Years ago the Lord called me out of my job and into full time real estate investment. Very quickly I realized that the natural act of restoring life to abandoned and deteriorating properties was a direct parallel to what He was calling us to do in the spiritual realm of Philadelphia. It’s all about reclaiming the ground for His Kingdom.
There are all kinds of challenges with real estate investment – but one of the most interesting I have met with is that of “squatters”. A squatter is anyone who is occupying a building or space that they have no legal right to occupy. A few times, we bought houses only to find that there were already people who had been living in them, in some cases, for quite some time. Generally someone who is “squatting” is up to no good. It is illegal, after all. In one example, the house we bought was occupied by drug dealers who were dealing right out of the front door. I can remember showing up to the house at 7:30am and seeing a line forming out the front door that stretched down the sidewalk. The irony is that, legally, a squatter can be MORE difficult and costly to evict from the property than a legal tenant. There are, of course, investors who simply use brute force to get rid of squatters, but this can be a risky business if the inhabitants are not ready to leave!
Satan and his minions are very much like these squatters. The house or land they currently occupy has been bought; Jesus paid for it with his blood. The nations are His inheritance. But we, the church, are His body on the Earth, and we are co-heirs with Him. Therefore, the nations belong to us! The problem is that principalities and powers currently occupy much of our land.
We know from Luke 11:21-22, that through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to bind the strong man possessing our land, take his armor, overcome him, and divide his spoils. However, we must be lead at all times by our Captain. The mightiest band of warriors will be defeated every time if they charge into battle alone and without strategy from their commander. Imagine barging into that property with the squatters – alone, and simply beginning to yell and chase them around the inside of the house. It’s chaotic, and a good way to get yourself hurt. I think this is why Jesus immediately follows in Vs 23 to say: “He who is not with Me is against me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” We cannot simply charge into enemy occupied territory of our own will and strength. Without the Lord’s direction, our spiritual warfare may end up being of very little effect. Or, worse yet, it may simply aggravate the enemy and draw a counterattack.
Alternatively, we must first fight the legal battle. Before any law enforcement agencies can assist your efforts to evict the squatters, the courts must deliver an enforceable judgment. We must likewise plead our case in the courts of heaven. God is a righteous judge, and therefore he must hear every objection that the enemy can bring before delivering His verdict. The enemy is a crafty lawyer, and he will often times delay the inevitable as long as possible, even try to get us to “settle”. But, if we will persist in the courtroom of heaven, we will ultimately prevail. The only way to lose is if we give up; our case is ironclad! If we will pay the price to win a legal battle over these “squatters” in our land, God will be free to righteously release his power, and the armies of heaven will fight for us. The gates of hell will not prevail!