Overcoming Religion and Religious spirits

Overcoming Religious Spirits

Dear People Who Keep Company With God,

One of the most powerful spirits that we have to stand against is the spirit of religion. In fact, it is so powerful that Paul connects religion with witchcraft.

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3

We think of witchcraft as a demonically infested sin and it is most certainly that, however, it is important to note that witchcraft begins not as a sin of the spirit but as a sin of the flesh and religion is very appealing to our flesh. A religious spirit is the “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6) of which the Lord warned His disciples to beware.

When a religious spirit is influencing us we replace religious activity for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In fact, the religious spirit is Satan’s answer for the Holy Spirit. The religious spirit so closely mimics the Holy Spirit that many sincere believers think the Holy Spirit is leading them when in fact it is really a religious spirit.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy

and vain deceit, after the tradition of men,

after the rudiments of the world, and not after

Christ. (KJV)

Religion tells us that we must obey one rule or the other and we are told that whenever we break these rules we are not worthy to receive something from God. Religion allows us to stay in control therefore it feels safe to our flesh because it tells us what to do externally and when we do it, our conscience is deceived by feelings of doing right. This replaces the inner peace of the Holy Spirit that comes from being in right relationship with the Lord. We become focused on doing instead of being Spirit led; doing replaces our relationship with God, we no longer are abiding in Christ nor can we walk in love. The ultimate goal of the religious spirit is to cut us off from a real and vital relationship with the Lord Himself.

Religion allures us with the false promise that we can be spiritual, but in the end it leaves you tired and burned out. Anytime I start giving in to the temptation of being in control and playing it safe it is not long before my spiritual life and ministry start feeling stagnant, lifeless and burdensome. I am deceived into thinking that the things of the Spirit are heavy and intense and I start acting and ministering from heaviness instead of the heavenly. I stop serving the Lord with gladness (Deut. 28:47).

Below here are Twenty Five Warning Signs of a Religious Spirit. I encourage you to take an honest look at this list to see if there may be areas of your life that are being influenced by a religious spirit.

25 WARNING SIGNS OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT

1. WILL OFTEN SEE AS HIS PRIMARY MISSION THE TEARING DOWN OF WHAT HE BELIEVES IS WRONG.

2. WILL BE UNABLE TO TAKE A REBUKE; ESPECIALLY FROM THOSE HE MAY JUDGE TO BE LESS SPIRITUAL THAN HIMSELF.

3. WILL HAVE A PHILOSOPHY THAT WILL NOT LISTEN TO MEN, BUT “ONLY TO GOD”.

4. WILL BE INCLINED TO SEE MORE OF WHAT IS WRONG WITH OTHER PEOPLE, OTHER CHURCHES, ETC. THAN WHAT IS RIGHT WITH THEM.

5. WILL BE SUBJECT TO AN OVERWHELMING GUILT THAT HE CAN NEVER MEASURE UP TO THE LORD’S STANDARDS.

6. WILL KEEP SCORE ON HIS SPIRITUAL LIFE. THIS INCLUDES

FEELING BETTER ABOUT OURSELVES BECAUSE WE GO TO MORE

MEETINGS, READ OUR BIBLES MORE, OR DO MORE THINGS FOR

THE LORD THAN MOST OTHER CHRISTIANS.

7. WILL BELIEVE THAT HE HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO FIX EVERYONE ELSE.

8. WILL HAVE A LEADERSHIP STYLE, WHICH IS BOSSY, OVERBEARING AND INTOLERANT OF THE WEAKNESS OR FAILURE OF OTHERS.

9. WILL HAVE A SENSE THAT HE OR SHE IS CLOSER TO GOD THAN OTHER PEOPLE, OR THAT HIS LIFE OR MINISTRY IS MORE PLEASING TO HIM.

10. WILL TAKE PRIDE IN HIS SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND DISCIPLINE ESPECIALLY AS COMPARES TO OTHERS.

11. WILL HAVE THE BELIEF THAT HE OR SHE IS ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF WHAT GOD IS DOING.

12. WILL HAVE A MECHANICAL PRAYER LIFE. THIS INCLUDES WHEN WE START FEELING RELIEF WHEN OUR PRAYER TIME IS OVER WITH THE ONE WE LOVE WE ARE BEING MOTIVATED BY A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT.

13. WILL DO THINGS IN ORDER TO BE NOTICED AND ACCEPTED BY MEN.

14. WILL BE OVERLY REPULSED BY EMOTIONALISM.

15. WILL USE EMOTIONALISM AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

16. WILL BE ENCOURAGED WHEN HIS MINISTRY LOOKS BETTER THAN OTHERS.

17. WILL GLORY MORE IN WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN THE PAST THAN IN WHAT HE IS DOING IN THE PRESENT.

18. WILL HAVE THE TENDENCY TO BE SUSPICIOUS OF, OR TO OPPOSE NEW MOVEMENTS, CHURCHES, ETC.

19. WILL HAVE THE TENDENCY TO REJECT SPIRITUAL MANIFESTATIONS THAT HE OR SHE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND.

20. WILL OVERREACT TO CARNALITY IN THE CHURCH.

21. WILL OVERACT TO IMMATURITY IN THE CHURCH.

22. WILL BE OVERLY PRONE TO BASE EVIDENCE OF GOD’S APPROVAL ON MANIFESTATIONS.

23. WILL BE UNABLE TO JOIN ANYTHING THAT HE DOES NOT DEEM AS BEING PERFECT OR NEAR PERFECT.

24. WILL BE OVERLY PARANOID OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT, AND QUICK TO RECOGNIZE IT IN OTHERS, BUT NOT IN HIMSELF.

25. WILL HAVE THE TENDENCY TO GLORY IN ANYTHING BUT THE CROSS OF JESUS, WHAT HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED AND WHO HE IS.

HOW TO OVERCOME RELIGIOUS SPIRITS

One of the ways we overcome the religious spirit is to make our flesh our slaves (1 Cor. 9:27) and that includes our minds. It has been said that the mind is a great servant, but a terrible master. If we allow our minds to rule us, a religious spirit will influence us.
Be Blessed!!!
Next time we will be checking through the topic “GRACE”

Holiness!!!!!!!!!

First, Christians must understand that the transformation into holiness isn’t some sort of abstract theology. Holiness can be learned. Agur says in Proverbs 30:2, “Surely I am more stupid than any man …and I neither learned with them, nor have I any knowledge of the HOLY ONE.”

What is holiness anyway? To tell you that most churches don’t generally teach their congregation how to be holy, is stating the obvious.You know that already. They usually educate believers on prayer, giving, authority, and many important subjects. But not holiness. That’s a downer. And, if they do try to teach about holiness, they usually hand out some helpful hints that are almost always the same. There’s column A- the activities you should never do. That was obviously copied verbatim from your personal list of favorite pastimes. Then, there’s column B – the stuff that you can still do. Basically, that second list sounds more like what a caged snail might enjoy doing.

Man has such a strange concept of what constitutes holiness. Religious people invent rules that make us “appear” holy, while others sit with pursed lips and a “holier than thou” demeanor, piously judging the rest of us. They tell women not to wear earrings or pants. Boys can’t have long hair – girls can’t cut itshort, etc.

One day I took a new church member down to the park to play volleyball at our church picnic. She wore a little pink dress and little pink high heels, because she sincerely wanted to be “holy.” When she finally wore slacks one day, the church stood up and cheered.

We knew a couple who wouldn’t eat catsup, raisins, mustard, or anything with vinegar in it — all because they wanted to be holy. Others won’t eat lard so God will accept them. Imagine thinking that if you don’t eat that soda cracker or that piece of bacon, then God will love you more… Others think that if they don’t watch TV they’re better than everyone else. Lots of people decide that dressing in the styles of the past generation means looking holy. Anything old, out of date, baggy, unbecoming, and undesirable must be what God wants!

While legalistic religion may have previously occupied our time and attention, the Lord waits for us to discover that it neither satisfies nor changes us. Surely we know that true holiness doesn’t make life uncomfortable or ugly — but it adds to life. All these external ideas only hinder and never change the inside disposition. An internal change takes time. Fortunately, God measures our success (progress) differently than we do. It’s not about the outward changes of adornment; but the character in our heart, and that’s a far more difficult transition. While we just want to “arrive,” God relates with the process (the trip) and what happens within our attitudes during that journey.

Anyway, most of us don’t like our lives changed, at all. Change is often like a kidney transplant, where the body tries to reject the foreign object. We immediately attempt to get back to “normal.” If anything intrudes into what has been our steadfast routine, we unknowingly struggle against it. Arriving at maturity becomes a deliberate step-by-step process for those willing to persist and not give up. Our destination becomes not just achievement of a short-term goal, but obtaining the wisdom of God within.

Holiness is not another doctrine but a way of thinking and acting.

Meanwhile, Jesus lingers near –waiting to be wanted and expecting us to end our vain pursuits and indifferent prayer life. He brings us to the place of craving after intense relationships. Once we find Him, there must be a persistent moving toward His presence and pressing toward His mark (Phil. 3:13, 14). Paul’s success came from his ability to concentrate on his goal of being like Christ, forgetting the past and pressing to lay hold of what God wanted him to gain. The Living Bible explains this verse, “I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing.” This same ability to press ahead on the road to His likeness becomes our daily responsibility.

After we’re born again the Lord intends to change our character — to cause a yearning for the crucial quality of holiness. Peter tells us that God’s instructions are, “Be holy yourselves also in your behavior, because it is written, You shall be holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16 NAS). We’ll soon learn that only to the degree we die to the spirit of the age and the vanity of our mind, can we develop the character of Holiness within our lives. (Notice that as these themes are repeated they are marked in italics.)

Holiness is the character and name of God. It isn’t a systematized dress code, nor a contrived method to take away all our fun. Holiness isn’t a superior level of spiritual achievement, or cloistered in a convent for years. It isn’t negative piety, syrupy sweetness, nor the insincere pretense of being good. No! Holiness duplicates the moral wholeness of Godlike character. It means that we come into a place of conforming our will to His. Humans can never live in absolute holiness, but Jesus died to give us His. Therefore i say to u that don’t judge holiness as something that u have to do in other for God to Love you but i tell that you are holy because you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!! God’s love overcomes the world!!!!!