The stronghold of fear is a BIG issue. Many African cultures are subject to fear control. Jesus sets us free from strongholds. He died on the cross to free us from guilt, through the cross we are delivered from shame and through the resurrection we are delivered from fear. The cross of Christ deals with strongholds. Strongholds are the lies that people believe in.
Where fear is a stronghold, people seem to have special powers in the culture which seems to be tangible. It only works in fear. There are special places of power like a hill or shrine where you get power. It is not from God and based on a stronghold - it’s a lie from the enemy. There are certain needs that arise in a culture with a stronghold of fear:
1. Power needs. It controls situations and people. There is a need to hang on to things – how can I keep my husband? How can I keep my baby from harm? We start to use charms that are supposed to make spirits not do things to us. This doesn’t come from God but it’s based in the enemy. How do we punish them? How do we placate the spirits?
All witchcraft and the occult operates in fear and power. The use of superstitions and charms build up strongholds of fear.
Rituals work through all stages of life:
2. Coming into manhood or womanhood
5. After death
Rituals are based in fear. Fear based cultures have family control through the ancestors. The Bible tells us that the ancestors don’t have power over us as in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. We don’t need to be afraid of our dead ancestors. If we live with fear, it undermines our boldness to be a witness for Christ.
2. Prosperity needs: We need to look to God for our daily bread. There is never a shortage of provision. With God there is plenty of everything. It’s unlimited.
3. Health needs: In a fear based culture when one is sick, they go to the clinic but they also go to the witchdoctor. There is a constant mixing of things.
4. Security needs: the rituals are meant to protect us from things.
These are result of the stronghold of fear. Fear is a strong motivator in the kingdom of darkness. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” In God’s kingdom we need to be motivated by faith, His goodness and His word. God is our protector. If we live in fear we are made captive.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” V19 is key: “We love Him because He first loved us.” Fear is driven out at the confidence that God loves us and comes to set us free. We will have trouble in this life but God’s love drives out fear.
Summarised by Molly Manhanga