That night the LORD said to him, "Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order..."
The word that sparked my wonderings was the word "stronghold". The word simply means a refuge or a place of security and survival. The Lord often describes Himself as our stronghold (Psalm 9:9, Psalm 18:2, and Psalm 27:1). However, the word can also be used negatively to refer to something that we use as a refuge instead of God--drugs, alcohol, TV, friends, anything. In the context of the "Breaking Free" study, strongholds are usually a bad thing.
One attribute of God that I love and am grateful for is how He can redeem our sin. He directs Gideon to tear down the stronghold of idol worship in his family and then commands him to build an altar to the Lord on top of the very place where such grievous sin occurred. Possibly Gideon used the very wood of the Asherah pole to burn the sacrifice. Similarly, in Beth Moore's life, the stronghold of abuse/sin that was so harmful to her is now the very same platform from which she shares the amazing work of God in her life. On top of idolatry, God built an altar for His glory.
I think the Lord wants to do the same thing in my life and in the lives of all believers. Where we have built altars to self or pride or money or fear or ___________, He wants to demolish the sin and right on top of that shame and ugliness, display His beauty. Wow.