Tuesday, 29 April 2014

25 Characteristics of the Religious Spirit

This is an extract from Rick Joyner's book- Overcoming Evil In The Last Days. 

1)      Will be unable to accept a rebuke, especially from those they judge to be less spiritual than themselves.

2)      Will have a philosophy that, “I will not listen to people, but only to God.” Since God frequently speaks through people this is an obvious delusion, revealing serious spiritual pride.

3)      Will be inclined to see more of what is wrong than what is right with other people, other churches, etc. Those who are in a place of true vision will have their attention on what God is doing, not men.

4)      Will be subject to an overwhelming feeling of guilt that they can never measure up to the Lord’s standards. Guilt is a root of the religious spirit because it causes us to base our relationship with God on our performance rather than on the cross.

5)      Will keep score on their spiritual life. This includes feeling better about ourselves because we go to more meetings, read our bibles more, etc. These are noble endeavors, but the true measure of spiritual maturity is getting closer to the Lord.

6)      Will believe that they have been appointed to fix everyone else. These persons become the self-appointed watchmen or sheriffs in God’s kingdom. They are seldom involved in building, but serve only to keep the Church in a state of annoyance and agitation, if not causing serious division.

7)      Will often see their primary mission as the tearing down of whatever they believe is wrong.

8)      Will have a leadership style that is bossy, overbearing, and intolerant of the weakness or failures of others.

9)      Will have a sense that they are closer to God than other people, or that their lives or ministries are more pleasing to Him. This is a symptom of profound delusion that we draw closer to God because of who we are, rather than through Jesus.

10)   Will take pride in their spiritual maturity and discipline, especially as compared to others. True spiritual maturity involves growing up into Christ. When we begin to compare ourselves to others, it is obvious that we have lost sight of the true goal-Jesus.

11)   Will believe that they are on the “cutting edge” of what God is doing. This includes thinking that we are involved in the most important thing that God is doing.

12)   Will have a mechanical prayer life. When we start feeling relief that our prayer time is over or that we have finally prayed through our prayer list, we should consider our condition. We will never feel relief when our conversations are over with the One we love.

13)   Will do things in order to be noticed by people. This is a symptom of idolatry of fearing people more than we fear God.

14)   Will be overly repulsed by emotionalism.

15)   Will use emotionalism as a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit. This use of emotionalism includes such things as requiring weeping and wailing as evidence of repentance, or “falling under the power”. Both of these can be evidences of the true work of the Holy Spirit, but when we require these manifestations we are beginning to move in another spirit.

16)   Will be encouraged when their ministries look better than others. We could also include in this being discouraged when it seems that others are looking better or growing faster than they are.

17)   Will glory more in what God did in the past than in what He is doing in the present. A religious spirit will always seek to focus our attention on works and on making comparisons, rather than on simply drawing closer to the Lord.

18)   Will tend to be suspicious of, or opposed to, new movements, churches, etc. This is an obvious symptom of jealousy, or the pride that asserts that God would not do anything new without doing it through us.

19)   Will tend to reject spiritual manifestations that they do not understand. This is a symptom of the pride and arrogance of presuming our opinions are the same as God’s. True humility keeps us teachable and open, patiently waiting for fruit before making judgments.

20)   Will overreact to carnality in the church. We need to recognize that people are making progress and do what we can to help them along the way.

21)   Will overreact to immaturity in the Church. The idealistic religious spirit only sees the immaturity, without considering the other important factors.

22)   Will be overly prone to view supernatural manifestations as evidence of God’s approval. This is just another form of keeping score and comparing ourselves with others.

23)   Will be unable to join anything that they do not deem perfect or nearly perfect.

24)   Will be overly paranoid of the religious spirit. We do not get free of something by fearing it, but by overcoming it with faith in Christ Jesus.

25)   Will have a tendency to glory in anything but the cross of Jesus, what He has accomplished, and who He is. If we are building our lives, ministries, or churches on anything else, we are building on a shaky foundation that will not stand.

Those with a religious spirit usually have such a “log in their own eye” that they cannot see their own problems. Paul said, “Test yourself to see if you’re in the faith..”, not your neighbor, not your pastor, not another preacher, but yourself. May God help us!!

No comments:

Post a Comment