One mission trip I led to Antigua, Guatemala, was especially interesting because we actually took someone’s house from them. I’ll explain in a moment.
Dr. Marcus Warner, in a summary chapter contained in Kathryn McBride’s book, A Warrior’s Prayerbook (p. 9-29), explains that the two critical aspects in understanding spiritual warfare are the concepts of surrendered (or legal) ground and authority.
In Ephesians 4:26-27, the apostle Paul says, “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity.” The word ‘opportunity’ is the Greek word ‘topos’ from which we get words like topography, the detailed description of a place or region. To give the devil ‘topos’ means we surrender a place from which our enemy can work in our lives to oppress us. This place is surrendered ground because it rightfully (legally) belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. We belong to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Peter 1:18-19) because He purchased us with His precious blood.
Therefore, the first principle to understanding spiritual warfare is that of reclaiming surrendered ground. Marcus explains that ground can be surrendered in four general ways, easily remembered by the acronym, SOUL. These four areas are Sin, Occult, Unforgiveness, and Lineage. The Steps to Freedom in Christ lead a person through this process of confession, renunciation and the acceptance of the forgiveness provided through Jesus Christ. This repentance process reclaims the ground from which our spiritual enemy can take advantage of a believer.
Back to Antigua… We paid extra on the front end of the mission trip to purchase a home for a single mom and her kids. Not only did we purchase it, but we assembled it for her in a day. Yup… one day. This house was made from 2×4 boards with 8×10 sheets of concrete sheathing. All we had to do was bolt the pieces together and secure them to the concrete slab. A tin roof finished off this 2-room, 10×16 foot home. The family was thrilled with their upgraded house! (Wow… perspective!)
So how did we take someone’s house? The mission agency had heard about a family who had a house built for them a couple years prior. The home had been built on the father’s property. The problem was, the father had fallen back into alcoholism and became abusive toward his wife and kids. That wasn’t the purpose for which the house was provided, so… we figured if we could bolt a house together, we could unbolt one too! One afternoon when the dad was away from home, we showed up with our tools and, watching for an angry and potentially violent drunk, unbolted and removed the house and moved it to the wife’s extended family property. It was no longer on the dad’s legal property, it was on the mom’s extended family property. And if the dad showed up there, he would have to deal with the entire family! The mom and kids were protected once again. The key was, they had to be removed from the legal ground of the abusive man.
Have you surrendered ground to the abusive enemy of your soul? The Lord is ready and waiting to disassemble and remove that access. He is longing to restore intimacy with you to provide for your protection. The only thing standing in the way is whether you continue to go back to the surrendered ground where the abuser has access to you. Consider praying through The Steps to Freedom.DAN STUDTJULY 9, 2020