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Identifying Your Spiritual Territory (2 of 6)

Mike Connell

This is an incredible responsibility on men, in terms of spiritual leadership in the home, to govern the home environment, the spiritual environment, and not to let their wife take up the responsibility because they gave it up. Men need to actually learn how to lead their homes, and it's the failure to lead creates the problems that we see in our culture now - so think about that. And of course Jesus reinforced this. I won't read the whole story there, but you're aware of the parable of the pounds, where the nobleman went to a far country and he entrusted his goods to his servants, and when he came back he called them to account. We saw in that parable how the servants that had been productive were given more; the servant which just only conserved, actually lost what he had. Jesus reinforced again, if you don't become productive and govern your area of responsibility, it does go away from you. You lose and diminish your authority and capacity to serve and minister, so He reinforced the same kind of principle.

So putting it again this way: if you don't guard and govern your territory, there will be damage in it. There will be oppression in it. The consequences could be generational, and they could result in heaviness, oppression and sickness. Think about this. If you don't govern your body you'll suffer ill health, then your life with be shortened. If you don't govern your soul, you'll end up with torments and troubles and pressures and anxieties and fears and all kinds of things going on in your soul. If you don't govern your finances and protect it from the enemy that'll come against you, you'll have financial problems that can affect all other areas of your life. So each one of these areas, if you fail in your metron to govern it and cultivate it, the consequences spread, but if you arise in that area, then blessing comes and great positive impact comes.

So let's go through here. What does it take then to govern your spiritual territory? Governing your spiritual territory - I want to give you about five keys. They may not apply in each and every one situation, but these are what I'd call important keys. Now the first one is probably one of the most important, although people wouldn't know this. The first one is you need to hold your territory in your heart in prayer. I want to read you something in Philippians 1, Verse 3. Paul's writing the Philippians, he said this: I thank my God in every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with all joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now - now look at this - being confident of this very thing, that he who begun a good work in you - that's God, that's the Holy Spirit - will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Now why could he be so confident that the work that he had begun would continue? Look what he says in the next one: It is right for me to think this way because I hold you in my heart, inasmuch in my chains and defence of the gospel, you are all partakers of my grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you with all affection in Christ. Now what he's saying is this. He said: I came to you. You were the territory God sent me into. He said I sowed the gospel, and the spirit of God moved and touched your life, and I'm confident God will keep working in you. Why is this? He said because I am holding you in my heart in prayer, and you receive the grace that's on my life flows to you. Now he's writing as an apostle with apostolic grace and he's saying because I hold you in my heart, I can be confident that my prayer will release something in your life.

Now what does it mean to hold in your heart? Well you can see it through the language he uses. He says I hold you in my heart with affection. He says I hold you in my heart with great joy as I think about you, I pray for you. So what does it mean to hold in your heart? To hold in your heart means that from within your heart you welcome, embrace and love that person, that responsibility you have. Let me just explain to you what that would mean if you didn't do that. It's very easy for a parent to get offended with one of their teenagers, and if you get an offence, you build a wall, and you wall the person out of your heart, then you expose your teenager - they're now no longer under your governing and protection. They're now exposed to spiritual oppression.

The moment you let go of someone out of your heart, what happens is, the spiritual dynamic in the relationship changes. If I hold you in my heart with love and affection and bless you, the grace on my life will be released to you. If I get offended or distracted or refocused somewhere else, and let you go out of my heart, then you feel let go. You actually feel it. I'll give you another example of it. How many of you have had the experience of a father coming home, and he's arrived home from work, but for about an hour he's not emotionally present in the house? He's there, but preoccupied - you know what that's like? Now what do you experience when someone is there with you, but they're preoccupied? You do not feel their heart, you don't feel the flow of their spirit. They are disconnected from you. There's no flow from them to you.