OCCUPY THE CONQUERED TERRITORY
(4 of 15 blogs about spiritual warfare and marriage/family, taken from material I presented at a marriage retreat, Winning the Battle For Your Family, in 2019)
When an army moves against an enemy they first drive them out and conquer their territory. Then they occupy the newly conquered territory so it stays under their control. The same must be done in our spiritual warfare. We have talked previously about driving out the enemy and regaining territory we have lost. We do that through spiritual warfare prayer and using God’s Word. We close the door and then empty the room. Then we must occupy and fill the new territory so it doesn’t fall back into enemy hands. If we don’t fill ourselves after deliverance, Jesus says the end result will be 8 times as many demons as there were to begin with (Matthew 12:43-46; Luke 12:24-26).
We fill ourselves with God’s presence. This means a personal relationship with Jesus – salvation. But it doesn’t stop there. We must be committed to following Him as disciples, living for Him and serving Him in all we do. As we let His Holy Spirit direct and control our lives we are filled with His presence and do not leave any openings for demons to return. For husbands this results in showing unconditional, sacrificial love to their wives. A man can’t do that unless he is submitted to Jesus and accepting His unconditional, sacrificial love for him. Only as we experience this from Jesus can we show it to our wives. For a wife it means totally trusting Jesus and yielding to Him so she can fully trust and yield to her husband. Together it means understanding and implementing the principles of a godly marriage as contained in God’s Word.
As you work against what the enemy is doing in your marriage (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), you must replace it with Jesus’ presence in every area of your life and God’s truth about what marriage is to be. (You can find many articles about this on the Marriage and Family portion of the CTO web site (https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/family/).
Never underestimate the enemy and his tactics. God has brought you together but Satan wants to pull you apart (1 Peter 5:8). Use all the tools in your marriage tool belt to get victory, and that includes spiritual warfare. It also means using the tools of open communication, conflict resolution, serving each other, praying together and forgiveness (more in the next blog about this). Focus on changing yourself. There is no one else you can change! Ask God to show you where YOU need to grow and be open to what He shows you. Don’t focus on your mate’s issues. Get rid of the plank in your own eye before going after the speck in his or hers (Matthew 7:3-5).
Matthew 12:43-46; Luke 12:24-26 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Are you totally yielded to Jesus and doing all you can to live for Him alone? If not, you are leaving room for the enemy to work. Allowing sin or disobedience in your life leaves an opening for demons to fill. We don’t follow Jesus out of fear of demons working against us, but it is a sobering reality to keep in mind.
Christian Training Organization