How to build up strongholds that are good and necessary

Trevor Lund
16 min readNov 27, 2023

Strongholds can be good and necessary. In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, it’s crucial to build up strongholds that can withstand the storms of life. But what if I told you that not all strongholds are created equal? We should know how to tear down strongholds. Do we know how to build good strongholds up? Learn how with the message How to build up Strongholds that are Good and Necessary

Trevor Lund is the founder of Live LIGHT Academy at https://livelight.ca and the Content Creator at https://revtrev.com Check out https://revtrev.com/tv for past videos and live casts and https://revtrev.com/radio to subscribe to his podcast wherever you listen.

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Read how to build up strongholds that are good and necessary

Strongholds are a curious thing. We generally think of them as bad, but we’re missing out of the fullness of scripture.

Here’s how I understand strongholds…

5 principles to Understand Strongholds

  1. A stronghold is “a way of thinking that protects thoughts and actions.”
  2. A stronghold is bad when it protects thoughts and actions that sets themselves up against the knowledge of Christ. Those strongholds need to be torn down (2 Corinthians 10:3–5). Revelatory truth is what tears down those strongholds.
  3. A stronghold is a good thing when it protects God thoughts and good actions. God is our stronghold so every good stronghold reinforces and facilitates greater revelation and continuing revelation of God (Ephesians 1:15–20). It’s only done by the grace of God, and it strengthens our trust in God. God’s revelation establishes and strengthens good strongholds.
  4. A stronghold influences our whole heart — our intellect, our emotions and our actions. It’s with our whole heart that we help strengthen or tear down strongholds. Our heart needs to align with God’s heart. Our emotions show us what we actually believe.
  5. Because we have His grace, we need to position ourselves with our whole heart to receive His revelation. We need to make space for Him to reveal himself as God and as good. We do this with His power working through us (1 Corinthians 15:10) This is nothing we can do by our own will or determination.

Let’s start with how Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount…

Matthew 7:12–29 NLT
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority — quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Can I pray?

What do we build on the rock?

Something that can withstand the floods and the wind. In this world you will have trouble (the way is narrow and the road is difficult)…but take heart, He has overcome the world. We needs good strongholds for the storms of life.

You need the revelation of God for that. Your role is to go after it with your whole heart — your thoughts, your emotions and your actions. His glory is to surprise and bless you with revelation.

It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of Kings to seek it out. Proverbs 25:2

What I mean by revelation is not something we can convince ourselves with. It’s not that we can “will it to be true”. It’s not if we say it enough we’ll convince ourselves. It’s not meditation or memorization — although those will lead to revelation.

Revelation is God unveiling truth directly to us in a way we understand to make us know with our heart — our intellect, our emotions and are actions. It’s like spinning iron filings coming into a strong magnetic field and suddenly every lines us and everything makes sense.

We still need to work through the revelation. I still have more to learn about the whole heart, but the day I that penny dropped a whole new world of understanding was unveiled for me. Something I wasn’t thinking about radically and permanently changed my life. That’s why I had to get up early and fix this message because it made so much more sense to think about our role in revelation with our whole heart.

When we know something with our whole heart, it’s a stronghold in our life. That can be a very positive thing, in fact, it will be life.

The Problem with Strongholds

The problem with strongholds most of us in the church have no idea that stronghold can be good. We only know them as bad. I’ve created at tool to help people tear down strongholds. But I’ve realized that not all strongholds are bad and that we need strongholds that are good we need to know how to strengthen them.

Let’s look at these examples about strongholds being good and necessary.

2 Samuel 22:3
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence.

Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

Psalms 8:2

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Psalm 9:9
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalms 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms 37:39
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD ; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

Psalms 43:2
You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Psalms 52:7
“Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”

Psalm 144:2
He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

Joel 3:16

The Lord roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the Lord is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

Proverb 10:29
The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe

Psalm 94:22
But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.

Psalm 46:7, 11
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Psalm 62:2
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

So what do I do build up God as my stronghold?

That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked. The question actually is How do I build on the rock?

God is always revealing his will and good pleasure. Yes, there will be seasons God is quiet, just don’t be the reason for season God is quiet for you. Here’s how you avoid that.

How to Build On the Rock

- How to put yourself in position to receive more and more of His revelation.

REVELATION

R — Revel in the Word John 15:7

E — Employ the Testimony of Jesus Psalm 103:2

V — Value His Presence James 4:8

E — Evaporate Worry Psalm 27:1

L Learn to Listen Isaiah 30:15

A — Agree with Others Hebrews 10:25

T — Turn to Confession and Repentance 1 John 1:8–10

I — Imitate Christ 1 Peter 2:19–21

O Obey what He tells you to do John 14:15–21

N — Never forget about gratitude 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

R — Revel in the Word

John 15:7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

How do you relish the word? Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Do what you can do.

It doesn’t become the very word of God until He reveals the truth in it for you. But you can prepare yourself to receive revelation. Once he does reveal it, no part of the rain or wind or life will ever convince you it’s not true.

Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Can you ask Holy Spirit to give you the revelation of the written word? Maybe you could ask Him to remind you of your first love for His word?

How is Holy Spirit prompting me to revel the Word?

E — Employ the Testimony of Jesus

Psalm 103:2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

The saints overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of His testimony. (Revelation 12:1). The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy (Revelation 19:10).

When testimony is about Jesus, it invites Him to do it again. We can testify with our worries, with our fears and with our complaints and invite the enemy to do it again.

I’m not saying, “slap on your happy face.” Or “Fake it until you make it.” I’m saying “Know where you can bring your worries and cares and complaints.” It’s not to others who aren’t prepared to bear your burden. I’ll get where you can bring your worries in a moment.

Right now we’re talking about testimony. Testimony about Jesus builds our faith that He will do it again. If He did it for them, He can do it for us.

Can you ask Holy Spirit to reveal the Testimony of Jesus as a stronghold in your life? When you get that supernatural revelation you don’t believe the testimony of a fallen world that has yet to be redeemed. You believe the testimony of Jesus that says, “If he did it before, he can do it again. If he did it for them, he will do it for me.

And you’ll say with the psalmist:

Psalm 9:9
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Am I employing the testimony of Jesus?

V — Value His Presence

James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

We put value in His presence with praise and worship, in stillness and in awe, with loud voices and in quiet reflection. It’s not just for when we gather Sunday morning, it’s in the day-to-day of everyday. God is always with us. Will you be with Him?

Look at what it says In Psalm 8:

Psalms 8:2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

God has put a stronghold through the praise of Children and infants. He inhabits the praises of His people. It’s in His presence that revelation occurs. It’s there that you know that you know that you know that you’re loved. It’s in his presence that it’s the fullness of joy.

Do I value His presence in the day-to-day of everyday?

E — Evaporate Worry

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Where do you take your worries, your fears and your complaints? Peter tells us to

1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Because HE cares for you, He cares about your worries and your cares. Prayer is that place where we take our worries and cares and exchange them for His peace.

That happens because when we see our worries and concerns in light of the Father of light, we know we can trust Him and as we trust Him we get peace and hope and joy.

Do you need a revelation of peace and hope and joy? When we have that revelation, we never want to give it up.

Do I cast my cares on the Lord?

L — Learn to Listen

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.

You can’t talk when you listen.

Jesus had crowds follow him before his time, so he talked about his blood being real drink and his body real food…and the crowds left and he asked his disciples if they were going to leave as well.

John 6:68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.

When you get the revelation that God’s words are real life, eternal life, you want to shut up and listen for a while.

Have you had that revelation? If you have, it’s calling for you again. If you haven’t, ask Holy Spirit to make the very words of God life for you.

Don’t forget 2 Samuel 22:3:
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence.

Do I make space to listen to God?

A Agree with Others

Hebrews 10:24–25 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Revelation happens when we gather because when two or three are gathered in his name He is there (Matthew 18:20).

Where he is acknowledge as present, revelation can occur.

Look at what Jesus is saying in these verses:

Matthew 18:18–20 AMP I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.”

Together, we can see the wisdom and knowledge of God. It’s not that you and agree God needs to do something, it’s that you and I agree God has already loosed it our bound it in heaven. We’re agreeing that His will that is done perfectly in heaven, will be done perfectly on earth.

We do this TOGETHER. This is amazing. We don’t know it on our own. We need to know it together.

God is everywhere, all the time, all at once. But there’s something amazing that happens when we KNOW we have it together.

Revelation is not just for you. The revelation of the knowledge of God is for us together.

Psalms 37:39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD ; he is their stronghold in time of trouble

Do I make space for a greater revelation of God together?

T — Turn to Confession and Repentance

1 John 1:8–10 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

If you want revelation from God, it is only by His grace and His grace is sufficient for you. It’s by His grace you can confess your sins and repent of your ways. There is no sin he cannot set you free from. He empowers us to accomplish every good work prompted by faith. That is his grace in action.

Keep short accounts with God. If you feel him tugging at you, respond to him today. Don’t let sin separate you from the blessing of the revelation God has for you.

Proverb 10:29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.

Do I need to confess and repent of anything?

I — Imitate Christ

1 Peter 2:19–21 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

Christ suffered for us and left us an example so we can follow in his steps. Look at the realness of Psalm 43.

Psalms 43:2 You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Psalms state emotional truth, not necessarily theological truth. Can we feel like God has rejected us? Oh yes. But it’s an emotional statement, not a theological one. That’s why we need to:

R — Revel in the Word

E — Employ Testimony about Jesus

V — Value His Presence

E — Evaporate Worry

L — Learn to Listen

A — Agree with Others

T — Turn to Confession and Repentance

Because God can meet us in our pain and give us greater revelation of His goodness, but I don’t see that happen much to people who are bitter towards him.

Joel 3:16 The Lord roars from Zion And utters His voice from Jerusalem, And the heavens and the earth tremble. But the Lord is a refuge for His people And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

Am I resisting becoming more and more like Jesus?

O — Obey what He tells you to do

John 14:15–21 “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

If you want greater revelation of God and His ways, obey what he’s told you to do. Obey what’s in His word. Love. Obey those prompts he gives you to actually love.

Psalm 144:2
He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

Do I obey what He tells me to do?

N — Never forget about gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Gratitude opens us up for so much including a greater and greater revelation of God. When we are thankful for what he’s given us… it is his good pleasure to give us more.

What good strongholds has God put in your life that you know that you know that you know are true? You might have memorized the scriptures or read the books or underlined the verses, but there was divine revelation to make it a stronghold in your life. These only come about by His revelation.

Maybe it’s something that I mentioned today — Maybe you KNOW the Bible is true and life. Maybe it’s the testimony of Jesus, Maybe it’s His presence that you know always brings you joy. Perhaps it’s prayer that YOU KNOW changes things. Maybe it’s His voice, maybe it’s community, maybe it’s his forgiveness, maybe it’s HIM. Maybe it’s obedience or maybe it’s gratitude or maybe it’s something you heard as a whisper that shouted to your soul.

Be grateful for that revelation. Revel in His revelation. It puts you in good stead for more.

God is our stronghold. An ever-present help in trouble. The wind and the waves will come. Be sure you are built on the rock.

Am I grateful for my current revelation?

Conclusion

It’s the revelation of God that creates good strongholds in us that can stand against the waves and wind of life. It is by his grace and it’s nothing we deserve, but we can position ourselves for greater and greater revelation of him. We need to work with our whole heart to position ourselves to receive ongoing revelation from God.

REVELATION

R — Revel in the Word

E — Employ the Testimony of Jesus

V — Value His Presence

E — Evaporate Worry

L Learn to Listen

A — Agree with Others

T — Turn to Confession and Repentance

I — Imitate Christ

O Obey what He tells you to do

N — Never forget about gratitude

Can I pray?

Leave time for His revelation.

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Trevor Lund

I help you to not conform but be transformed so you can have peace at all times and in every situation