By Julie Gillies, Crosswalk.com
If you’ve ever collapsed into bed feeling overwhelmed by the atmosphere of your home—bad attitudes, anger, confusion, or just a tangible, weighty oppression—I understand. For years the atmosphere of my home felt oppressive and heavy, and though I longed for change, I had no idea how to make change happen.
The truth is, sometimes our homes (and hearts) are being influenced without our awareness. Whether we completely understand it or not, darkness is at work.
“Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth…” (Isaiah 60:2)
Scripture points out that there are unseen powers at work in the spiritual dimension that can have an effect in our homes—especially if we share our home with those who don’t yet know the Lord.
“You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.” (Ephesians 2:2)
But the good news is God is greater. The second part of Isaiah 60:2 says it all: “... but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.”
Light always displaces darkness. We combat darkness by inviting God’s light and truth into our homes. Below are keys to help change the atmosphere of your home.
1. Ask God to make you aware – Sometimes the cultural darkness in our area is so pervasive we become accustomed to it, unintentionally yielding to it because to us it feels normal. The first step is becoming aware; the Holy Spirit heightens our awareness when we ask Him.
2. Cultivate discernment – Scripture tells us to “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). As we do, we will more quickly recognize and discern darkness, which makes it easier to resist at its onset (James 4:7).
3. Resist encroaching darkness – We never have to yield the atmosphere of our hearts or homes. Here are some solid resisting techniques:
Pray – Immediately ask the Lord to intervene. Thank Him for His power at work in your life in spite of how things appear.
Worship – Sing to the Lord or turn on worship music.
- Speak out Scripture – It’s living, active and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), and Jesus defeated Satan for 40 days in the wilderness via Scripture. We can, too.
4. We need to deal with our own hearts - Sometimes we bear the bad attitude or allow offense or unforgiveness into our hearts. When we humbly examine ourselves and ask the Lord to point the log in our own eye (Matthew 7:5), God moves, as He always gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6).
5. Invite God's presence into your home - If the hills melt like wax at the presence of the Lord (Psalm 97:5), then surely the hills of anger, confusion, and oppression in our homes will melt as well. Tell Him that you desire His presence in your home.
The atmosphere of our homes will change as we diligently pray, seek Him, and apply these truths!
Here is a prayer to get you started:
God, You are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise! You are awesome and mighty; I pray You will be honored in our home. Make me aware when darkness encroaches and help me to resist and cherish Your presence. Please help me to stoke the fire on the altar of my heart, so that I am aglow and burning with the Spirit (Romans 12:11). Lord, You are greater than every spiritual opposition. Change the atmosphere in my home as only You can. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
Julie K. Gillies is the author of the devotional, Prayers for a Woman's Soul (Harvest House Publishers). Healed from a traumatic childhood and awed that God saved her seriously troubled marriage, her message helps women pray with boldness, confidence, and the certainty that God hears. Julie is the joyful wife of Keith, mom of three adults, and Grammy of four. She loves baking from scratch, bicycling with her hubby, and hanging out with the entire family at home, especially on days when her house is clean. Find FREE resources and connect with Julie at www.JulieGillies.com.
Publication date: July 28, 2016