And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her . . . ” (Genesis 25:21–22, esv).
Everyone is born with a disposition, but it doesn’t always show up as dramatically as twins warring in the womb. Maybe it’s putting the knives point-up versus point-down in the dishwasher. Or recharging through being alone as opposed to being in a big group. Regardless of how it manifests, your disposition is something God gives you. It’s your natural mental outlook; your predominant tendency or leaning; your prevailing point of view.
“Make it your goal to take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.”
God intends it for good, but because of our sinfulness, our disposition gets bent. When this happens, what were neutral tendencies can lead to strongholds.
Notice the word struggled in Genesis 25. The Hebrew word means crushing or oppressing. This implies that the children were warring inside Rebekah which, needless to say, is not typical baby movement. Here’s what I want you to get from this: Disposition affects every relationship and every decision. It’s the filter installed on your thinking through which you process reality. It’s the reason four people on a street corner can all watch the same accident and have different opinions about it.
When Rebekah gave birth to her twins, “The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel” (Genesis 25:25–26).
Why was he holding his brother’s heel? Because he wanted to be born first. The name Jacob means heel catcher or heel grabber. It’s the idea of wanting to find a way, even if it involves deception. Jacob can also mean to get ahead of the other.
Do you see how their dispositions were already right there? God’s Word is not saying, “Oh! How interesting! How random! He was holding onto his heel. Isn’t that funny?” No. That’s not what the Bible is saying at all. It’s revealing that what they will become is present in the womb and in their delivery. Later we see the boys’ dispositions end up influencing the fact that Esau sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of stew.
If you want to think differently and break out of strongholds that plague you, you have to examine your own disposition. Do you see that you were born with a way of thinking that you have battled your whole life? It’s easy to slip into thoughts like, This isn’t a way; this is the way. This isn’t a good way; this is the right way.
How you process what happens in your home, kids, marriage, finances, work, church—it all goes through the filter in your mind. That’s where the strongholds, arguments, and lofty opinions begin to take up residence.
Dispositions are God-given, but Satan always tries to distort what God intends for good. So take a moment and let this truth settle in your heart: You cannot change your disposition. Nor does God want you to change it. You are perfectly suited for what God wants you to do. Instead, become aware of strongholds that have developed out of your disposition, and make it your daily goal to take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. That’s the key to discovering and destroying the strongholds of disposition.
Father, thank You for purposefully knitting me together in my mother’s womb. Please give me wisdom and understanding about my disposition, and open my eyes to destructive strongholds in my life. Remind and empower me to take my thoughts captive before You, and grant me the willingness to be changed. Thank You, Lord, for always finishing what You start, and for being faithful to complete Your work. I pray this in the Name that is above every name—the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.