If you’re a “Survivor” fan, you know about the hidden immunity idol. Up until a few seasons ago, people tended to wait for a clue before searching for the coveted necklace, but that all changed when one of the players–Russel Hantz–searched without any clues and found one. In fact, he was so good at finding them, he became known as the king of hidden immunity idols. Getting back to these idols; the reason they are so critical to the game is because when a team loses, they have to vote out a player. If the player suspects he/she might be the player voted out, they can bring out the immunity idol and all votes against him/her are dismissed. Often, players seek to flush out immunity idols of others by making them believe they are voting for them when they are actually voting for someone else. That way, later on in the game, hopefully those players will be vulnerable to being voted out. Those who are vigilant, find the idols and use them wisely.
Solomon gives some great advice, that relates to those who flush out the hidden immunity idols. Except his advice, obviously, is not for some game, but for life. He wrote, “A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust,” (Proverbs 21:22, ESV). It is no secret that whoever has the high ground, will win the battle more times than not. For that reason, cities would build watchtowers and towers for archers on corners of their city walls so that the enemy could be seen and fought at different angles. Legend has it that Humpty Dumpty was actually the nickname of a canon in one such tower. When the tower was destroyed it fell to the ground and due to its size it became immovable under the rubble; not even a team of horses could move it. Because of that, the city was overtaken by its invaders.
The scenario doesn’t just work with literal strongholds, fortresses, and towers; it works for our own inner-battles. It’s a fair bet to say that most of us do not have the time, or more likely do not take the time, to seek the stronghold (or as I like to say, the idol) that is keeping us in our sins. It could be the idol of pleasure, distrust, self-trust, power, money, or any number of other strongholds. Typically speaking, the stronghold is not just affecting one area of our lives, but multiple areas. The same stronghold/idol may be fighting you on multiple walls.
Perhaps you can’t figure out why pornography has such a stronghold on you. As you look, you realize that you also have a problem with overeating (whether your struggling with weight or not). You realize that you watch too much television or play Fortnite too long as well. Suddenly the idol of pleasure can be clearly seen. Or perhaps the stronghold of approval (see my blog, Help! My Husband Watches Porn! for more on this).
Perhaps you can’t understand why you have anger issues, but suddenly you see that your desk has to be just so before you can concentrate. You are constantly washing, waxing, and vacuuming out your car. You freak out when your shoes are scuffed. Perhaps the stronghold of perfectionism is the issue, or maybe the idol of control has been lifted high.
There tends to be a glaring sin in a believer’s life that is crying out about which you and I need to deal. The believer rightly sees it and declares war on what they believe to be the sin. In reality, the sin is the symptom of the idolatrous stronghold. Wasted energy is given toward the sin that seems so unrelenting, but if we looked, we’d see that it is the stronghold above shooting arrows of which we have been completely unaware. “A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust,” (Proverbs 21:22, ESV). When you and I do that, we very well may find that the sinful symptoms are more easily overcome.
I’d love to hear your comments. Let me know you thoughts or attitudes as to what I have written. Feel free to share if you believe this would help others. Please feel free to ask questions about what I’ve written as well.