Recognizing and Overcoming Spiritual Obstacles to Disciple Making Movements (Part 1)

Mobilizing and multiplying prayer for Disciple Making Movements

Successful Disciple Makers are aware of the spiritual opposition that exists and the importance of engaging in this type of warfare. They will point out that when strategic prayer has taken place, the “air becomes cleaner”, or the ground is “better prepared”, for greater fruitfulness. A good indication that spiritual opposition exists is when few results are experienced after spending a large amount of time and energy. But once spiritual obstacles are identified and removed, even a little bit of effort can lead to amazing success.  

Nature of Spiritual Strongholds 

The term “spiritual strongholds’ refers to a fortified place that Satan establishes to exalt himself against the knowledge and plans of God. In the Old Testament, strongholds are often referred to as “mountains” or “high places.” They are viewed as locations where spiritual authorities reside and have gained access through sin or trauma. The ability to destroy these power centers could be what Jesus had in mind when he announced, “If you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, you can move ‘mountains.”  In his book entitled Overcoming Darkness, Gary Kinnaman suggests that spiritual strongholds fall under three broad categories: Territorial, Ideological and Personal.   

Territorial Strongholds – Hierarchy of dark beings strategically assigned by Satan to influence and control nations, communities, and even families.   

Ideological Strongholds – Worldviews and the corresponding lifestyles that are contrary to God’s word. These strongholds have the ability to affect whole cultures.  

Personal Strongholds – Things that Satan builds to influence one’s personal life: thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior patterns that are contrary to the truth in God’s Word. 

In upcoming blogs, we will look at each of these types of strongholds more closely.