“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit,” John 3:8 KJV.
Trying to create a controlled environment is attempting to box up the Spirit of God.
When we are operating in our limited knowledge and through our own experiences, it is not only impossible but dangerous!
Religion is alive and well!
Christ did not set us free from religion only to return to it. Jesus had his strongest rebukes and confrontations with the spirit of religion working through the pharisees and scribes.
These were those who had the control of the temple. They created a box that they only picked the best of the best or the most perfect of the perfect.
No one could gain access into their outrageous requirements unless they followed suit.
Jesus took His message outside the gates where the people were like sheep without a shepherd.
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves,” Matthew 23:13-15 KJV.
Those of us also who love and follow Jesus will face this unwanted foe.
This religious spirit will always strive against the pure move of God’s Spirit through His beloved children.
Being childlike in Christ, is simplicity. Religion and religious people put people into bondage through their erroneous teaching and their imputed behavior modifications.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate,” Matthew 23:37-38 KJV.
These foes of Christ are still at work today in the churches that say they are of Christ but through their religion made a mockery of Christ’s redemption and simplicity.
When we received Christ as our savior, redeemer and LORD, HE set us free from the law of sin and death.
Religion is a return to bondage; being a Christian isn’t a religion but a relationship with the divine.
Religion seeks to box in the Spirit of God.
Trying to box in and surround the Holy Spirit is in all actualization, manipulating and controlling the people saying it is the Spirit of God.
Any bogus claims of spiritual authority are stressed and they proclaim to have inside information and understanding from the Holy Spirit and that takes all freedom and choice away.
This religious and Jezebel spirit can be very cunning and dangerous to the true children of God.
When a religious spirit is present it seeks control and it will quench the true Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is not limited only by our experiences. The Holy Spirit is vast and moves when he wills.
The LORD wants us to be sensitive and flexible to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God wants us to guard against becoming religious. We are in a relationship with Christ not a religion.
When a religious spirit is present, it seeks out and uses leadership by putting us into bondage and that spirit limits the way the Spirit of God can move among us.
The spirit of religion cannot control unless men seek to box it into their erroneous teachings.
Its desire is to completely quench and snuff out the moving of the Holy Spirit.
What is so dangerous is that a pseudo spiritual experience, or “feeling” replaces the moving of God’s Spirit and it brings great deception and strong delusion.
A ministry may start out as free and moving in the Holy Spirit but after awhile when God’s people get free, many let down their guard.
May we all develop our basics of prayer, reading the word of God, study and worship so we will remain sensitive and flexible to how the Spirit of the LORD wishes to move among us.
Take off the chains of bondage and be free indeed! Amen? It is the number one way the enemy and the flesh gets us bound up from freedom to slavery.
Some of the characteristics of religious spirits and their churches are, the people are really there to meet the needs of the leaders, rather than the leaders for the people. This can be in the form of ego, finances, power and position.
True leaders/ shepherds will help, guard, protect, and build the flock so the flock can walk in its own strength. The shepherds don’t own the flock. A true shepherd always points people to dependence upon Jesus and to God as our Source.
Religious spirits continually remind the people of their own authority, because it isn’t based on Godly character, their message or their lifestyle.
The most distinctive characteristic of a religious spirit, system, or leader is the over emphasis on their authority.
A religious spirit claims that God Himself commands the leaders so they have the right to demand and command the followers. They say the Word is not the final authority, the leader is.
Loyalty is demanded by the religious spirit instead of to Christ. Often manipulation, control and fear are utilized if you do not follow their agenda.
They use secrecy, to manipulate by causing insecurity and the fear of not fitting in. Those who do not have the special status the religious spirit gives them, gets shunned by the group.
False prophecy, teaching and preaching give you no option or access to the “pseudo” truths they say they receive.
Make no mistake beloved, theirs is a devious plan wanting total obedience to their agenda.
They exclude the whole counsel of God’s Word through false doctrines, unbalanced teaching and trusting in ones spirituality.
Religious, emotional manipulations are seeking to control you! Be aware! It will never get better!
Religion’s goal is in bringing you into bondage through the doctrines of man and the devil. The stronger the control, and manipulation, the more likely you will face very unpleasant and unhealthy consequences. Especially when you seek to leave and find a new Christ centered ministry.
We are called as part of the Body of Christ, and it is by the liberating power of the Holy Spirit that saves and keeps us.
You were called to freedom! There are many religions but we are called to a relationship with Jesus Christ and HIS body.
Keep looking until you find where you fit in the plan of God. Find what gives you respect and good mental health.
See also and study Matthew 23.
In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey