The post below is adapted from Josh Glaser’s address at Regeneration’s annual fundraiser in Baltimore. To read the entire address, click here: Reclaim (April 3, 2014).
To stake a claim is to announce that something belongs to you. In some times and places, a person would come upon a piece of land, and they’d place rocks or drive stakes in the ground, marking out that plot as their own.
This same thing happens in individual’s lives. In my life, in your life. Something painful or confusing happens, and subtle voices speak, making their claim.
A husband leaves and an unspoken sadness rolls into a home, silently putting down its stakes, toxic claims seeping into the ground: This woman isn’t wanted. These children aren’t worth fighting for.
A bully mocks while other boys look on, stakes go down, claims are heard: You’re different, defective, they all see it. You don’t belong with the boys.
A little girl is sexually abused by a sibling, and then an older male neighbor; more stakes, more claims: You’re dirty, tainted. You caused this. Your voice doesn’t matter. Men aren’t safe.
A young man stumbles upon pornography. He’s curious, he looks, it feels good, he looks some more. Now he’s a man with a family of his own and he can’t stop looking; the stakes have been driven deep and he’s believed the toxic claims. You were made for this. You can’t live without this.
What about you? What claims have been spoken into your life?
- If you’re going to be loved, you’ve got to earn it.
- You’re a mess, a screw-up, a failure.
- No one will really love you if they find out about that.
- They only want you for your money.
- God’s forsaken you.
There are thousands more. And we’ve all heard them. Every one of us. The enemy of our souls has made sure of it.
But the story doesn’t end there. There’s One who can pull them up. Jesus, who comes to reclaim what belongs to him.
When God wanted to reclaim our hearts, minds, and bodies (including our sexuality) for Himself, He didn’t do so by shouting louder than the other voices. He reclaimed with word made flesh, like us.
Jesus, the living Word, let stakes be driven down through His body, let the sting of death claim His life.
Then He overpowered death and sin. And rose again.
Against every foul power and every evil claim, the Father has driven the cross deep into the ground of humanity.
At the sight, the enemy closes his mouth, his hand opens, and he steps away from the sons and daughters of God, releasing them home.
This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ entrance into occupied Jerusalem. Those who lauded his arrival believed he would oust the foreign rulers claiming their land.
But Jesus came to reclaim something else. He came to oust the powers claiming their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.
What claims need uprooting in your life? Let Him show you. Maybe it’s time to allow him into the parts of your life claimed by another.