I had a dream recently about striving and works that accompany a religious spirit. It represented the checklist that many “task -minded” people try to accomplish in order to get into the presence of God.
In this dream, I had purchased a ticket to ride a special elevator that was going to whisk me into the center of God’s heart. It was a different elevator than the one I had been freely riding for years.
This one promised more, but as I climbed into it, I quickly realized that I did not know how to operate it. It looked more like a roller coaster compared to the safe one I was used to, and upon further inspection, it didn’t seem to be headed where I wanted to go.
I was upset. This ride I paid for had me “trapped”. I tried to get the elevator to move but nothing happened. Then I had a thought that perhaps the directions were on the ticket I had purchased. I became more confused as I read it. In despair, I tried to retype the entire contents of the ticket into the computer keyboard on the elevator. Nothing happened. I became frustrated with no apparent way out and no understanding on how to move forward. I gave up, sat down, and cried.
Suddenly the elevator door flew open and a group of joyful people entered. They all had these huge rosy cheeks. Once they noticed me they said, “Oh, you must be the new girl.” I just shook my head yes. Then they said, “We all know how you feel right now. Every one of us has sat in that seat. We all tried to get into the glory of God by our own efforts. It’s really very easy. You just have to rest in and trust Him. Let us show you.” With that they pressed one button labeled “Abiding” and we were whooshed right into the heart of God.
Religious Spirits Lead to Dead Works
In Rick Joyner’s book “Overcoming the Religious Spirit“, he outlines the frustration of dead works that a spirit of religion will use to kill your intimacy with God.
- 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. (All my best efforts in that elevator produced frustration. When I came to the end of my “self” the doors of understanding opened and the answer was given.)
- 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. (I really thought that retyping the ticket would get the elevator moving and that it was a task I needed to complete)
- Do you find it difficult to join anything that is not nearly perfect? (I really looked long and hard at that elevator before getting in because I thought it was a perfect ride.)
- Do you have a tendency to believe that “I only listen to God not people” or “all I need is my Bible?” This denies the working out of the Scriptures practically in relationships, living interdependently within the Body of Christ. A spirit of religion, establishes an elitism that is not consistent with the Word. (I needed the fellowship of joyful people in that elevator to help encourage me).
These are just a few of the warning signs that a spirit of religion will use to trap you. There is a clear warning that we all need to develop our relationship with the Lord in His Abiding place, confess our sins, and grow in an accountable community, and when we fail to get that elevator moving, ask the Lord and others for forgiveness and keep pressing on.