If you could have seen her before the great change in her life, you may have thought there was little hope for her life. If I had seen her, I probably would have written her off as someone God couldn’t use. Maybe you know someone like her, who seems completely lost, and at best has a slim chance of a good future.
If you could have known her, you would have found that she was a woman with a smooth tongue, enticing men to come near her street corner. With her eyes, she promised love to the fool that took the road near her home. She was a lady who waited for someone to fall into her trap. Sadly a man always came, and with her seductive speech she persuaded him to sin; with her smooth talk she compelled him. Dressed like a prostitute she was “wily of heart.” With a moonlit smile, she was loud and wayward as “she seized him and kissed him.” (Pr 7:10-11, 13a, 21). This was a woman in a stronghold of sin. Her name was Rahab and she was a prostitute (Joshua 2:1).
The reason I put such descriptive words around what Rahab was doing is because if we “remove the stigma of sin…you remove the need for grace” (Macarthur 67). Rahab, like all of us, was a very sinful person in need of a very great Savior. She was a woman in a stronghold. Physically she was living in a stronghold, the city of Jericho. Spiritually, she was living in a stronghold of sin, through committing adultery. On her own without God, she was bound up in captivity.
Now we don’t have to be committing the same sins that Rahab did in order to be living in captivity. Before we are saved, we are dead in our transgressions and sins (Eph. 2:1). We are living in a stronghold of sin because we, like Rahab, are “fanatically devoted to everything God hates” (Macarthur 51).
Even as a Christian we can enter into a stronghold by choosing to sin. Beth Moore said, “A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit filled life God planned for her” (Moore 33, emphasis mine).
The human heart is never meant to be void of a stronghold. The question is which stronghold do you live in? We will either live in the stronghold of our sinful ways or the stronghold of the Lord. There is no other option.
Therefore we must identify the stronghold in our lives. I pray that all of us can say, “The Lord is the stronghold of my life” (Ps. 27:1).
I want the declaration of my life to be, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, my horn of salvation, my stronghold, and my refuge, my Savior, you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised and I am saved from my enemies.” (2 Sam. 22:2-4; emphasis mine).