A long time ago (as in years and years ago) I read Beth Moore's book "Breaking Free." I know people have mixed feelings about Beth Moore and her Bible studies etc - and I will admit they sometimes have a certain amount of cheese, plus I'm totally not into the whole "fill in the blank" Bible study approach (I dont think about it, I just look for the "right" answer). But I'll tell you what, Beth has a WORD from the Lord in that book. When I read it, it literally changed my life - I feel like I was able to move from captivity to freedom (not overnight obviously, but as a result of God's Truth and principles working in my life).
Lately, there's been some things going on in my life and the life of some people around me that has made me start pondering strongholds and captivity all over again. It's slightly ridiculous how easily I fall back into captivity. It's like I offer Satan my wrists and let him bind me up without even realizing what I'm doing. Like the Isrealites, I grumble about my new-found freedom and forget what a mighty work God did in my life to bring me to the Promised Land. I am baffled at how Christians who love the Lord and have His Spirit can continue to live their life in bondage to sin. We can be held captive by so many things: fear, insecurities, addictions, sin . . . I'm realizing that I need to again examine my life and tear down the shelters and strongholds that I've built to try and protect myself from this captivity. Because the truth is that my shelters aren't keeping me safe or free . . .
Sometimes God lets things get so bad that we're forced to look up. Victory always begins with looking up.