What’s a stronghold? It’s something that takes up greater negative space in your life and dreams then it should. A few years ago I wrote about this in an article for Today’s Christian Woman.

In Food for Thought, I shared about my stronghold of time stealers. These were things that seemed like not a big deal, but that had stolen more than time from me. They had started to affect relationships. My goals. They got in the way of attaining my dreams. 

In the article, I said: 

I decided to fast. Instead of giving up food, I eliminated my time stealers for 30 days.

I checked my e-mail only twice a day. Computer games were gone.

I turned off the television during the day. During the day I popped in a CD and filled my home with my favorite worship music.

As the fast concluded, I looked at what I’d gained. My life hadn’t changed, just the management of time stealers. I still had the same 24 hours available to me each day. I still was busy. I still had deadlines.

But I’d uncovered pockets of precious moments that I chose to fill carefully. I spent a portion of my morning reading my Bible and talking with God. I took long walks with my husband in the evening or worked outside. Because my writing and tasks for the day were complete, I could enjoy these things with a clear focus and without guilt. Several of these “luxuries” I’d often neglected in the past because I had “too much to do” and “not enough time.”

When the fast was over, I came to the conclusion that God had more for me—not a legalistic list of tasks to perform, but a new way of thinking.

I wish that I could say that these things aren’t temptations today. That somehow they just drifted away. But that would be a lie. The difference is that I recognize them for what they are. They may be no big deal to someone else, but in my life they have the potential to become strongholds. To get in the way of what God has for me.

What about you? What are the strongholds that take up space that God desires to fill with good things?

To live free: Refuse to blame or justify a stronghold in your life. Instead, address it. Tackle it. Give it the priority it deserves.

Scripture: So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! Romans 8:12-14 (The Message)

Just you and God: Don’t entertain strongholds. Our privilege, with God’s help, is to tear them down, not willingly invite them into our heart, our family, or our destiny.