People with a spirit of religious can accept that Jesus is their Savior. However, we have seen where that devil will not allow them to proclaim Him as Lord over their life. I want to relate a deliverance ministry encounter where I witnessed that in an amazing way!
Some years back, I had a couple from New York travel to Tampa to receive deliverance ministry. They had some marriage and family issues, found us on the internet, and were sufficiently motivated to jump on a plane to visit us. (This was before the days of internet deliverance; we were not incorporating that into our services at that time so flying in was the sole option).
I took them through our five-step process of interviews and two teaching sessions in preparation for the deliverance session itself.
What happened that day, as I ministered to the husband, was one of the most memorable encounters I have experienced in my seventeen years of ministry!
Religious Spirits Will Drive You to Works Rather Than Believing and Receiving
He was very religious and had been raised in an orthodox church. During the interview session, his response to my question of salvation (“If you died today, would you be in heaven or hell, and why?”) was meandering and indecisive. He hoped he would be in heaven, but was not sure.
Prior to ministry, I led him in a proclamation of forgiveness of sin and what follows is roughly how it unfolded:
Me: “I thank you, Jesus, that you died on the cross for me.”
Him: “I thank you, Jesus, that you died on the cross for me.
Me: “You paid the price for my sins and my sins are forgiven. “
Him: “You paid the price for my sins and my sins are forgiven. “
Me: “I make you the Lord of my life.”
Him: “I make you the …. “
Suddenly, he stopped, looked at me with bewilderment, and started to shake his head. He could not speak!
It was incredible! No amount of prompting or cajoling could help him get the words out. He could not talk!
After a few furtive tries, I looked into his eyes, bound up the spirit that was tormenting him (Matthew 16:19). He was finally able to declare that Jesus was to be the Lord of his life.
A wonderful deliverance ensued and he and his wife returned home to begin a new walk together in freedom.
Was he saved before that? I do not know for sure, but, in light of Romans 10:9, I think he may have had a form of godliness only:
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV).
During the deliverance session, there was a significant manifestation when the religious spirit was called out. I know that it was the culprit responsible for him not being able to speak the words of the lordship of Christ.
He had other strongholds also and these demons were co-operating wonderfully together to fulfil their call upon his life (John 10:10): to kill, steal and destroy!
What is the evidence of a religious spirit at work in a person’s life? Here are a few that I have seen.
- A works-based relationship with God that drives a person to do more and be more so that God will be pleased with them.
- Limited experience, if any, with feeling the tangible love of God and uncertainty that God loves them unconditionally.
- Firm denominational/church ties rather than relationship focus with God. There is nothing wrong with feeling good about membership in a group or church, but this should not be the primary identifier in a person’s life.
- An outward focus on doing the right things with little outward manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Outward successes in appearing to live a holy life will cause a person to be critical and judgmental of others who are not doing as well.
A religious spirit is like a merciless taskmaster in people’s lives: it is never satisfied, insists on more work and will push a person to complete exhaustion if left unchecked. It is not always easy to detect because it masquerades as a passionate disciple only wanting to do the works of Jesus as well as possible.
Do you have a religious spirit? Are you working hard in the Kingdom of God but seeing little fruit of the Spirit in your own life? There may be other factors at work, but the presence of a religious spirit may be at the root.
Get help: God has more for you than that devil wants you to accomplish and you can be free!