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Casting Down Strongholds

"Thou shalt not come in hither" said the inhabitants of Jebus to David the king. For long years they had occupied the hill country round about Jerusalem and they had every confidence in their ability for it was part of the possession the Lord gave them when they entered the land; but it says about the Jebusites "the children of Judah could not drive them out." It is a sad word, a record of their failure. They could not drive them out. Why not? Had not God said "every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it?" And did not that word apply to the land of the Jebusites as much as to any other? Of course it did. But Judah failed to claim the promise. It was unbelief, the sin that so easily besets us. The enemy was too formidable, too deeply entrenched. And so it says, "the Jebusites dwelt with the children of Judah unto this day" (see 2 Sam. 5:4-10; Joshua 15:63, 1:3).

The Jebusites were so confident of holding their position that their proud retort was that they would defend themselves even if they had only blind and lame people to do so. But they had not reckoned with king David, the man after God's own heart.

1st Chronicles 11 records David's third and final anointing as king. This time all Israel gathered themselves together and pledged their allegiance to him. David was king over the whole land except for the stronghold of Zion where the proud Jebusites still held their ground. Their presence was a challenge to David's sovereignty and that could never be tolerated. He offered to make chief and captain the first of his men to smite the Jebusites and the honour went to Joab. The terse record of scripture says "David took the strong hold of Zion." It offered no resistance to him. "David waxed greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him." Many years before, in the vale of Elah, he had proved the power of the name of the Lord of hosts, and years later he was still gaining victories through that name. "And David dwelt in the strong hold; therefore they called it the city of David." It was his city because he conquered it.

Strong holds are still being conquered, as the victory is claimed by faith in His name. "For the weapons of our warfare are... mighty before God to the casting down of strong holds (2 Cor. 10:4). Satan loves to exalt high things against the knowledge of God and he will do so in our lives if he is allowed to. Some sins get so strong a hold in a Christian's life it seems they will never be driven out. But the scripture plainly says "sin shall not have dominion over you" (Romans 6:14). Complete victory over sin is part of our spiritual inheritance and that in every area of our lives. There is no reason why the enemy should gain the advantage. Every sin tolerated in our hearts is a challenge to the sovereignty of our Master. Is He not Lord and King? Have we not invited Him so to be? Then let us claim His promises by faith, and away with secret sins. The life that we now live, let us live it in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us. And let the earnest prayer of our hearts be

"Order my footsteps in Thy word;

And let not any iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133).