Territorial Instinct

By Bill Davis

The bear, the moose, the elk are all territorial in their nature. They lay claim to space. It is theirs. It belongs to them. It is a natural assumption on their part. Their boundaries are marked and are not to be violated. To do so, there will be conflict and possibly even death to the intruder. They claim it and they are willing to fight and defend their possession. This is known as territorial instinct.

Strange as it may seem, the devil and the evil spirits are territorial as well. The powers of Hell are convinced the whole world belongs to them. Satan believes all people are his people, to deal with however he pleases. And he operates with no restraint. No guidelines. No principles. Winner takes all. He will lie, cheat, steal or do anything else to possess and to control any person or persons, any entity or organization. How he arrived at such a position is unclear. But his whole work is based on this assumption.

In most cases when something is territorial, it almost always means conflict. It means battle and possibly even death to any living thing that invades its private world.

The ram that lives in the high country will fight for its possession against the trespasser. When they square off for battle, it is head-to-head conflict – literally. They back up, eyeing each other, and then drive toward each other with a terrific crash. When their heads strike, the sound explodes like a rifle shot. They retreat and repeat this combat until one yields or is killed.

The wolf is similar. Many other animals are the same. Their purpose is to secure what they consider their own. The male wants to be the hero, to dominate, and the female, the bearer of the young.

Jesus said in Luke 11:24-26, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” The evil or unclean spirit comes to a conclusion. I will return to my house (notice `my house,’ ownership, possession). Then he takes seven other spirits, more wicked than him. He finds the house swept and garnished, clean and polished. Yet empty and unprotected. He takes possession and the state of the man is far worse than before.

Satan is territorial. The entire human race, he feels is his. The four corners of the earth have been marked as his domain of ownership. All people and places belong to the wicked one.

Anyone he wants to affront, attack or war against is okay. Any place he wants to set up as a domain of Hell is okay. In his thinking, as crude and deceived as it is it all belongs to him.

He has a problem! It is just not so! This world and its massive population do not belong to Satan. He has confiscated the territory. He has kidnapped and possessed the people. He has laid claim to another’s possession. “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1). That is why there is always war, conflict and agitation. That is why there is such little peace in the world. That is why there is a Church in the world and that is why Jesus told the Church, His Church, to go into all the world with the message of Salvation. A message that declares deliverance. A message of redemption. A message that says you can be free from the tyrant of Hell. The message is not an easy flim-flam message of empty words. But a message of death, burial and resurrection. A message of power and deliverance to all who want to be free of Hell’s forces and influences. A message that offers hope. It is God’s message to the world. To His world. The world Jesus died for.

Man does not belong to Satan legitimately. We, as the Church, have been empowered with the greatest Force and Power known to the human race. We have been anointed to move against the gates of Hell, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

We are a force to be reckoned with. Do not doubt God or His purpose. Do not doubt His word or His power. Moreover, do not doubt the place of the Church in God’s plan. We have been wired for revival and success, and man has been wired for God! Jesus died for all humanity. “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). Salvation is for “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17).

So often, a home or foreign missionary goes to an area to establish a work for God. Sooner or later, he encounters heavy opposition and it is usually sooner. Darkness and doubt press against him or her. Resistance attacks from all sides. Spirits launch a well-orchestrated and calculated plan for victory against the Church. Any and all things will be used as an instrument of Satan to discourage and defeat the work of God.

Satan is territorial.

“You don’t belong here! This is my world, my people. These people serve me. I am their master. They are my slaves!” These words belch forth from the regions of Hell’s gates, with believable strength. And the war is on. The conflict begins. The enemy has been engaged.

Look at Satan’s hand at work, when he is in control.

Jesus told Peter, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31). How is wheat sifted? You cast it to the wind. You let the wind the currents in the atmosphere, blow upon it and deal with the wheat’s chaff. Jesus let Peter know that Satan’s intention was to cast him to the winds of Hell. Let these forces of evil deal as they would.

When Hell’s forces are through with us, nothing much will be left. Satan has no good intentions for humanity!

And look at the sad madman of the tombs in Matthew 5:1-15. .Unable to be controlled. Pitiful and possessed, living in the dark world of the dead. He once had family and friends, but Satan got involved. Now the possessed man was at the mercy of Satan. The powers of Hell have horrible intentions for people.

Or consider the man, in Matthew 17:14, whose son who was possessed of demons. At times, he (Satan) threw him into the fire. The man begged the disciples to help him, but they failed. The man was broken and weary with this horrible battle against the gates of Hell. But Jesus came by!

My point is that Satan believes all people are his to do with, as he wants. He wants to cast this generation into the depths of sin. It is his desire to pull this generation into depression and brokenness.

The words of the Bible become a great strength and comfort. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4). “If God be, for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

The world is not Satan’s territory. It belongs to God. The souls belong to God! And we are to go and teach and preach the Gospel to every creature. We are here to take them back, one soul at a time. One church service at a time, if need be. One revival at a time. The gates of Hell have prevailed against this generation, but we are here to undo and destroy the works of Satan. 1 John 3:8 declares, “For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He also said, “As my father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

It is time to cross over to the territory of Hell. It really belongs to God anyway! It is time to marshal our forces and arm our people with strength and power from God. We should secure our church services for complete victory. Our songs, prayers and worship will bring the power of God to our midst in a great dimension.

“This is the victory that overcometh the world!” (1 John 5:4).

This article “Territorial Instinct” written by Bill Davis is excerpted from his book The Gates of Hell and the Prevailing Church.