This weekend at Torch Church, I was reminded that all that I have is the Lord’s. The concept of ownership is so central to our perspective on the way things are respected and cared for. It also has a lot to do with the way things are done. The owner of something gets to call the shots. They make the rules. It’s like the way a football team moves their way down the field. The ball is in their “possession” and they call the plays. However, when I watch my favorite team, DA BEARS, play defense it is very likely that the ball will be turned over. Loss of possession changes the game. Momentum shifts and the other team is in the driver’s seat.
As Torch plans now for expansion and developing another site, we’ve been in conversations regarding a similar concept. In the past 3 years we’ve really begun to claim territory that was once the enemy’s and now possess it in the name of Christ and His kingdom. During our growth we are deciding to be intentional with not giving that territory back. There will be no turnover on downs. We are gonna keep the ball until the game is over.
Looking over my past couple of weeks I am reminded about a very difficult time I had as my little brother was in the hospital. He has had a rough go at things in the past and has been struggling to bounce back. I know the struggles of depression, low self worth, and searching for purpose and meaning. I don’t know currently if any of these represent his struggle, but I do know that he has been in a rut and needed a change. This fact became heavily apparent when I entered his bedroom. I usually don’t get all spooky and such, but I honestly felt a dark heavy presence of something evil laying on that room. It was so thick and tangible that it brought me to prayer immediately.
Without realizing it, I was essentially saying, “Ok enemy this is your room. We want nothing to do with it.”
However, I soon discovered that he refused to switch rooms in the house. As much as this disheartened me, it made me resolve to have him then return to a changed room. My other brother and I set out building a plan, gathering supplies, and went to work transforming his room. That day and a half of reconstructive surgery making over the room was furiously awesome as we sweat together and worshipped the Lord in song and listened to some great sermons on mp3. It was awesome. While in the midst of the cleaning it hit me.
This is what God had in mind all along. As I prayed over his room, He never intended to let the devil have that room. I had reclaimed it for Jesus. Why would we then give it back to the enemy? It was a clear picture to me of the redemptive work that Jesus does in us through the Holy Spirit. Once we were enemies of God, lost in our sin, aligned with worldly ways and friends of the Devil. On that day when we gave our hearts to Christ, he TOOK us back from the enemy and has no plans on letting us back into the evil one’s hands. He gave us the Holy Spirit who, from the inside out, does way more than an extreme makeover. He bulldozes and rebuilds in us a new being, a new creation.
That day as we scrubbed away filth and painted with joy, I could sense a shift in the power structure of the home. The enemy had one less place of residence. This did not mean that the war had been won, but one battle field had been taken back in the name of Jesus. Darkness doesn’t get a room in house of light. (See this Torch sermon for more on the topic: Shut De Do: The Chain Break Gospel)
And to think I was very close to simply praying a prayer and then walking away, allowing the enemy to win without even realizing it. I wonder how many of us are doing that in other areas of our lives right now.
How many of us are praying prayers against illness and then living unhealthy lifestyles?
How many of us are praying for financial blessing and then acting out in ways that the Lord says will curse our finances? How many of us in essence are praying to reclaim territory and then walking away from it, giving it back into the hands of the enemy?
What’s your battlefield today? Have you taken it from the enemy? If so, stay and possess the land. It is YOURS!