The Castillo De San Marcos keeps an intimidating watch over the Matanzas River in Saint Augustine Florida. It’s thick and towering walls are arranged in such a way that if any enemy tries to scale them, he’ll be caught in a deadly, impassable crossfire before his hands or feet touch the first nook or cranny. If he tries to breach the walls with cannon fire from afar, he will lose heart as the rounds from his cannons sink into the wall’s energy absorbing coquina rock, rather than shattering or toppling them. The castillo’s basic elements have been standing since 1695. It is a stronghold. A stronghold is a fortressed area designed to withstand great attacks, to be impervious to conventional means of assault, and to allow its inhabitants the ability to fight from the safety of a well protected area.
Satan builds strongholds in our mental life. He does this by tightly weaving together a tapestry of lies around half truths that we tell ourselves. This blanket of lies is designed to keep us down spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally by protecting those half-truths from an assault of full-on truth. When you try to rip through this tapestry in conventional ways, you find that it is a wall of coquina rock that absorbs each blow and does not easily topple. For instance, we may tell ourselves something like, “that’s just the way I am.” We use this statement to justify our temperaments, our laziness, our sexual indiscretions, or our attraction to other modes of self-destruction. We tell ourselves such things because they are partly true. We are naturally a certain way. So Satan nestles that half truth in lies that reinforce it, and hide from us the fact that we don’t have to stay in the cage of “that’s just the way I am. ” He can then motivate us to fight against the full truth from a protected position. Satan’s fortress then becomes our prison.
As intimidating as the Castillo appears, it is useless against modern means of attack. Today, an enemy could fly over the top of those coquina walls and obliterate everything inside of them. God gives you that ability (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). He, himself, then becomes your fortress and stronghold as his truths set you free from the lies and half truths that keep you in misery (Psalm 27:1, John 8:31-32).