I know a thing or two about spiritual strongholds from personal experience. Before I was born again over 20 years ago, I was under several strongholds, none of them good. You know you’re under a bad spiritual stronghold when no matter how hard you try to get away from something or someone, you cannot, you keep going back despite your best intentions. It has control over you in a way that defies logic. It’s way too strong for you and it holds you. That’s why it’s called a stronghold.
For example, I was in what some people would call a “toxic” relationship. There was nothing good in it besides the physical aspect. The relationship was built on lies and deceit and abuse on both sides, but I could not tear myself away from it. Even with the help of family and friends and law enforcement, I still went back to the relationship time and time again. This went on for nearly five years, until I was reborn. After that, I could not tolerate the physical aspect of the relationship anymore and I felt a different kind of affection for the person. The stronghold had been broken, and I was able to leave on good terms, and permanently.
When I was reborn, all of the demonic strongholds over me were broken in an instant. Spiritual rebirth is actually an exorcism of the spirits that have dominion over unbelievers. It’s the breaking of what used to be called a spell. Some unbelievers have only one or two of these spirits holding sway over them, while others have dozens. I had at least dozens, and some were exceedingly strong, like the one that made me desire alcohol. But rebirth broke the hold of them all and in one fell swoop and placed me under the power and protection of God’s Holy Spirit.
No spiritual stronghold is stronger than God’s Holy Spirit. Even all the demon spirits combined cannot overpower God’s Holy Spirit. This is the stronghold under which I now live and breathe and move. This is God’s Kingdom on Earth.
I mention the existence of spiritual strongholds because most of the world is currently under a particularly insidious one. People are being ruled by fear and are incapable of processing information in a logical or reasoned way. Jesus called this being blind and deaf. They are spiritually blind and deaf because of the power of the stronghold over them. You cannot break this stronghold (or in fact any stronghold) using reason or logical arguments. Facts are also useless against the spell. Only God has the power to break the stronghold, and he’ll only do that if people cry out for help.
God gave us free will as a gift; it’s all that we can really call our own. Our body is not our own, our soul is not our own, even our earthly possessions are not our own. They all belong to God. All we can claim as our own is our free will. And because we own it free and clear, our free will is respected by God and he will not override it without our consent. Bad spiritual strongholds will remain in place as long as people make choices that keep them in place. But the minute they cry out for help, God will swoop in to help them. Whether they choose to accept his help is up to them.
When I cried out for help on the day I was reborn, God heard me before the words had even left my lips. He then showed me my options (which in my case were to choose to forgive or not to forgive someone who had done me grave wrong [this is not the same person I was in the mutually toxic relationship with]). God also showed me the consequences of each of those two choices. I chose to forgive solely based on the consequence of the choice to forgive, which was that the pain would stop. In choosing to forgive, God then forgave me, and the demons that had hold of me were exorcised. They were banished, and with them went the pain. In their place, God’s Holy Spirit rushed in and has remained with me for over 20 years. Saying yes to choosing to forgive was the best decision I ever made in my life, and the good repercussions of that decision resonate to this day.
Demonic spiritual strongholds can only be broken by God’s Holy Spirit, and only if the person under the stronghold first of all wants out and second of all accepts God’s rescue terms. If instead of choosing to forgive I had chosen not to forgive, the demonic strongholds imprisoning me would not have been broken, and more would have been added. I don’t think about that option because I know it ends in the lake of fire. There is no other way for it to end. God would not have given me another chance to break free of the strongholds. That was my moment; that was my visitation; that was my one and only opportunity. Thank God I chose freedom under God’s Holy Spirit rather than continued and worsening imprisonment under demonic spirits. Thank God that God showed me the right choice to make. He didn’t coerce me; he didn’t force me; he just shone a bright light on the right choice, and I chose it.
Jesus tells us in scripture that the world is under Satan. The world’s people will remain under the authority of Satan and his demons as long as they choose to remain under it. You cannot break that stronghold; only God can, and only if people want him to.