When our inner man ebbs low in strength, the flesh will rise up to bully the mind. This is because the flesh is subject to a law which renders it incompatible to true holiness. This law animates and drives the flesh to grapple with the spirit and undermine all of God’s doings for us in the way of sanctification. If our thought patterns and imaginations are undisciplined; if we are negligent in guarding what comes into our body through our eyes and ears, we can get hit with a flaming missile and jeopardize our intimacy with the Lord.
Being hit with a missile can lead to a stronghold being erected in the heart. These strongholds are the causes behind all the spiritual depression, defeatism, critical thinking and excursions into pornography that so many believers are shackled to. Deep within, a spiritual sabotage takes place to where the believer becomes overwhelmed by a sinister law. With his mind, he knows God’s law is righteous and good, and he desires to follow it perfectly and to be set free from his bondage – but a stronghold blocks the way to freedom. The stronghold manifests itself every time he attempts to obey God and progress.
It begins in the ungirded mind by a little dart slipping in and being allowed to develop and infect. The dart should have been mortified before the penetration occurred. Wearing the helmet of salvation and girding our minds with the armament of Christ is how we deflect these darts from entering in and creating strongholds. A believer who has the mind of Christ takes all thoughts instantly into captivity to the obedience of Christ. This is how God protects us.
If you get hit with a flaming missile and become infected with a stronghold, you’ll need the Holy Spirit for deliverance. Many Christians think it is normal to always be hurting, defeated and depressed. They think it is normal to not have any power with God, or to not have a ministry that changes people’s lives. The truth is that a “defeated Christian” is an oxymoron in the purest sense! Your birthright in Christ is not to be defeated and depressed. No, God’s will for your life is to overcome sin with absolute purity, to maintain a clean conscience, to experience the power of His divine nature, to minister abundant life unto others, and to enjoy unbroken victory and joy through Christ Jesus.
Dear saint, if you would walk undefiled with God and with divine power to impact other souls for Jesus Christ, you must learn to discipline your thought life. This is infinitely more important than winning theological debates or preaching homiletically-correct sermons. One can accomplish all these and yet be thoroughly defeated. You can walk with religious honor and praise before men and yet be utterly crippled before God.
Spiritual depression and defeatism for a believer under the New Covenant is due to a judgment of God. The judgment’s purpose is to work for the believer’s good through chastening. A precept of God was transgressed and as a result the Lord’s peace was immediately withdrawn from the believer’s spirit; God’s hedge of protection was lifted from the mind, and spiritual depression set in. The judgment of God allowed the powers of darkness to infiltrate and erect a fortress to bully the starved spirit. Satan’s torments are then used by God to foster a deep humility and profound brokenness in the believer. This is precisely the state in which the grace of God can flow most abundantly – and for many, this is where the true Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs, after years of failure and whitewashed defeat.
Dear saint, God will allow your failure and pain to continue on for years and years, if necessary to prepare you to receive His overcoming grace. In that day, His emancipating love will flood your spirit like a tsunami and demolish all the stronghold walls in your heart. The flaming darts will all dissolve and you will be set free and swept clean. His Spirit will then teach you how to keep future darts out through the mortification of the flesh, through the girding of the mind, and through the guarding of the heart in collaboration with the Spirit of Holiness.