God’s Word Destroys Strongholds

Bible-Questions-586x300I have seen it happen time and again: the lies that people believe are overthrown and destroyed by the truth of God’s Word. It’s one of the supreme joys of my job as a counselor and pastor to help people understand and apply the Scriptures to their lives. This is a reality of counseling with the Bible because the Bible has the power to break down mental strongholds.

The apostle Paul describes this reality in his letter to the Corinthians. In 2 Corinthians 10 he describes the “weapons” of our spiritual warfare as those that have the power to destroy strongholds. He writes:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (v. 3-6)

Paul describes just how powerful God’s “weapons” are in this passage. God’s weapons are able to “destroy strongholds.” “Strongholds” would have carried very significant connotations to the original audience. It’s the idea of an impenetrable fortress. Corinth had a “stronghold” in the acropolis. The acropolis was located on a mountain near the city and was a fortified place that citizens could retreat to during attack. The word “Ochuroma” (stronghold) was also used to describe prisons and even tombs, which is not insignificant. These are images of fortitude, they are places not easily broken into, let alone destroyed. But Paul says here, the weapons of God’s warfare are able to “destroy strongholds.”

He explains why when he says that they have “divine power.” The Scriptures, as one of God’s chief weapons, are not “of the flesh” but have divine power. They are able to dismantle “arguments and every lofty opinion” because they come from God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). His Word is Spirit breathed and can stand against any idea, any opinion, and philosophy no matter how enlightened or intellectual. God’s Word is able to dismantle the lies of these false theologies and philosophies.

The power of the Word of God in counseling cannot be overstated. Because the Bible is not simply a book, it is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) it is able to discern false theologies. Paul Tautges and Steve Viars beautifully describe this reality when they write:

“Strongholds” are false ways of thinking, philosophies of the world that hold people captive. Knowing the Scriptures enables us to take foolish speculations captive to correction. A.W. Pink correctly noted, “There is only one safeguard against error, and that is to be established in the faith; and for that, there has to be prayerful and diligent study, and a receiving with meekness the engrafted Word of God.” As we faithfully employ the Scriptures in counseling, we train others to discern the wrong ways of thinking, which have become fortresses for sin in their lives, so that their minds can be renewed and their lives transformed by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:2). (Scripture and Counseling, 58-59)

That is the power of Scripture. No other means of counseling can make this same promise to people, but Biblical counseling can promise to free people from strongholds because that’s what God’s Word does. It has divine power!

When I am tempted to get frustrated in counseling, tempted to question my philosophy of counseling, tempted to doubt the sufficiency of Scripture God brings me back to this truth. He brings me back to often through my counselees who begin to experience change. As the Word of God takes root in their hearts, as they begin to live it out, God reminds me that His Word alone is able to break strongholds. So, I keep committing myself again to Biblical counseling, because God’s Word destroys all those mental fortresses that keep us stuck in sin and sorrow.


  1. Lisa Smith says:

    Amazing and timely article. Thank you! Lisa

    Pastor Dave Online wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com Pastor Dave Online posted: “I have seen it happen time and again: the lies that people believe are overthrown and destroyed by the truth of God’s Word. It’s one of the supreme joys of my job as a counselor and pastor to help people understand and apply the Scriptures to their lives.”

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