Spiritual cleansing at home
No one leaves rotting food lying around our homes. It only attracts flies and brings disease. Yet spiritually, we may leave objects in our homes that attract spiritual destruction, not only for the owners but everyone who shares the same premises. Are we aware of the things in our homes that separate us from God and His blessings?
(See Chinese versions: 體中文 > 家庭的屬靈淨潔 | 简体中文 > 家庭的属灵净洁)
Isaiah 1:4,7 ESV Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
The story of Achan in Joshua 7 is instructive. The Israelite nation was on a series of amazing victories in battle, until they were defeated in a place called Ai. Shocked and grieved, Joshua humbly prayed and asked God why. After all, the nation was promised victory and blessing in all they did.
God revealed that one man, Achan, had brought back objects from a place that worshipped pagan idols. This opened the door to destruction upon them all. Even though Achan had secretly hidden the objects in his home, this offence was not hidden from God Almighty. Achan and his entire family had to be removed from the Israelites in order to save the entire nation from this rebellious act. They had to irrevocably remove Satan’s foothold or risk destruction upon themselves.
Joshua 7:20-21 ESV And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
Spiritual defilement in homes throughout Asia
Praise God that we can repent in the name of Jesus today, unlike Achan and his family who were condemned and destined for immediate death. This, however, should not make us complacent.
In many parts of Asia, we have been de-sensitised to the spiritual practices that defile places. Construction workers, for instance, invite spirits into their work sites to protect them before they begin work. International businesses invite fengshui masters to practice witchcraft and superstition in their offices and stores. Companies launch their events on auspicious dates based on horoscope readings.
We bring cultural souvenirs from our travels without understanding their true spiritual significance. Some watch pornography at home, not knowing that this brings spiritual defilement as well. We hang auspicious prosperity writings on our walls. Even what looks like beautiful arts and craft can be deceptively defiling.
From the story of Achan, we see that he had brought back “a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels” representing pagan clothing, money, and valuables.
Some things that defile a place
Here are some things the Bible lists as practices or objects that defile a place.
|1. Idol worship, idolatrous objects||
Ezekiel 36:18 ESV So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it.
Jeremiah 3:9 NLT Israel treated it all so lightly–she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted.
|2. Fortune telling, superstition, ancestor worship||
Micah 5:11,12 ESV and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
Isaiah 8:19,22 ESV And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? … And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
|3. Stolen things or ill-gotten wealth||Joshua 7:11-13 ESV Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions…|
|4. Murder, bloodshed, violence, abortion||Numbers 35:33 ESV You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.|
|5. Sexual immorality||Leviticus 18:19-20, 22-25 ESV And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination… “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.|
Many of these things are so cleverly disguised that it may take great humility to acknowledge that we might have defiled our own homes without even knowing.
Convictions from God or from Satan
Where we may have been ignorant about God’s commandments in the past, God now calls us to forsake the “passions of our former ignorance“. We may even need to relinquish the valuables that have been passed down to us from our ancestors. Let us not abandon a treasure that worth infinitely more, that is eternal life through Jesus Christ, at the cost of our souls. Thank God He is gracious and will readily forgive us if we obey to Him, repent and destroy objects that offend Him.
1 Peter 1:14-15,18-19 ESV As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct… you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Mark 8:36-37 ESV For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
For as long as we entertain Satan’s footholds in our homes and our families’ lives, we will eat “the bread of anxious toil” and be deprived of peaceful sleep. God is the One who should be building and watching over our homes, not Satan.
Psalm 127:1-2 ESV Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Our enemy, however, will try to give us many reasons not to obey God. Here are some ploys he uses to deceive and destroy.
Fear of people, emotional blackmail
“I can’t destroy this because it is a family heirloom / special gift.”
|Proverbs 29:25 ESV The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.|
Love of money, greed
“But this is so expensive.“
|1 Timothy 6:10 ESV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.|
“I can sell it or give it away. Maybe I can put the money to good use and please God.“
|Deuteronomy 7:25 “You must burn their idols in fire, and you must not covet the silver or gold that covers them. You must not take it or it will become a trap to you, for it is detestable to the Lord your God.|
“I will destroy some and keep some. Surely God won’t mind.”
|Ephesians 5:3 ESV … all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.|
“This is just a small object. I believe God doesn’t mind.“
|Romans 1:21-23 ESV For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.|
The Bible warns us not to love the world or the things in the world. Anytime we have a strong attachment to something that we can’t give up for God, it has already become an idol in our hearts. We are already under a form of ungodly influence from Satan, the god of this world.
1 John 2:15-17 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Cleansing a place spiritually
1. Repent of sins we or others have committed
People stain places with sin. God called the planet “very good” when He made the universe. Places were not created defiled.
Sin opens the door to curses and spiritual attacks. When cleansing a place, we must first repent of our own sins, before repenting for the sins committed by others in the same location. This could also involve forgiving anyone in the same household who has offended or keeps offending us.
James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Joel 2:13 NLT Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
2. Locate and destroy spiritually defiling objects
Idolatrous objects and sin open the door to curses such as sickness, fear, restlessness, inability to sleep well and financial difficulties, down to the third and fourth generation. Let us destroy them before they destroy our families and us.
Exodus 20:4-6 ESV “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
|1. Idolatry and images||
|3. Fortune telling||
|4. Ungodly spiritual practices||
|5. Thief, greed||
|6. Ungodly art||
|7. Ungodly “entertainment”||
|8. Sexual immorality||
3. Destroy all defiled objects
Once we have collected all defiling and cursed items, we need to pray to cut off any connection with them and destroy them with fire, a hammer or scissors. We should not simply put them in our garbage bin or be tempted to give them away. They need to be totally destroyed and eliminated so no one else can pick them up and take them home. There is a clear commandment from God not to covet the value (monetary or sentimental) in accursed items. Otherwise, they will become a spiritual trap for us.
Deuteronomy 7:25 ESV “You must burn their idols in fire, and you must not covet the silver or gold that covers them. You must not take it or it will become a trap to you, for it is detestable to the Lord your God.
If we are not the rightful owner of the objects in question – for example, we are living with parents who put such objects in our bedroom – we should try to remove them from our sleeping quarters and leave them somewhere else. If we can get permission to remove and discard them, we should not hesitate to destroy them completely.
4. Bind and cast out
After destroying all offensive objects, it is important to name and cast out all spirits connected with the occult or sinful acts committed in the location in Jesus’ name, including those committed by previous owners or other family members and residents. We are to also cast out any territorial spirit if so prompted by the Holy Spirit. One may notice certain spiritual strongholds that seem to be very prevalent in the area, such as prostitution, gambling, drug abuse, child abuse, idol worship etc.
For example, we can pray like this, “In the name of Jesus, I cast out the spirits of witchcraft and feng shui from this place. I also command unclean spirits that dominate this neighbourhood to leave this place at once. I forbid you all to return. I dedicate this place to Jesus Christ, and consecrate this room / apartment / house / office / factory / piece of land and set it apart for God. I invite the Holy Spirit to come cleanse this place and make it holy.“
5. Cut off ungodly soul ties and curses
As we cleanse a place, we need to “detach” from ungodly soul ties that we have formed with any persons who caused a place to be defiled. Sin brings “death” to a sinner’s soul and we do not want to be associated or linked to such souls. We are to be yoked only to Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 18:20 ESV The soul who sins shall die…
Matthew 11:29 ESV Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For example, we can pray like this, “In the name of Jesus, I cut off ungodly soul ties with (name the persons) and all curses related to them.“
6. Worship God and enthrone Him as Master of the home
After we have cleansed a place spiritually, we can worship and dedicate it to God and invite the Holy Spirit to reside with us. When we worship, we enthrone God as the Lord of our homes.
Psalm 22:3 ESV Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
7. Commit to maintaining a peaceful home
Last but not least, we ought to commit to being peacemakers who shine God’s love and glory in our homes and close the door to Satan’s influence for good.
Romans 12:16-19 ESV Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
Matthew 5:9 ESV “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Also, see a sample prayer for Cleansing home.
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