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Everything that happens on the earth is influenced by the spiritual realm. But in turn, the spiritual realm is influenced by the choices made by people here on earth. When a particular spirit has dominance over an area, it is there because people have chosen to give that particular thing dominance in their lives.
For example, let’s say an area is dominated by a spirit of lust. It is quite probable that at one time that spirit did not have control over the area. However, some people in the area chose to move in lust, thus inviting a spirit of lust to control their lives. This then became a viscous cycle: the more they moved in lust, the stronger the spirit became; the stronger it became, the more they were drawn into lust.
At some point that spirit began to exert an influence beyond the people who had first invited it. Those around them were brought under the same spirit, and began to move into lust, thus strengthening the spirit even more. The more people came under its influence, and the more they moved into expressions of lust, the stronger that spirit of lust became, until the point where it ceased to be merely a spirit affecting the lives of individuals, and became a dominant spirit over the area. Now it becomes difficult for anyone living in that geographical area not to be tainted by that spirit of lust.
This principle operates the same way, no matter what spirit you may be considering. False religions, poverty, violence, materialism – every spiritual force that controls some area of planet earth got its foothold in the heavenlies in this way.
Now at first glance that may seem very discouraging, but it is actually really good news for us as Christians, because the whole principle can work in the positive exactly as it has worked in the negative. If we are going to bring the Kingdom of God into an area, we have to start building positive strongholds to counter the negative ones.
The first thing we need to do is to identify the prevailing spirits that need to be thrown down. We can do this first of all through prayer, and asking the Lord to give us the gift of the discernment of spirits. We can also learn a lot by simply looking around us, bearing in mind that spirits always produce after their own kind. That is, a spirit of poverty will always produce poverty, it will not produce lust. So if we can see what is manifested in our area, it will be fairly easy to discern what spirit is behind it.
The second thing we need to do is to live in a way that is the opposite of that prevailing spirit. So, if the prevailing spirit over our area is pride, then we need to walk in radical humility. At first, this will be extremely difficult. The spirit of pride over the area will be constantly coming against us, trying to pull us into pride. Not only that, but the people of the area, under the influence of that spirit, will ridicule us. We must never try to do this alone, or we will be crushed and brought under that spirit ourselves. Rather, we must walk in total dependence upon the Spirit of God (which attitude is in itself part of humility.)
The more we can do this, the more we will attract the Holy Spirit in His manifestation of humility. As His influence extends beyond us, others will begin to break free of the spirit of pride and walk in humility, further strengthening the presence of the Holy Spirit. In time, His presence will displace the spirit of pride over the area.
This is not the gung-ho, shout-at-the-devil approach; but it is much more effective. It takes time, patience, and discipline; but its benefits extend not only to us but to our children’s children.