When a church decides to accept Holy Spirit, this church is to wage war against religious spirit. Where Holy Spirit runs, the dark power can no longer hide in a soul and finally expose itself. As long as religious spirit exits, people with it show no interest besides religious formalities and traditional rules, which makes everything look fine, but shows no concern about problems in human minds. People with religious spirit are so afraid things out of control that they keep controlling everything. It is clear in Bible that religious spirit blocks Holy Spirit.
In spite of the apparent peace, People with religious spirit feel offended soon after Holy Spirit functions and obstruct things Jesus does in God’s Spirit . Having seen miracles shown by apostles, people with religious spirit threateningly stopped apostles from preaching. Whatever Jesus did and said constantly made people with religious spirit felt offended. Pharisees kept questioning those done by Jesus and finally reproached them.
“Alas for you, teachers of the Law, for you have taken away the key to knowledge; you yourself have not entered, and you have prevented those who were entering.”
Upon His leaving there the scribes and Pharisees began to heckle Him fiercely and to draw Him out by cross-questioning on many points, secretly watching Him for the purpose of trapping Him with something from His lip. ( LUKE11:52~54 )
"As a man with religious spirit, he owns nothing but external formalities, in which exists no life, no joy, no power. They need to repent. "(Mathew 23:27~28)
Reasons leading to religious spirit
1. Fear (dread)----------seeking security
To compensate the insecurity, a man or a group tend to form a organization with no power instead of seeking and easily turn their focus to a system, or a way of operation, which finally make us separated from God.
2. Arrogance (self-righteousness)--------seeking the glory of oneself
1. Focusing on tree of knowledge of good and evil instead of tree of life -----------laying much stress on formalities
. putting emphasis on telling right from wrong with knowledge, skill, bible studying, and that mislead believers to know God by knowledge instead of seeking Holy Spirit
. seeking spiritual formation and going after special seminar rather than the private relationship with God
. Paul warned : Beware of anyone carrying you captive through philosophy and empty deceitfulness along lines of human tradition and the world’s elementary principles, and not according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (COLOSSIANS 2:8,9)
Ways to deal with: building up the intimate relationship. How can you believe when you welcome praise from one another and do not seek praise from the only God? (JOHN 5: 44) Going after praise and fame from people could be the lethal weapon to destroy true believe in God.
2. Doctrinairism ( keeping tradition)
…………hindering people from kingdom of God by sticking to tradition (MARK 7: 8’13; LUKE 11:52)
…………to slander or bring a false charge against others the minute when a mistake or fault that can be taken advantage of (MATHEW 12: 1-8)
- mechanized life of praying, spiritual formation, service (being lost in ministry rather than Jesus like Eli ,… SAMUEL 3: 13). Easily falling into self-accusation and being self-convicted once one drops the formality.
- doubting or being against new movements especially when they are different from the old custom, an obvious sign of arrogance, thinking God won’t do new things through others.
- Rejecting the spiritual phenomenon not known to oneself, and thinking he has the same great mind as God
3. Criticizing the work Holy Spirit has done at will.-----self-righteous
- Self-righteousness, not to confess sins
- Judging arbitrarily from apparent situation or the simply knowing from the past showing the obvious self-righteousness
4. Always looking for truth but never realizing the truth
People like this tend to deny words from God and His, be pharisaical, or twist the truth. All above are the roots of religious spirit.
People with religious spirit tend to rely on themselves and often feel guilty for failing to meet the standard of God.
Ways to deal with: (TIMOTHY 2:15) Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed , rightly dividing the word of truth.
5. Being jealous: People like this tend to resist prophet, fake the message from God, attack others or leaders, appraising anything for his own good instead of a whole group, easily be puffed up when doing well in his ministry and be frustrated when not standing out in his service.
6. Sabotaging the relationship
- The chief goal of people with religious spirit is to tear down what he think wrong. There are more cleavage and demolish than building up or fruiting in his life or service. Being self- righteous, always ready to speak ill of others, criticizing, judging people, betrayal, all above are their characteristics.
- Thinking God stopped talking to himself, thinking himself no longer has the spiritual right, giving up spiritual gifts, comatose sleep.
7. Spiritual arrogance………..being puffed up
- Being hard to accept others’ advice, especially from one not looking good in spiritual way
- Listening to nobody but God and thinking nobody good enough to be the spiritual teacher of his own
- Thinking him closer to God than anyone else and his ministry and life better or adorable in the eyes of God
- Showing highly pride because of his obeying spiritual commandments. People with the big son attitude are easy to forget the mercy of God
- Regarding himself righteous and better than others
- Feeling offended and humiliated when his title or ministry not accepted by others
How to deal with? Turn to Holy Spirit calling for help and Let Holy Spirit shine upon us attributes : Only through the gentleness, humbleness from Jesus and repentance can we resist self-righteousness. Only when we is converted and become like a child will the love of God touch us. This is a tip we must learn to keep ourself from being arrogant. That is, put your pride aside.
Ways to fight against religious spirit:
- Build up the imitate relationship with God (JOHN 5:44)
- Beg God for the love He show to His son (JOHN 17:26)
- Study bible to find out the approval from not from people
- Spend quality time with God (TIMOTHY2 2:15 LUKE 16:15)
- Be eager to hear God
- Ask God to bestow love for neighbors, and help us pray for them instead of judging
- Constantly pray God to shine His glory upon you
(CORINTHIANS 2 3:17) and make this your main goal, manifesting the savour of his knowledge by you in every place.
- Ask for mercy from God when you fail to fulfill all above and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
Translated by GC