What are Spiritual Strongholds?

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV)

How likely is it that you’re facing a spiritual stronghold in your life? Surprisingly, the odds are quite high. The challenge, however, lies in our frequent unawareness of what constitutes a spiritual stronghold in our lives, an ignorance that is a form of stronghold in itself. Let’s delve into the scriptural understanding of spiritual strongholds to recognize if you might also be confronting one—I have some really strong ones God is slowly pulling them down!

In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul addresses the concept within the realm of spiritual warfare. Contrary to ideas of demonic power clashes or ouvert occultic practices, Paul clarifies in the subsequent verse that he speaks of thought patterns—arguments, opinions, and convictions that are enemies of God’s purposes (2 Corinthians 10:5).

“Stronghold,” as used here, signifies a fortified position, offering a metaphor for entrenched thought patterns that dictate our behaviors, often in opposition to God’s will, yet are fervently defended by us.

Consider the example of an atheist, firmly believing in the non-existence of God or rejecting Jesus, grounded in flawed interpretations of science, philosophy, or other ideologies—a quintessential spiritual stronghold.

As Christians, we are not exempt from strongholds. The current state of our finances, health, relationships, spiritual life, ministry, etc, are often shaped by our ideas and convictions(strongholds). For instance, if we silently think that God truly does not love us—whatever the reason—that thought becomes a powerful stronghold that will destroy our spiritual lives.

We can also apply it to other areas, such as healing or finances. A Christian who believes that miracles do not occur today immediately quenches God’s power in their lives and prevents themselves from any supernatural interventions. Such theological or doctrinal strongholds are often the worst of all the strongholds we will personally have to deal with as Christians.

It might be time to think again if you presume your life is free of strongholds. I remember when the Holy Spirit began showing me that I am not the man of faith I thought I was—a personal revelation that transformed my faith walk. You might also be in for a surprise with the Holy Spirit. Some of you might be poor or dealing with perpetual lack just because of how you think about money—financial stronghold. Please ask the Spirit in prayer to show you if there is a way you think and act that is responsible for any areas of defeat or suffering in your spiritual life, finances, relationships, etc.

Yet, there’s hope. The truth in God’s Word is a formidable hammer that shatters spiritual strongholds in pieces. But it requires that we come with an open, surrendered heart, allowing the Word to guide, correct, rebuke, and dismantle ideas we protect that are contrary to his purposes.


Reflect on the concept of spiritual strongholds. Identify 2 to 3 specific strongholds opposing God’s intentions in your life.

Apply the Word

Addressing personal strongholds is particularly difficult, mainly because we are often blinded to them and so tend to defend and protect them. In fact, in most cases, God has to deliver us from ourselves to break strongholds in our lives( 2 Timothy 2:26). Cry out to the Lord to deliver you from any thought pattern responsible for suffering in your life, which you are probably unaware of.


Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see your strongholds and take steps to demolish them.

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