By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
The religious spirit is a lying/deceptive spirit that keeps us from an intimate relationship with Father God. It robs us of the joy we were meant to have in our relationship with God—abiding in the Lord. Its focus on rituals leads us to become legalistic in our thinking and believe we need to cross one more “t” and dot one more “i” to get it right and be acceptable to the Lord. We operate from a work-based mindset instead of a relationship-with-the-Lord mindset.
Ouch! Was I partnering with a religious spirit? We were created to be in a relationship with the Lord and to rest in Him. Yet, I sometimes slipped into a performance-based mindset and found it challenging to abide in the Lord.
Paul warns us to stay away from people who act religiously only for show and reject the power of the Holy Spirit. Second Timothy 3:5 (NLT) says, They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Jesus repeatedly accused the Pharisees of using the religious spirit against people. He called them whitewashed tombs that appeared outwardly beautiful but were filled with impurity on the inside. (See Matthew 23:27.)
The battle against the religious spirit is won by living our lives focused on Jesus, the Word of God, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Jesus already won the battle at the cross. We need to lean into Him and accept what He did for us.
Knowing who I am in Christ is critical to being in a relationship with Him.
We are the Lord’s beloved children. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more or stop loving us. He dearly loves us and wants us to ABIDE in Him.
We Abide by:
Before I share a prayer, I’d love for you to have the opportunity to share your thoughts. What new insights have you gained from this post?
Please share your thoughts in our Facebook Group Healing Prayer Discussion.
We are all stronger when we learn from each other. Looking forward to your input.
Lord, I want to be in a close relationship with You. I admit that I have found it easier to do things for You than spend time with You. I have been zealous in the wrong places trying to make myself righteous so You would accept me. I used good works to try to gain your attention when I had it all along. Forgive me for believing the enemy’s lie that I had to strive to please You. Help me to focus on the truth of Your word. I repent for my pride in thinking good works made me more holy than others. I repent for judging others and allowing the religious spirit to negatively impact my relationship with You. Lord, help me to stay steadfast in knowing my spiritual identity in You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to rest and abide in You. Amen