Stones and Territories

“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 6:12

A few months back I finished the “Elijah” study by Priscilla Shirer. WOW, that woman can teach! I loved everything about the study, it was great. One of the things that has stayed with me is the idea of being intentional. Elijah was intentional in the way he built the altar, intentionally choosing 12 stones, intentionally digging the trench, intentionally dousing it several times with water that was scarce in the land due to the severe drought. He intentionally built the altar, then stepped back and waited for the fire to fall. Phew!

That lesson came at the very point in my life when I needed to make a sacrifice, too. The Lord had given me something so precious! I was clinging to it tightly and felt super blessed to have been chosen by Him to carry it. Then came a short season when, regardless of how tightly I held on, the fruit of it was no longer there. It was gone! The Lord was now clearly asking me to intentionally lay that thing on His altar and allow Him to consume it, and me!

At the very same time, while making supper one evening I was listening to a commentary of a popular bible teacher. Tuning in and out as I went along I just happened to catch what he was saying about territories. The Lord had spoken to him about territories, reminding him that, just like Moses and Aaron, He had given him the places “wherever his feet shall tread” (Deuteronomy 11:24 and Joshua 1:3). This teacher went on to encourage others in the process that, just as the Lord had shown him, so we ought also to intentionally war in the spirit over the territories God had given to us. The teacher’s warning was that the enemy was battling us for those territories, and so any place we did not intentionally war over, we risk losing.

I gotta tell you when I heard him use the word intentional, I stood at attention! I had to ask, “Lord, is this word for me? Is this a word I need to hear and heed”? The answer was a resounding YES. “Yes, my daughter, it is. Pay attention”. Phew!

Afterwards, I had a good dialogue with the Lord about it. He was asking me to think about the territories He had given to me. I listed them out. Thoughts that came to mind included “how much time do you spend praying over each one”? Ouch. It was sporadic at best, a little here, a little there – especially whenever there was a pressing need, then that territory got a little more attention than the rest.

Having sensed in my spirit even prior to that lesson that these were battlegrounds and the enemy was working hard to steal, kill, or destroy them (see John 10:10), in the weeks that followed I decided to journal in prayer over each one. I was intentionally choosing the stones representing my territories and laying them out, building my altar.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. Even though I love to dialogue with the Lord, I am not very good at intercessory prayer – that is – intentional prayer where I doggedly bring things before the Lord again and again, perhaps over very long periods of time. I wouldn’t necessarily think of me whenever I thought “prayer warrior”, mainly because up until now I have not been intentional about any of it! Up until now.

One other thing the Lord is currently working within me is the idea of taking up my cross in order to follow Him. This is another intentional choice, and comes from how the Apostle Paul personally expressed:

"That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death"  -Philippians 3:10

Author Bob Sorge states “He is looking for a Bride with whom He can relate, who can identify with His joys and who has also experienced His pains“. The way of obedience is often painful, as it means conforming, bending our will towards His. I am reminded the Bride does not do this because she is forced, but because she loves! For me, this put a whole new light on fasting, as it is a stepping stone on the journey – one place where I can bend my will to His, a place where every time I feel a hunger pain, I am reminded of how much I hunger to know Him more, and long to experience the power of His resurrection miraculously working in my life and across all of my territories.

In case you are wondering how I define a “territory”, not many are physical (I can’t physically walk around each). For me, a “territory” is anywhere I have a personal sphere of influence. These are the areas where my spiritual foot treads. If you are now wondering what are the “territories” I listed, they are:

  1. My husband
  2. ME! (Guard your hearts and minds…)
  3. My family
  4. My job – where I work
  5. My neighborhood – both my physical neighborhood as well as my “marketplace” – where I do business
  6. My mentees and close/special friends
  7. THE CHURCH and my church
  8. My ministry
  9. The work of my hands (in addition to my job) – the talents and passions I lend my time towards (painting, writing, etc.)
  10. My city, county, state, and nation

Notice how every one had a “my” focus? These are the stones I have intentionally chosen to lay out before the Lord, to build the altar. These are the areas I believe I must contend for the greatness of and within, and fiercely defend. I will build the altar, and, stepping back, I will watch and wait for the fire to fall. I hope you might choose to do the same.


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