Have you ever overheard a conversation or been a part of one, when you hear someone mention that a particular area of town has a religious spirit or that an individual has an orphan spirit. My favorite comment is the spirit of stupid came over someone. I think this phrase replaced the old saying of “the devil made me do it.” An excuse, but not too far from the truth. When someone is talking about a spirit they are referring to influences. Influences can be positive or negative. The Holy Spirit would be a positive influence and the religious spirit would be a negative hold, which refers to the actions of Satan and his minions.
A group of us have been reading and discussing the book, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson. The book is about learning our true identities in how God created us to be. Recently in one of the chapters the religious spirit was mentioned and depicted how even a Pastor had to deal with it. It is interesting how the religious spirit and the orphaned heart are intertwined. The term orphaned is mentioned in many of our worship songs and books. The religious spirit or influence covers the orphaned heart with a performance or a works mentality. Let me explain it this way, we may have a hurt heart from something that happened in our lives which could cause an orphan spirit. Before you know it, the religious spirit shows up in our behaviors and is masking our pain. Our actions are our focus to do better, to make extraordinary achievements, as a way of protecting ourselves from being hurt again. Somewhere along the way we lost our hope and self worth from the pain that was afflicted upon us. We continue to shove our pain down deeper inside and we try to forget about it. However our behavior is now motivated by a survival mentality as we continue to bury our pain. The pain of an orphaned heart can come out in overeating, oversleeping, overworking, or addictions to pornography, alcohol, drugs, anxiety, or self-injury. The religious spirit can manifest in fear or a false protection of the orphan heart, by hiding behind locks, extra security, self-defense classes, hiding behind anger, pride, procrastination, and even hopelessness.
Now you are getting the picture of how the religious spirit influences many of our negative behaviors. These behaviors are fixated on self-reliance and those things which we can control. The circumstances that one has experienced in life creates a wall, or a coping mechanism. Any uninvited circumstance or intrusion reinforces these barriers and behaviors.
Mark 10:21-23 New International Version (NIV)
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Jesus’ wasn’t concerned with the man’s wealth, but the man’s heart. Jesus knew the man placed wealth above his relationship with Jesus. Just like the rich man, the religious spirit will make you believe that you need to hang onto any thing you believe you need more than you need Jesus.
Our principles, or belief system that we are holding at a higher value than a relationship, create form, or establishes a false protection without purpose and tradition without power. The religious spirit is a self-imposed control to protect the hurt orphaned lonely heart.
How do we move past all of this? Prayer and repentance to change the way one might think. An inside job of renewing the mind and to redirect your heart towards God who forgives. Faith, believing and trusting in God instead of ourselves alone will lead us to our true identities and the power of Jesus’ authority in our lives.
Father God, Thank You for loving and always forgiving me. Continue to make me self aware of who I truly am in You. Help me to see myself though Your eyes. Father I repent for believing and agreeing with the lies about myself which are not true. We bind, tie the lies up tight, and hand them over to You, God, in Jesus name. Holy Spirit, come and speak the truth into our situations, our circumstances, and our identity. Renew our minds and heal our hearts. Fill us with Your Joy! We are no longer a slave to our self-imposed control. We no longer have to strive. In Jesus name I pray and declare truth and freedom over my life. Amen.