Maintaining a spiritual sanctuary should be one of your basic Christian skills. Of course, the Holy Spirit enables the sanctuary to work and be safe.
Maintaining a spiritual sanctuary helps security in the midst of a war
Before we get started on this we need to talk about some basics of warfare. Rest assured, it would be extremely easy to prove to you (if you don’t already know) that the Christian walk is warfare. As a soldier on duty, you have some things you need to take care of for simple protection.
The enemy will do anything he can do with no guilt or compunction. Satan wants to destroy you. But he cannot override your authority, and he has no power over any part of the Kingdom of God.
The real problem is realizing that we are in a war—that we volunteered to fight in this war, that the weapons of our warfare are spiritual, not physical, and that the enemy is totally ruthless, brutal, nasty, and hateful. Let’s take a little reminder from Ephesians 6:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:11 & 12 ESV]
What this means in day to day living is that we must take this walking in the Spirit thing seriously. It is life and death. In the kingdom of God we have a wonderful world with a truly good King. He called us and we serve him—liege warriors in the service of our King. We are to be vigilant, observant, available, and alert. Most important, none of this can be done without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. We need to take these things seriously and get with the program. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 5:15-16 (again in the ESV).
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
We need to be prepared for action and on guard against an enemy who is truly after us. We are not paranoid. We are warriors.
The spiritual battle never ends until the Lord returns
Most people are completely unaware of the spiritual world before they are born again from above. Did you know anything about this before you met Jesus?
Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spirits of this world? [Galatians 4: 8-9 NLT]
This phrase is similar to the one found in Colossians 2: “the elemental spirits of the universe” in the RSV. It is easy for us to dismiss these things as ancient superstitions, but that is really not the case. What has happened is that these spirits have gone underground in America today and we do not talk about them anymore—but they have not gone away.
Paul calls them weak and useless, or worthless, and this is certainly true. However, many of these so-called gods, like Buddhas, kokopellis, kachinas, totems, and the like have demon spirits attached to them. They are only a harassment to believers, but cleaning them up or getting rid of them is a normal part of Christian living. Their harassment can distract you to the point where you are spiritually non-functional.
Many of the things we can purchase today are made in other countries. Many of these items, while they are being made, are prayed over during their construction. All we have to do is clean them up with a simple prayer (see below). They are nothing to be afraid of—as Jesus’ power and position makes them into a bad (but still evil) joke. But you should be aware that these things are real.
Is there a demon under every bush?
One of the problems you will have as you begin to have victory in spiritual warfare is the tendency to blame everything on demons. Most of the time the trouble will be the fallen state of the world or your own sinful nature. However, there is reality here and many times you will see quick and powerful deliverance with a simple quiet prayer.
No! You do not need to shout. The power comes from Jesus, not the strength of your voice.
Don’t give the evil one more glory and attention than you give God.
Where do we run across these spirits?
We have found that we drag them home with purchases we make—especially purchases of products made in countries where these spirits are worshipped like India, Bali, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and so on. You should check out the country of origin when you buy. If you start having strange dreams, irrational anger, and things like that—you dragged something home. It’s no big deal, but we find that we have to spiritually clean everything we buy and bring into the house any more.
Of course, nonbelievers in our spaces can drag things in also. I used to pray for my classroom every morning before I started teaching. I found I had authority over my lab, but nowhere else at that school. But the lab I used full-time, where I taught all my classes, was given to me by the Lord as my spiritual responsibility. Praying made a great difference to my students—though they had no idea that this was even going on. There were some students who were into wicca and the like who were obviously frustrated by the cleansed and protected spiritual environment of that lab.
It just takes a simple prayer
You can pray something like this:
“Any demons attached to these things we just bought (or any demons brought in here by non-believers), we bind you and cast you out. Father, in Jesus’ name, clean up these things (or this place) and bless it for our use. Protect our loved ones and pets. Keep us safe and make our home a sanctuary for your Holy Spirit.”
Spiritual house cleaning?
Maintaining a spiritual sanctuary is part of your responsibility. As head of the household, master of your personal space, you are responsible to keep that space spiritually clean. This is an ongoing duty and responsibility of yours. For example, over the past week I started noticing that Pat and I were being disturbed with bad dreams. I started noticing that even when I was dozing in my chair my mind would immediately wander off into strange thoughts. This has not been happening for many months. My mind has been wandering off into thoughts of the Lord, praise, and worship.
The stupid thing was that I put up with this for more than a week. Finally, yesterday I came to my senses and cleaned house. Last night we both slept well for the first time in a long time and neither of us had bad or disturbing dreams. It was a joy this morning to see my wife wake up relaxed and refreshed.
You should regularly command all bad spirits to leave your property (that which the Lord has given you responsibility for) and ask the Holy Spirit to fill your space with His presence, wisdom, and love. He’s pleased to do that in response to a simple request. Again, prayer volume has no special beneficial affect.
This is just the normal spiritual house cleaning that you should be doing on a regular basis as the head of your household. Many times you will need to be specific and cleanse every room in your house, apartment, office, or workspace—room by room, area by area. House blessings are real. If you haven’t blessed your house, do so today. Of course it gets more complicated if you are living with others who may not be believers. Then you can only cover what you have authority over.
Ask the Lord what your responsibilities are
Husbands, fathers, and single mothers, you are responsible for where your family lives. Fathers, this is still true even if you are separated—and it is true for your children regardless, until they come under someone else’s authority. Children, you are responsible for the areas where your parents give you the authority. If you build a fort in the woods, you are responsible there (unless it is on property under your parents authority). For example, if you are living with your parents and they do not believe, your authority will be limited to your areas of the property (if your parents allow that). You will be able to protect yourself regardless, but cleaning the whole house or even your room may be beyond your authority.
The Lord is not going to override the will of the owners of the property. He’s a gentleman and only goes where He is invited. It is interesting to see what works and what does not work.
For example, we lost much of our authority to pray for our daughter when she grew up—especially when she got married. We got a lot of it back after her divorce, when she asked us to pray for her and the children. Now that she has remarried, our authority is limited again. But this is why some prayers never seem to be answered. You do not have the authority.
For example, when praying for the United States, your authority is on a completely different level than the person who has the responsibility, the president. Pray that President Obama learns this. Governors, mayors, CEOs, sole proprietors, and people with responsibility need to be praying. If you are the head of your department, teacher in a specific classroom, leader of a Bible study, and so on, you need to be praying to keep your ministry clean and holy. Husbands, single mothers or fathers, pastors, and so on all have areas of responsibility and the authority to back it up. You need to be constantly aware of your responsibilities. God will give you the authority to protect those areas of responsibility.
If you do not have the authority, pray for those who do have the authority in these situations which effect your life.
If you have any questions, just write and ask.