Everybody has “turf.” Our “turf” is “our personal territory.” Most folks are very protective of their “turf.” Whether it be the personal territory of our inner thoughts and emotions, relationships or work responsibilities, hackles tend to rise quickly when other people step into areas of our lives when they are not invited, and where they are not welcome.
While these kind of turf battles are usually petty and juvenile, there is a certain kind of turf battle that should be taken seriously. We must be prepared to protect and defend the spiritual turf of our hearts. Whether we realize it or not, there is a real spiritual enemy that not only wants to invade our personal territory, he wants to claim it for himself. He wants to set up his own command center in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul warned us about this kind of “turf attack:”
” … do not give the devil a foothold.” — Ephesians 4:27
Here Paul reminded us of our spiritual enemy and his agenda. Our adversary is the devil, and he wants turf! He is looking for ways to gain access to our hearts and establish a beachhead of influence and control.
Interestingly, the word Paul used for “foothold” is sometimes translated “place.” The Greek term is “topos.” Sound familiar? It’s the root of our English word “topography.” Topography refers to “the lay of the land.” It speaks of ground — of territory.
When we entertain certain attitudes and engage in certain behaviors, we run the risk of giving internal ground — spiritual topography to the devil. And whatever ground he takes, he exploits and seeks to expand, to our destruction.
What thoughts and behaviors in your life may be compromising the territory of your heart? Where have you given ground to the devil?
Ask Jesus to help you demolish the devil’s footholds in your life and retake the ground that rightfully belongs to Him. Determine that you will do everything possible to protect the turf of your heart!