“I will never be as holy, anointed, or used by God as (fill in the blank).
“I don’t have peace unless I pray certain prayers every day.”
“I can’t find a church that Biblically lines up with what God has shown me.”
“When I attend new churches I find myself critiquing it, instead of enjoying the presence of God.”
“Our church has a special anointing that God has released only to us”.
These statements are warning signs a religious spirit is operating in your life.
Religious spirits are meant to keep you in a state of “doing” rather than “being”. They cause you to strive in your own strength with a performance mindset. Sometimes you feel pretty good about your striving. Sometimes that striving leaves you falling short and feeling insecure. Either way it is not a walk led by God. It is a walk driven by a religious spirit to keep you operating on your own ability.
Here are the signs: (adapted from “Overcoming the Religious Spirit” by Rick Joyner)
- Do you experience guilt or shame feeling you can’t measure up to the Lords standards? We know our relationship with Jesus is based on what he did on the Cross. These feelings result when we base our relationship on performance. We need to repent from self-effort and abide in Him.
- Do you occasionally have a mechanical prayer life? Do you feel relief that you have gotten through your prayer list or prayed seven days in a row? If so, we may be drifting from the vibrant love relationship God wants to have with us.
- Do you find it difficult to join anything that is not nearly perfect? (Do you listen with a critical ear rather than an open heart?)
- Do you believe that your family, church or ministry is closer to God and more pleasing to Him than others? Do you tend to compare your ministry efforts and results to others?
- Do you tend to see supernatural manifestations as evidence of Gods approval? This is just another form of keeping score and comparing ourselves to others. Many of Jesus most dramatic miracles (such as walking on water, transfiguration) were done before very few people.
- Do you argue doctrine in a way that creates division and discord? This stems from intellectual superiority another manifestation of pride and comparison.
3 Strategies to Counter The Attack of a Spirit of Religion
- Read through the Book of Ephesians and pray declarative prayers of who you are in Jesus.
Ex. Thank you God that you have granted me, according to the riches of your glory, strength with might through your Spirit in my inner man. Christ dwells in my heart through faith, and I am rooted and grounded in love so that I may know the love of Christ which passes my knowledge. I am filled with all the fullness of God. Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think according to the power that works in me. (Eph. 3; 16- 20)
- Recognize and repent from a critical or self-critical spirit rooted in perfectionism and based on a works mentality of religious effort. If you have placed your “To Do List” on an idol stand that determines whether you pass or fail each day it’s time to let it go. God is not interested in your striving. He will look at your heart to determine your motives and help you accomplish his will by the power of His Spirit in you.
- If you cannot get the victory over a religious mindset and spirits of mockery continue to taunt you with failure, then it’s time to seek deliverance.
As Lance Wallnau always says, “The quality of our life is based on our agreements. Be careful with what and who you are agreeing with.
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