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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Do you have a Relationship or Religion?

Spirit of Religion wages war against the grace of God in our lives and acceptance of Jesus' work as true fulfillment of God's covenant between God and man.  A hypocrite is someone who claims to know and understand the Grace of God but fails to LIVE it out. We don't do this intentionally, rather we fall victim to it because in the hypocrisy we find a twisted self fulfilling purpose to it.

Religion & Relationship Simply Don't mix. Here are some key identifying factors of the Religious Spirit. Read each one carefully and get with the Holy Spirit and determine if you have been experiencing the symptoms of a religious spirit:  
  • judgmental- You look at others and form opinions about their relationship or heart
  • self-righteousness- You feel "perfect" in comparison to others
  • religious pride- You pat yourself on the back for being a "Great Christian"
  • criticism- You get busy pointing out flaws in the church or with ministry etc
  • legalism- You live by a set of Human standards in your life/home/church/ministry
  • perfectionism- Your aim is to be perfect
  • division- Constant conflicts in marriage/church/family/ministry
  • error (doctrinal falsehood)- A demon would love more than anything to mislead you from the true meaning of scripture-
  • unbelief- the spirit would love to lead you to disbelieve the power of God and his Grace
  • doubt- Uncertainty to the Scriptures, Who God is and what he can do for you
  • confusion- If you are confused- we know that is not from God- he is not the Author of Confusion- that confusion comes from an unclean spirit-
  • argumentative- Nit picking the bible/scriptures with friends/family/brothers/sisters in Christ
  • false holiness-  Self Belief that you are Perfect no matter what
  • salvation by works- Because of your inequity you will make it up to God by doing great works in others ways.
  • guilt- Constant feelings like you let God down and you are failing him
  • condemnation- Doing it to others or feeling it being done to you
  • fear of losing salvation-
  • fear of God (unhealthy, scared feeling)
  • intolerance- intolerant of the world/people/ideas (Living with fixed ideas)
  • Having a feeling of not being "good enough" for God
  • Living by Tradition to be "right" with God 
  • Adhering to a set of Rules outside the commands of the Bible
  • Experiencing feelings that you are either always right and everyone else is wrong
  • Someone in Christ that believes that they know "it all"
  •  Someone who is not growing spiritually may have a religious spirit 
  • Wanting others to be punished for the wicked behavior - more interested in punishment and justice vs giving them grace & mercy
That was just a list. Truth is, each person needs to reflect on their personal life, ministry and church to determine if this legion of demons is destroying you from the inside out.

Signs of the Religious Spirit

  • You are burned out - you do all your work through your works and not through the power and ministry of the spirit 
  • You fail to take care of yourself (Physically, soulfully and spiritually) 
  • You stop communing with God 
  • Your prayers are focused on others and rarely for yourself. For you feel you must work for everything and not deserving of his provisions so you stop praying for yourself and only focus on others 
  • You become consumed by focusing on others and their walk with God- what they think, what they are doing, what their theological bases are etc. 
  • You can reflect on a time in the past when your walk with Christ was full of grace. 
  • Your friendships and marriage is lacking deep intimacy (if you are not having it with the Father, likely you are not having intimacy with the your spouse) 
  • You become consumed by studying the word of God AND fail to Live it out! This is just like the pharisees- they knew the word of God but failed to live it out and that made them Hypocrites. The challenge is discovering if you too are the Hypocrite?
 In order to be Free from this Spirit- you must call it out! If you have a spirit of Religion then you need to get with God and Pray. You need to begin to rebuke that spirit from within your life, church etc. You need to own the grace and mercy that Jesus provides. If you refuse the Grace and Mercy you fail to interact with God because it's through the Cross that you find any true peace, joy and redemption.

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