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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Staking Claim

I honestly expected to scare up a snake as I waded into the thigh-high jungle of weeds behind our shed. I grabbed the weed eater and dove in. Hidden behind the weeds was a massive pile of junk that had been accumulating for the last eight years. Broken pipe, old windows, termite riddled boards, and other random junk was stowed away back there. I put on my gloves and got to work.

As I loaded the last board on the truck I turned around and smiled. The once cluttered space was finally useful again. I pulled up a chair and brainstormed about how to best reclaim this lost space. As I looked around, I saw birds swooping in and heard lizards sneaking through the fallen weeds. I felt a cool breeze and noticed the amazing amount of shade. I began visualizing a split rail fence, birdhouses, a hammock, and benches. The dread I once felt about the wasted space was now replaced with excitement as the possibilities seemed endless.

As long as the space remained unclaimed, I couldn’t visualize how it could ever be mine again, but once it was cleaned up and cleaned out the area took on a greater purpose. I staked my claim against the weeds and debris and as a result, brought it back under my control, much like King Solomon did in 1 Kings, at the beginning of his reign. As King David died, he instructed Solomon to get rid of the men who were troublemakers in the kingdom. So Solomon cleaned house! He tracked down several men and ordered that they be executed. 1 Kings 2:46b says,

“So the kingdom was now firmly in Solomon’s grip. (NLT)”

He saw the problem areas, staked his claim, and firmly established his kingdom for a greater purpose.

Jesus did the same thing in the New Testament when he ran the moneychangers out of the temple. Luke 19:46 says,

He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves. (NLT)”

Jesus put his foot down and staked his claim. His temple had a greater purpose and the moneychangers were not on board, so they had to go!

Like the area in my yard, the troublemakers in Solomon’s kingdom, and the moneychangers in the temple, God also wants to get the troublemaking areas out of our lives as well. Instead of wasting time wallowing in excuses, we need to stake our claim and resolve to hit tasks head-on. We need to see troublemaking areas and purposely set goals that will lead us to the finish line instead of wallowing in self-pity and heading back to stands. When depression is looming like a heavy cloud, we need to firmly stake our claim and stand on the Word. And when life seems more like that pile of junk hidden by weeds, we need to ask God to give us the courage to grab his hand, wade in headfirst, and take back that area that once was lost.

Whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, make the time to make the change. Pick one area you can stake your claim in and do it with ferocity. God has a greater purpose in store if we will just trust him.

Prayer: Father, open our eyes to the troublemaking places that are hiding in our lives. Give us the courage to surrender these areas to you, trust in your greater purpose, and firmly stake a claim in your name! Amen.

Copyright © 2020 Christy Bass Adams, used with permission.

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