Bible Question:

This seems to be one of many so called “new revelations” in the body of Christ, taught by sincere ministers of God. Churches seem to be hungry for change and more salvation results. But it is THE GOSPEL which is the power of God! Though I believe that in Christ I also have authority to stand against any strongman coming on my path, I cannot see any scriptural confirmation for the practice of trying to find an enemy over an area. When this new ministry does away with a strongman over an area, the danger is that he might return and take 7 more evil spirits with him. I seem to stand so alone in this. Am I wrong?

Bible Answer:

“Spiritual mapping” is a new approach to evangelizing one’s community. Advocates of this concept research the spiritual condition of their community, city, state of nation for the purpose of evangelism. They propose to do this by 1) researching the spiritual condition of the churches in the area, 2) attempting to determine the major patterns of sin common to the area, 3) determining the demonic activity for the area, and 4) identifying the names of spiritual principalities and powers of the area for the purpose of conquest. Courses are being provided in “Spiritual Mapping.”

Rejoice That Christ Is Preached

The desire to evangelize our community, city, state, nation or the world is what our Lord commanded us to do. From a biblical point of view, there is nothing wrong with investigating the spiritual condition or discovering the sin patterns of a group of people in an area. If this helps Christians understand their community better and motivate them to share Christ, then we should praise the Lord. This was the attitude of Paul the apostle in Philippians,

Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice. (NASB) Philippians 1:15-18

Resist But Do Not Attack

Many are seeking power in the Christian life and in ministry. Once one starts seeking power, that becomes the goal. It is interesting that Jesus’ brother, Jude, had this to say,

Yet in the same manner these men . . . Revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (NASB) Jude 8-9

The message of this passage is clear. Do not be aggressive towards angelic majesties (Satan and his followers are fallen angels), but defer to God. Then the Lord’s brother, James, command us to resist Satan.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NASB) James 4:7-8

The Holy Spirit does not encourage us to seek out conflict with demons – but to resist them. The concept of seeking out the demon’s identity over an area is not found in scripture. While it is true that certain demons have authority in a geographical area, God has not called us to engage in “spiritual hand-to-hand combat.” For example, in Daniel 10 an angel was sent to speak with Daniel, the prophet, but the angel was not able to get to Daniel because of a demon called the prince of Persia. So a chief angel from heaven named Michael had to come and help the less powerful angel. After the angel’s conversation with Daniel, he had the following to say,

Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince. (NASB) Daniel 10:20-21

The angel never asked the prophet Daniel for help – the angels did it all. Scripture does indicate that we can cast out demons by prayer (Mark 9:29). The apostles did (Mark 6:12-13), but scripture never indicates there is any advantage to identifying the name of demons in order to engage in spiritual war.

Casting Out Demons

The most powerful weapon of our battle is in casting out demons by prayer. The disciples complained to Jesus that could not cast out all of the demons. So Jesus explained that they had two problems: 1) little faith and 2) some can ONLY be cast out by prayer. Prayer is the most powerful weapon.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (NASB) Matthew 17:9-21

Jesus never tells them they needed to know the demon’s name or do “spiritual mapping.”

Conclusion:

God has called us to resist Satan and his evil empire. We can cast out demons with the most powerful weapon – prayer. We do not need “spiritual mapping.” Some years ago. I had an encounter with a woman was who involved in the occult. She was involved in astral projection and occult activities. I had a number of opportunities to present Jesus to her and she started asking more and more about Jesus. After a while she told me that she had been instructed to avoid me. I was “dangerous” to her, I rarely saw her after that. I was a threat to Satan. Shortly after that, weird things started to happen in our home. We started praying for the Lord’s protection and everything stopped. Satan is alive and real!

If “spiritual mapping” motivates someone to share his or her faith with others – praise God! But there are aspects of “spiritual mapping” that should be avoided – the mystic of demonic warfare. That aspect of the ministry is not biblical. We have been called to battle through truthfulness, holiness, faith, assurance of our salvation, prayer, and knowledge of the Word of God (Eph. 6:10-17). The Holy Spirit calls this the Armor of God (Eph. 6:11). This is God’s biblical plan for spiritual warfare – not “spiritual mapping.”