecting a facade of strength intended to keep other from knowing how fragile and needy you really are.

The inability to forgive someone for what they have done to you.  The stronghold:  being able to rationalize
defending your hard feelings, bitterness, and anger towards those person(s).

Betrayal.  The stronghold:  protecting your right to prevent anyone from getting too close to you.

A dysfunctional childhood.  The stronghold:  protecting your right to prevent anyone from getting too close to you,
even God.

Always feeling deprived and unappreciated.  The stronghold:  Justifying and protecting your right to indulge
yourself inappropriately to compensate for your unmet needs and pain.

Growing up with a great deal of fear.  The stronghold:  apprehension and anxiety over unresolved issues in your
life which becomes your life.

What you believe about yourself can be more powerful in shaping your future than the truth.  You need His help to sort
through your many beliefs to make room for His truth.  Then you need to sort through the bits and pieces of truth you
have and let God help you focus them into powerful right beliefs.  

The binding and loosing that accomplishes this is ours by the grace of God and the power of the resurrected Lord Jesus
Christ.  We can begin to cooperate with God's restoration by stripping old things out of our souls, choosing to make room
to receive His renewal. Use the Keys of the Kingdom to cause things here on earth to come into alignment with the will of
God in heaven.  


Shattering Your Strongholds, by Liberty Savard, Copyright 1992, Bridge-Logos.