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Demolishing Strongholds [Paperback]

David Devenish
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Review

'A book full of biblical shocks and surprises that God has owned to cause all heaven (and hell!) to break loose and set thousands free. A superb manual that will make you mad with the devil and eager to sign up and fight.' -- Greg Haslam, Senior Pastor, Winchester Family Church

'David's book on demolishing spiritual strongholds is the clearest biblical teaching on the subject I have ever read. This book should be mandatory reading for all serious Christians.' --Barney Coombs, International Director, Salt & Light Ministries

About the Author

DAVID DEVENISH serves as part of the leadership team of Newfrontiers. Based at Woodside Church, Bedford, UK, he works with many churches in the UK, Russia and Ukraine, and encourages church planting in unreached parts of the world.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

When we read in the Bible about the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom, there is a tendency to read it through the eyes of western rationalism and this can limit our understanding of the reality of spiritual warfare. We tend to treat what we cannot see as if it does not exist because of our so-called ‘scientific’ or ‘rational’ worldview – that is our way of looking at the world – which in the West can often marginalise supernatural activity. However, there are many places in the world where the people there, who have a different worldview, more readily understand demonic power. (It is not that demonic power is any more present there, just more obvious and recognised).
As you travel to preach the gospel and see people set free, you begin to realise the reality of the unseen spiritual world from a different perspective. For example, while in America, I spent time with a pastor who was leading a church in Haiti. This island in the Caribbean had been dedicated to Satan, although evangelical Christians have begun to make ground and have succeeded in stopping an annual rededication ceremony from being enacted. This pastor could fill a book with just some of his experiences, but here is one typical story.
The group that he leads wanted to build a new church facility on a particular piece of land on the island. They bought the land and began to prepare the foundations where the building was to be constructed. They levelled off the ground to the size of building that they had planned and were just about to prepare the foundations when the pastor felt that God was telling him to dig further. So, they dug deeper, then levelled off the ground and started to prepare the foundations again. However, the pastor still felt that God was telling him to dig further. Now at this point, most people would begin to wonder whether it was God or their own insecurity that was telling them to dig. The pastor decided to be positive and believe for God; so they dug and dug and dug.
After digging really deep, their patience was beginning to run a bit thin and they were just about to give up when someone struck something very hard and unyielding. They found to their amazement that they had dug up an old sacrificial altar that had been used for evil purposes. They cleared it out of the way, and God told them that they could now build. He did not want a building that was to be used for His purposes built on a foundation of something evil.
To western eyes, this whole story is a little bit weird. We might want to question what it means, what is it all about; but the pastor did as he was told, and they now have one of the few buildings on the island with a basement room. A happy side effect is, of course, that in such a hot country, the basement room is cooler for prayer meetings!
As a further illustration of differing ways of looking at things, I would like to mention something that happened to me in India. A Christian couple approached and asked me to pray for them, because they couldn't have children. Normally I don't tend to ask the details, but on this occasion I asked the wife what the problem was, half expecting a detailed gynaecological history. Her response was that when she was a teenager, she had killed a cobra, and because of that, she was now unable to have children.
It had never occurred to me with my western perspective that in the superstitious traditions of that area, a girl in puberty must not kill a cobra (but must allow a man to do so on her behalf). Otherwise, it is believed, she will never have children.
So I prayed for her to be released from the influence of the powers of superstition in her life, and when I went back two years later she already had a baby, and there was another on the way. She and her husband are now small-group leaders in the church there.


There is a two-fold danger here. We can be influenced by a rationalist worldview into disbelieving spiritual warfare issues, or we can swing too far the other way and develop an unhealthy preoccupation with the demonic. The church often seems to fluctuate unhelpfully between these two extremes:
1. If the subject of spiritual warfare is ignored, the enemy gains the advantage that we are unaware of what he is doing and he is thus free to carry on.
2. If, on the other hand, we develop an unhealthy interest in the powers of darkness, we offer the enemy an opportunity to oppress us with fear, by shifting our focus away from the power and victory of God.
What do I mean by spiritual warfare? The definition I work with is as follows:
‘The reality that the advance of the gospel and the building of the church involve us in attacking and experiencing counter-attack in relation to real cosmic forces of darkness under the control of Satan who is also described as the god of this world.’
The implications of this definition will come out throughout this book but the important thing is that spiritual warfare is not some sort of specialist activity that people with special skills get involved with. It is rather, what all of us will face as we advance the gospel and see the church built in our day. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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