The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Whenever we talk about spiritual warfare or temptation, we often lead people to identify strongholds in their lives—besetting sins, areas of temptation, or places we haven’t fully yielded to God’s rule in our lives. The apostle Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 10:4 that we have been given weapons of spiritual warfare in order to “demolish strongholds.”
However, the Bible speaks much more often of God as our stronghold than any strongholds of the enemy. In addition to Psalm 27:1, the Psalms speak repeatedly of God as our strength and stronghold. (see 18:2, 46:1-3, 62:6, 91:2, 144:2). A stronghold was the fortified building in the center of a town, as far from the city walls as it could be. If an enemy breached every other wall, those who lived in the city could run to the stronghold and take refuge. In feudal times, this was the manor castle. As long as the walls of the castle weren’t breached, the people were kept safe inside. This is why the central, most heavily fortified area of the castle was called the keep.
Now, Paul also talked about footholds. In Ephesians 4:26-27 he wrote,
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Giving the devil a FOOThold is very different from trusting God as our STRONGhold. A foothold is a spot a climber finds in order to scale a wall and breach it. It can be a crack, a faultline, a flaw or divot the enemy soldier could exploit, and thus gain access to the walled city.
Our enemy the devil may indeed gain an opportunity in our lives. He is skilled at exploiting the weaknesses of our defenses. But we can always run to God, our strength and our stronghold. He is our Keep in the middle of our walled city.
Heavenly Father, even when I give the devil a foothold, let me run to you as my stronghold.
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