Strongholds of the enemy can have a very real and damaging impact on a person's life. The root of every foothold or stronghold, no matter what kind, is damage to a person's identity. When the identity damage is healed, the stronghold will automatically be removed because the enemy has no more ground or "hook" to hold on to. This allows healing to focus entirely on Jesus and the heart rather than demons. This is acting in the highest level of Christ-empowered spiritual authority.
Strongholds are an issue of influence, not power
What the Bible calls spiritual footholds and strongholds are not about power, they are about the lies that influence the heart. Paul uses the Greek word “topos” to describe a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). Topos means “a place of influence.” When anyone has enough influence in your life, they wield power over you according to the amount of influence they have gained. Satan’s influence comes from lies. That is why Jesus said truth, not spiritual authority, sets us free (John 8:32). To remove the enemy’s power, you simply have to remove the lie through which he gained influence. This is why Jesus never said your path to freedom has to go through Satan. Jesus said to come directly to him (who is truth) for rest and peace from spiritual burdens (Matthew 11:28). Focusing on truth allows God to work at full power while moving in perfect peace.
The heart is the primary issue
To ensure that we are receiving truth in a way that heals, we must understand that our minds have two centers of reason, emotional and cognitive (or the heart and the head). The heart always overrides the head. For example, you can tell me you love me, but if it doesn’t feel true, it doesn’t matter.
The root of every stronghold and of all emotional pain is damage to your identity (your sense of value). That happens in the heart. Satan targets the heart because of its power to override our head knowledge. His weapon is projection. Projection makes things feel true to the heart that aren’t. We don’t need to focus on the enemy when healing strongholds. Freedom is found by receiving God’s truth in the broken places of the heart.
Faith is agreement with truth, not intensity of belief
Faith is not an issue of the intensity or conviction with which you believe; it is the clarity with which you believe. A simple, practical biblical definition of faith is agreement with God’s truth. (That is the story of Hebrews 11.) When your faith lines up with God’s truth in the place in the heart where the lie is held, the enemy’s power is taken down to absolute zero. That is why truth, not spiritual authority, sets people free.