Spiritual Squatters

I Corinthians 6:19b -20: “…you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

One of the major problems in the Philippines is squatters.  A squatter is typically a poor person, family or a group of people that suddenly moves onto property that they don’t own. A typical squatter will move onto a piece of property and quickly build a small shack. Once a squatter does this it is very difficult to get them to move.

Squatters are all over the Philippines. If you look around you can see whole communities of squatters. The squatters “take over” government owned land and even private property. They are very quick in what they do. I recall a situation that happened several years ago to a fellow missionary. This missionary helped a Philippine pastor construct a small church building in a poor community. They finished the building one afternoon and went home. The next morning when they came back, they were surprised to find that a squatter had come at night and put up a 2 storey shack right in front of the church building!

In some areas, the only way to keep squatters off of your property is to always guard the property. The owner of the property must keep a very watchful and careful eye, lest squatters suddenly invade. In more than one instance, I have seen people actually hire security guards to patrol their property to keep squatters away. As I mentioned previously, if a squatter does manage to get on a piece of property then they are very hard to get rid of. Sometimes it involves a lengthy legal process.

As I considered the problem of squatters, I began to realize that there is some spiritual lesson here for Christians. Consider the scriptures above. The Word of God teaches that Christians “are not their own.” If you are a Christian, then you have been purchased or redeemed by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You do not own you. J God now owns you. As such, a Christian’s responsibility is to take good care of God’s property. A Christian does that by glorifying God through their body and life.

Look at it this way. If you are a Christian, you have a lifelong responsibility to keep squatters off of God’s property. You need to keep God’s property (your life) clean and free from “spiritual squatters.” A “spiritual squatter” would be any type of sin that tries to take residence in your life. Before that “spiritual squatter” can build a shack in our life, we need to clear him off quickly. Because, once the “spiritual squatter” takes up residence; it can be very difficult to remove him.

Let me give you an example. Take, for instance, a Christian man named Juan.  One afternoon Juan is walking down the road and on the side of the road he sees an open   X-rated magazine. Immediately a “spiritual squatter” named Mr. Lust tries to build a shack on Juan’s mind. If Juan doesn’t watch it and take immediate action, Mr. Lust will build a very strong shack in Juan’s mind. What should Juan do? He should immediately tell Mr. Lust, “Get out of here now! This is God’s property and you are not allowed to construct a shack here!”

Friends, if you are a Christian, I challenge you do not allow “spiritual squatters” to build shacks in your life. Remember, you do not own you. God owns you and you must keep God’s property clean from squatters. Amen!

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