My simple, but meaningful walk
When visiting my sister-in-love in Caracas, Venezuela, we decided to get up early and go for a walk. Since she lived very close to her job at the International School, she introduced me to the walking path she frequents daily. The air was freshly brisk and the blue sky clear. I was so pleased when she pointed out the trail up ahead. I could see hills and a steep incline, which meant intervals, which meant I could work off all the delicious Venezuelan food I had eaten on this trip so far. As we started off, I immediately noticed that our path was lined with exquisite buildings all unique with its own décor. These homes stood out from the others. I quickly learned they were not homes. “These are all the different countries and their embassies.”
My sister-in-love pointed out as we started to get our stride, “Germany, France, Spain …” she went on naming each one as I began to notice the flags flying high above each building for telling with high declarative voice what country they represent.
“Well where is the U.S.?” I asked catching my breath as we headed up another false flat. She pointed way ahead replying. “That is our destination and the very top before we head back down.”
For me, for some reason, when I saw the American flag, I had the biggest relief. I felt peace, comfort and we still had a long way to walk before we arrived at the top. Yet looking at the flag from afar I was reassured of its presence, purpose and all it represented. Even though we were not at any danger at the moment, as I drew closer and closer to the U.S. Embassy, and seeing the vivid colors of red, white and blue, the more comfort and reassurance I felt in my inner being. There was something about that flag flying high almost calling my name in the wind gave me a since of reassurance. Much like a mother who gently puts her hand on her child’s head or back reaffirming that Mom is right here.
Even though at this time, Venezuela was primarily at rest since it was at the beginning of the dictator’s reign, I still felt safe to know where the embassy was and how to get to it in case I needed to go. I was very watchful and focused with close attention to the directions coming and going. This was my stronghold in case I was in trouble and I was making sure I know how to run, walk, or crawl if need be to get to my U.S. stronghold.
History of forts
In ancient times strongholds were commonly called forts, fortress, walls, and various other synonyms. The strongholds were known as a place that is fortified, a place of security and a place of survival.
These manmade forts protected people on the inside from war and enemies attacks. We in America would call our strongholds military bases and embassies
In Biblical times these strongholds were ever present, especially in the Old Testament.
Wherever there was a war, one would find some type of stronghold and others trying to tear them down. These forts and fortresses were made out of a variety of materials and resources. And just like there are many different types and styles of natural strongholds the same is true of spiritual strongholds.
The bad and the ugly
Depending on the source of power, spiritual strongholds can be good or bad.
Let’s talk about the bad first…
How is your soul? Or should I ask who has your soul?
Is it captivated by the cares of the world, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life?
Is it imprisoned by evilness and demonic forces?
Is it paralyzed by fear due to dramatic event, emotional hurts, past mistakes?
What power has hold of you so strong that it refuses to let go?
What can have such a tight hold over you that it shackles and enslaves you?
Perhaps an addiction, a behavior, a thought, action…
Something you cannot shake
The good and great news
God is our stronghold, an ever-present help in times of need! The Bible declares that a good stronghold the very best and highest fort, fortress and high wall of protection is God.
Nahum one of the prophets of the southern kingdom. Prophesying in his area of Elkosh between Jerusalem and Gaza declares God’s power saying, “The LORD is good! A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
Just like Nahum trusted in God during this real time of war, in the same like fashion we can trust God today to be our stronghold when wars stir up in spiritual battle for our souls, in our daily situations and life’s struggles.
He is faithful to protect us from our enemies, ourselves, and from the ways of this world.
Jehovah Nissi means Banner in Hebrew. Which means God is our banner, our flag our signal pole. We can look up high and with knowledge sight, see Christ sitting on the right side of God. Then our comfort comes. Just like when I saw the U.S. flag waving high above our embassy. I was walking in a foreign country, but I could take comfort.
For those who call themselves followers of Christ, you know that God is faithful to His word. In the past, currently, in the future and for eternity.
God is strong, mighty and full of holy power. I seek to hold onto Him as He holds onto me.
We can proudly exclaim with great joy!
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
What stronghold are you suffering from? Would you turn to the only one to give you deliverance, comfort and steadfastness? You can turn from those strongholds and in exchange cling to the true Stronghold. Look up! Look high! And you will see Jehovah Nissi our Stronghold.
© Copyright 2012 Simone Lake. All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright 2012 Deep Roots in Christ Ministries. All Rights Reserved