Spiritual Mapping has been defined in many ways by some authorities in this field. There are various definitions of Spiritual Mapping however it is outside the scope of this handbook to state and discuss them all. However one can use the definitive used in the various definitions in literature already existing on the subject. To derive working definition is necessary and this has been derived from the definitive below and stated for our purpose. Spiritual mapping is a process whether instantaneous or progressive by revelation or by research.
Deriving a Working Definition:
Spiritual mapping is the process (revelation by God and research by His Spirit-led children) of discovering (by God) and discerning (by His Spirit-led children) strongholds (divine and demonic in a place, period of time and among a people) to produce a spiritually significant map (for the deployment of divine stronghold and the demolishing demonic strongholds) to effect strategic praying, planning, preparing and placing of resources toward the fulfillment of the redemptive purpose of God for a people in their present situation or condition.
In summary our working definition of spiritual mappingis:
the entire process of discovering and discerning strongholds to produce a spiritually significant map of a people, place and period of time toward the fulfillment of redemptive purpose of god for a people, PLACE AND PERIOD OF TIME.
By way of description Spiritual mapping is a process in its entirety than a product. It is primarily internalized in terms of its immediate output. With the following characteristics it is more of a tool in the hands of both intercessors and prayer warriors to identify obstacles to evangelism for demolishing, and resources of evangelism for deployment. Its nature as listed below, and names used in describing it helps us in actually understanding what it is. It is importance lies in the fact that it is a tool. Its urgency is in its timing/times.
The nature of Spiritual mapping and its names should provide us with some guide in the process of biblically identifying strongholds.
Spiritual mapping naturally presents itself to be scriptural, spiritual, strategic, systematic, structural and systemic. Let us consider each of these in some detail.
Names of Spiritual Mapping
Several names and terms have been used in referring to spiritual mapping. All of these are appropriate in the context of their process. It is knowledge based, and it is crucial that we deal with it to increase our own understanding of the knowledge of God and see them as God sees. We should receive God’s perspective. For lack of knowledge my people perish. Without having the knowledge of God we perish. God should know us and we should know God. We should not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy otherwise he takes advantage of us. We should know God and make Him known.
All the names point to an aspect of finding out about a situation in some depth and with prophetic accuracy under the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God. These names also show a certain practical perspective by which one could describe their approach being with research or revelation, and a combination of them. These descriptive definitions or names enhance the way we use the skills to keep us focused on God and man at work as co-laborers.
May we look at these one after the other.
We do not have to just keep on doing ministry when we continue having poor results in quality or quantity of work, one has to do some troubleshooting of the system to find out what is causing the ineffectiveness and inefficiency. We may have deviated from our original purpose and practice of our calling. We need to check the status of the system, so that we get restored to the required effectiveness and efficiency demanded by God. Joshua did when they had a defeat at the city of Ai. We want to find out what within the system and structures are the obstacle to our effective and efficient performance. What is wasting our resources? What is militating against us? By spiritual mapping we will be trouble shooting the defects and defeat of our life and ministry.
X-raying or scanning
Not all that meets the eye that is real. There is more than meets the eye. We must be discerning. Jesus in dealing with Peter said, “Get thee behind me Satan”. How can you be talking with Peter and be addressing Satan? Jesus could see beyond Peter. He also said to John “you know not what spirit you are of”. Jesus again saw into John more than what meets rational knowledge in his behavior.
This is diagnosing the spiritual status of a things, time or event to be able to know the exact cause producing the perceived effect to be able to deal with it for a desired result. It is spiritually discerned. The tools or weapons are spiritual (2Corinthians 10:3-5) is useful. What we deal with is spiritual (Ephesians 6:10-12) the end or purpose is spiritual not carnal. God must be at work otherwise we could do nothing (Ephesians 2:12 3:12). By this we are able to find the source and set the boundaries of influences of strongholds.
Spiritual Mapping has for its target opportunities and obstacles to World Evangelization and global harvest. What is it that makes evangelism difficult or non-existent in a community or a church ? It targets a people group, particular community, cultural indices, etc. There should be a research problem. God can also throw light on the source of the problem and expose the deeds of darkness. Not just them as physically present or absent, but spiritually significant. To what extent do they advance or adverse the redemptive purpose of God for a people, a place or period of time? In dealing with obstacles to evangelization or opportunities for evangelization among a people or particular communities, one also needs to know what constitutes these obstacles or opportunities and their character as well as influence. If we do not know what they are or their direction and magnitude of their influence we are bound to make mistakes in shutting the gates of hell and end their impact in frustrating our efforts of evangelization, or entering the open doors of ministry or divine providence.
Spiritual mapping has some aspects of spying out. Yes spying and secrecy. Not being diabolical but due diligence and confidentiality. The data is sensitive and one needs to be embedded in the enemy territory. Remember you have the adversary, accuser and the aggressor against you and what you are doing. You are not working in the interest of the arch enemy of your soul, the arch enemy of God. Further more if the enemy knows what you find out he will modify the stronghold and your data will no longer be valid and frustrate you. Not all of them would know and have what you will find out so you will be informing them indirectly. Be therefore circumspect. Be gentle as a dove and wise as a serpent. Some practitioners of spiritual mapping talk about doing espionage in the spirit realms.
We see this as strategy of Moses and Joshua in their move to poses their possession as the LORD had mapped out for them in His covenant with their fore fathers, and promised to them. They had to spy out and have exact knowledge of the ground situation to have an appropriate and adequate warfare strategy that will ensure the fulfillment of the promise made to them by God .
Beware of the Delilah’s who map out the people of God particularly leaders of the battle. Keep your information about divine stronghold secret and confidential. Samson lost that battle. Remember the devil also maps out things of God to frustrate the people of God in hindering them. Therefore keep God’s confidence and do not cast your pearls before the swine or dogs.
Learning from, he Nehemiah received information privately (Nehemiah 1); Mobilizing for work; (Nehemiah 2:12-18); went with few men, by night, viewed, and told no one. He was aware of his enemy. Your enemy has no benefit from what God will do with your spiritual map. Joshua instructed the spies to do it secretly to go and view the land (Joshua 2:1, 4). Spy strategically Judges 1:22-26 searches out the land Numbers 13:21 after 40 days search out Judges 18:2, 14, 17. Spy, search, overthrow it 2Samuel 10:3 1Chronicles 19:3. Go, Spy, fetch him 2Kings 6:13, Galatians 2:4.
To go spy out the land they were sent by superiors; they spied secretly and Search strategically and returned safely. It was time specific.