Ok, so, this post won’t, necessarily, be for everyone out there, and if you have not been in leadership, and/or you haven’t been in church for a very long time, this probably won’t even be of interest to you. However, I came across these notes the other day, and I was reminded of the book by Pastor Jim Bolin titled, “Recognizing the Spirits That Hinder the Flow of God.” I thought it might be helpful to those readers who are pastors, leaders or even church members who want to be a benefit to your church family (and pastor) rather than a hindrance… 😉
Often times, sinners aren’t the ones who destroy the church, well-meaning Christians do. Everyone of us who call ourselves part of the Body of Christ should be aware of this fact and shield our hearts from this temptation. We were not created to be dividers of the body. We are here to love God, love people, and show them the way to Him. Every one of us, the longer we serve Christ, the easier it is for Satan to use us. If we are not vigilant in our prayer life, of sober mind in our walk and of humble spirit and attitude, we can easily grow comfortable on the pew and be led astray. The Word says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” He wasn’t kidding, and He didn’t have this written simply for our enjoyment of reading…
Some of the most dangerous people in the Body of Christ are the ones who think they could never be used by the enemy to hurt, deceive or push away from the cross another believer (or nonbeliever, for that matter), but if he or she is not alert and cautious, anyone can be used. Look no further than Scripture to see this proof. There are seven spirits that, if left unconfronted and ignored, can kill revival and essentially destroy the body of believers (you can look up these characters in the Word to read their stories):
Cain – spirit of murder: killing people with our words, back-biting, slander and gossip.
Balaam – spirit of false doctrine: remember, “If it’s true, it isn’t new, and if it’s new, it isn’t true!”
Kora – spirit of rebellion: full frontal assault against authority: They get a team together to fight their cause. They never want to meet with authority alone. They bring a reproved, organized group.
Absalom – spirit of disloyalty: this is a whisperer at the gate who brings disloyalty against the one placed in authority.
Jezebel – spirit of control: this one doesn’t want to lead, he/she only want to control the leader. Commonly, this is referred to as a woman, because Jezebel also will use seduction as her tool. However, a man can operate in this spirit, as well, because he “seduces” the leader by threats of withdrawal if confronted.
Leviathan – spirit of confusion: this is one who twists words, heard and repeated, in a twisted way. You can never reason with Leviathan, because, as an octopus will “ink the waters” to confuse it’s prey, leviathan does the same thing in conversation.
Pharisee – spirit of righteous judgment: this is, perhaps, one of the most dangerous, because this is when Satan convinces you that all your manipulation and control is helping the church. A Pharisee will throw stones at sinners and saints for the sake of religious tradition. The longer we serve God, the sweeter we should become. We should have a gentle and gracious spirit. Pharisees will throw rocks, make judgements and live by their opinions of the Word rather than the living, breathing Word of God.
When we believe we should hold a position that we don’t have, Satan can lead us to rebellion. We’ve got to figure out what position God has called us to and do it well, regardless, of where we believe we should be. Once we allow rebellion in our heart, we will allow one of these spirits to run rampant.
So, what’s the cure? How do we avoid these issues where we are? The Word speaks pretty clearly: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
Submit to God, for feelings follow actions. Change your behavior and your feelings will follow. If we will respect the positions set over us, our actions will follow. Let us see the king in those over us in the Lord, even before we “feel” like they are king. Look no further than the story of David and Saul. David was anointed king, but he didn’t touch God’s anointed (King Saul), because God never gave him permission. God fought his battle and rewarded him for his faithfulness and submission! 😉