Do your circumstances or choices ever cause you to feel distanced from God and convinced that the blessed assurance of His peace wasn't meant for you? Sometimes in order to find peace we have to choose to turn away from the people, possessions, and problems which steal our joy and hinder our affection for God. For me this is a daily struggle.
What is the stronghold in your life that has displeased God or displaced your relationship with Him? Is it a particular habit that you enjoy in excess, or a seemingly harmless friendship with someone who is not your mate? Even if you are wise enough to step out of the relationship you may be plagued by lasting memories which can threaten your marriage and hinder your fellowship with God.
So how can we turn away from those things that become strongholds in our lives? We must choose to turn away from the stronghold and turn back to the Lord. As difficult as it may sound, it really is that simple. Turning away involves repentance -- true repentance, not merely being sorry for making bad choices and unwise decisions.
Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29, NIV). Practically speaking, turning away may mean leaving a job, moving away, avoiding social media, or taking another way home. The choice to turn away isn't easy; that is why we must turn to the Lord for His forgiveness, wisdom, and strength. It is only in His power that we can cast away the strongholds that take hold of us and in His forgiveness that we will find peace.
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