Strategies of a religious spirit
Through the centuries a religious spirit has relentlessly attacked and paralysed thousands of churches, ruined countless numbers of lives. And unfortunately it has invaded many of the church’s and denominations operating today.
A religious spirit insidiously attacks God’s people and His church. It drains the life and power out of the church and out of God’s people. It causes people to be more concerned about keeping the rules, the rituals and traditions than they are about heart issues and heeding the things of the spirit. Matthew 15:7-9.
I am not going to name them, but if you do your own research you will find most denominational groups that operate on earth today are the residue of very powerful moves of God.
They still display a form of godliness but without the power of the Holy Spirit that operated through the leaders at that time in history.
Our greatest threat to the Third Great Awakening
One of the greatest threats to the third great awakening and what some have termed as the coming reformation will be the religious spirit. In every previous move of God it has viciously attacked those involved.
The Pentecostal and Charismatic movement are two of the most recent moves of God and history shows how those involved were viciously attacked and ridiculed.
Yet history reveals that both were a Holy Spirit revival that “revived” the church and had a major impact on society.
Sadly today, both have lost a lot of the power they once had and in many ways have succumbed to a form of religious activities like many other denominational groups
If what I have written offends you, then the greatest caution I can give you is to make sure that you haven’t fallen into the clutches of this insidious spirit.
Of all the demons in Satan’s Kingdom, the religious spirit is the greatest threat to the imminent move of God because it operates within the walls of “Churchianity,” that is, powerless church’s and denominations.
The strategy of the religious spirit
Every prophecy indicates the coming reformation is unlike any other move of God, and to many it will offend their religious mindsets.The chances are that it will be very different to what you have been accustomed to and unwittingly you may find yourself fighting what the Holy Spirit is doing.This has happened in every previous move of God, some of those within the church walls attacked what they thought was the devil was in fact God.
I am sure that you don’t want to be one of those opposing the Holy Spirit, so here is a simple test for you.
As you read through the following statements and read the relevant Bible verses, acknowledge whatever you feel applies to your life.
A number of these may indicate that there is a religious spirit operating in your life. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s promptings as I read through the list.
- God is seen as harsh, judgmental, distant, detached. Colossians 2:8
- Live out of unbelief, doubt miracles and assume that there is a natural or rational explanation. John 9:15 & 16.
- Observe religious rules, traditions and rituals, instead of listening and submitting to the Holy Spirit. Matthew 23:27 & 28.
- Be legalistic in the way they worship, pray, etc. through ritual. Matthew 23:15. Worship and pray out of selfish motives, with a desire to receive praise or adulation, to sound impressive. Luke 18:9-14.
- Be judgmental. The inclination is to put others down because of their spiritual or moral failure. The motive is often to exalt self. Matthew 7:1-5.
- Believe that one must be cleaned up before one can come to God.
1 Timothy 1:12-15.
- Unable to receive forgiveness. 1 John 1:9.
- Be unforgiving. Matthew 6:15.
- Believe that God’s approval is earned through self-effort. Galatians 2:16.
- Be a perfectionist. Matthew 11:16-19.
- Pray from the intellect rather than the spirit. Matthew 6:7.
- Be “turned off” by the expression of emotions in worship and reject spiritual manifestations you don’t understand. 2 Samuel 6:14-16.
- Give intellectual assent to Biblical and spiritual truth, but not put it into practice.
Matthew 7:26 & 27.
- Be unwilling and unable to see the truth, Matthew 13:14 & 15, particularly about the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:24 & 28.
- Pervert and twist the truth. 2 Timothy 4:3 & 4.
- Substitute traditions of men for the truth of God. Matthew 15:3.
- Be hypocritical. Outwardly religious but inwardly corrupt. Matthew 23:3.
- Be self-righteous, proud and arrogant. Luke 16:14 & 15).
- Hate spiritual correction. Proverbs 5:12.
- Have a loose attitude toward sin. 2 Peter 2:18-20.
- Avoid real repentance for sin through godly sorrow. Matthew 27:3-5.
- Fight spiritual battles with the world’s weapons. We must wage war in the spirit. Ephesians 6:12-18.
- Persecute and slander those who move in the Spirit. Acts 13:44 &45.
- Try to stop those who are coming out of their old religious tradition to follow the Lord Jesus. Acts 9:1 & 2.
- Have contempt for non-believers. Acts 11:2 & 3.
- Have shame and self-contempt. The focus is on ourselves and our own worthlessness. Shuts out the possibility of focusing on God’s redemption. John 6:37.
- Stir up strife among people. Acts 13:49 & 50.
- Have a tendency to see that our primary mission is to tear down what we believe is wrong. John 12:9-11.
- Desire to be in control. Fear of losing control. We feel like falling apart when we are not in control.
- Cause people to focus on self-imposed and external religion rather than on the Holy Spirit’s work in them. Colossians 2:20-23.
Religious Spirit Prayer
If you have “ticked” and said yes to any of the above, here is a simple prayer to pray.
Heavenly Father, I come boldly before throne of grace with confidence and I repent and renounce every opening, known or unknown, I personally have given to a religious spirit. I ask for Your forgiveness.
Lord, I hold up my checklist before You, and I repent and renounce everything that I have “ticked” on the sheet.
I renounce and break the hold of the religious spirit over my life and refuse to allow it to steal my intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and the freedom of the Holy Spirit to move in my life.
Lord Jesus, I nail these to the cross, I thank You for Your forgiveness that You have freely given me, and I ask You, Holy Spirit, to fill that part of my life which was occupied by the religious spirit. Holy Spirit, as Jesus said in John 14:13, you will lead and guide me into all truth.
Carl is a follower of Jesus Christ; co-author of the Christian Discipleship and Leadership program called the ©Growing Deep and Strong Series. Founder and Director of Internet Secrets Made Easy. His life passion is to be a catalyst and facilitator in developing people who will become leaders and disciplers of others. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube