I remember the day that God spoke to my heart as if it were yesterday. No, it wasn’t a thundering voice from above. In fact, it wasn’t even a still, small voice. It was a sister in Christ who came up to me after a fellowship in another city and asked to speak to me privately. “Of course,” I said, thinking that she needed some advice, private prayer, or ministering. What a surprise when she indicated that she was concerned about some of the objects in my home.
You see, we had regularly been opening our home for the past few months to the area saints for dinners followed by an evening of prayer and fellowship. We had seen great deliverance in people’s lives and witnessed many healings. At first a little defensive, I thought, “What could be wrong with my house?” God bless her, she told me in a very gentle and entreating way that she “could not help but notice the numerous American Indian artifacts that I had in my den.” She continued to tell me “that she was not telling me what to do but rather had been left with the strong impression that I should carefully look at these items and go to the Lord about them.” She finished our conversation by reminding me of how “although we have romanticized much about the western era, a lot of the Indian culture revolved around paganism, and their worship of Nature was idolatrous.” I promised her that I would honestly consider what she said.
During the two hour trip home, my wife and I discussed how God instructs us to be very careful with what type of material possessions we bring into our homes.
Deuteronomy 7:26 (Amplified)
Neither shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you become an accursed thing like it; but you shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.
We love God with all our hearts, and would never even consider bringing anything devilish or idolatrous into our home. We were very aware of how demons can gain entrance into peoples homes by “riding in” on physical objects. As we reflected on it, I was certain I had “cleansed” all the materials in my home. I thought, “I may not have specifically cast any supposed demons off the objects in my home, but I am a strong and standing believer and so I shouldn’t have to be worried about it. Come on, this is my house we’re talking about.”
As soon as I got home, I made a beeline for the den. Of all the rooms in the house, this was “my” room, the “men’s” room. Filled with leather furniture and decorated in an American Indian motif, with a knotty pine and river rock fireplace, this room exuded testosterone. There were numerous items of special meaning that I had collected over the last dozen years on various motorcycle trips across the states. As I stood there looking around I had to admit, “She may be right.” I could see how some of these objects might bother someone. Maybe it was the buffalo skull over the fireplace, after all, my wife never did care much for that either. Possibly it was the Plains Indian peace pipe with its hand beaded leather bag and tobacco pouch. There was also the framed artwork, one a picture of an Apache called “Dog Soldier” and numerous other knickknacks. “Well,” I thought, “I am not going to take any chances with demons in my home, so right then and there I loudly proclaimed this room and my entire house to be off limits to demons and commanded them to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.” Quite proud of myself, I figured, “That takes care of it once and for all,” and I considered the matter done.
During the next few months, I spent a lot of spare time reading numerous books on Demons and Deliverance Ministries. Without any particular reason in mind, I seemed to be drawn to various books written by men who had built entire ministries around freeing God’s people from demons. As usual, not all the authors were in agreement with each other, but I was able to glean a lot of useful information. It was my intent to prove all things and hold fast to what was true according to my understanding of God’s Word. This period of time was culminated by my wife and me attending a four day Christian training during which time we were able to confront many of the strongholds in our lives. There were even some in attendance who, clearly to us, were delivered of demons.
After returning home from the seminar, it seemed that we were operating on a more sensitive spiritual level. My wife, Lori, and I had recommitted our lives to the Lord and identified numerous areas in our lives where we had not been honest with each other and God. Our commitment to love, honesty, and intimacy began to open new doors in our relationship with God, each other, and others. As I sat in my easy chair praying and reflecting back on the events of the training, I kept getting a nagging feeling about my den. I told myself again that the den was “spiritually clean” knowing that I had cast out Satan’s little minions. But I went to the den, and as I stood there looking around, I asked God to show me if there was anything wrong. On one of the side tables I had a collection of hand painted frogs that seemed to particularly weigh on me. I called to Lori, and when she came into the room I asked her if there were any things in the room that she was spiritually bothered by. Without hesitation she pointed and said, “Those frogs!”
I told her to wait for me and I left the room, returning a few minutes later with a large trash bag. She held the bag as I began to toss in the entire collection of frightful frogs. As I continued around the room, grabbing other offending items, we agreed that we wanted nothing in our home that did not glorify God.
There was a collection of reproduction medicine bags that I now noticed had pagan symbols on them. I stood back and looked at the artwork and began to see pagan designs hidden in the beadwork or subtlety designed into the pictures. Out went the limited edition artworks, the peace pipe with its carved designs and the buffalo skull, clearly now a symbol of death. It was now about eleven o’clock at night, but we were on a roll. We continued through each room looking at every article with a new discerning eye, opening each drawer, examining every item in the house.
By the time we had finished our purge, we had identified a brass incense holder in our daughter’s room, made in India and dedicated to pagan worship. I also gathered up my collection of martial arts ceramics and figurines. I had always avoided the metaphysical teachings of the martial arts and been blessed with an instructor that placed the emphasis on physical training, but I had slowly collected martial arts materials with dragons and other items that had subtle demonic influences. We found a few spiritually unclean books and music in our teenage daughter’s room. Lori completed our efforts by going to her jewelry box and pulling out her Halloween earrings and a witch pendant. We finished by kneeling and thanking God for showing us the various articles that had entered our home. Now we were ready for bed.
The next morning, both of us commented over breakfast how we each had slept more soundly than we had in years. When I arrived at work, I drove straight to the dumpster and smashed every item as I tossed it away. I mentally totaled the value of the articles and realized I had just destroyed more than five thousand dollars worth of art and collectibles. I thought, “I could have sold this stuff, maybe even given the proceeds to the ministry for the work of the Lord.” That’s when I was reminded of the bonfire the saints in the first century church in Ephesus had with their demonic objects and scrolls.
Acts 19:18 and 19
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.
A drachma represented about a day’s wages. In terms of today’s money, if we used one hundred dollars as a day’s wages, that would place the value of the burned scrolls at a minimum of five million dollars. That’s one heck of a fire! The money that could have been made by selling them is not important. What matters to God is that they would never again be able to exert any influence in anyone’s life or home. Later that afternoon when we returned home, we both felt a new lightness in our house. I knew then that my home really was spiritually clean.
Now I know you could read this and say, “Wow, Dan, how could you be that spiritually dull to let stuff like that into your home?” Well, let me tell you, our adversary, the Devil, is an awfully sly guy. Wouldn’t we all recognize him right away if he entered our lives showing his real colors? He is successful because he sneaks and slithers into our lives in very sly and concealed ways. One small item in your home may not have much influence, but when enough of them enter, the scales will be tipped. I believe strongly that many of the articles in my house were innocuous and of no consequence until I began to take a strong and committed stand for God. I had brought the articles into my house and had therefore invited Satan to use them when he wanted to cause interference and disruption in my life.
The most important lesson in all of this is not about the physical articles and the way Satan can utilize them. Remember, we Christians are called the “Temple” of God, and Satan will use any thing he can to enter our lives. We must examine our lives and cleanse our temples of all his methods for entry. Have you allowed him to gain access to your life through your physical surroundings? Are you giving him entry through bitterness or greed? Are you giving him a foothold through anger, envy, jealousy, or sexual immorality? Let’s be honest with ourselves and with God. Let’s root Satan out of our homes and lives. Let’s not give him an inch, or he’ll become a ruler. Let’s cleanse the “temples” of our hearts, as well as the homes God has given us.