I read an article today on Charisma News about the signs of having a religious spirit that intrigued me. We are reaching the time of Christmas, a time of celebration and traditions. Religion has taught us many things about Christmas and about the condition of this world. If we are not careful, we can get caught up in the trap of religion. I wanted to share some characteristics that demonstrate if we have become religious:
According to Charisma News, here are some profiles of a religious person:
1. Focusing on the external appearance. 1 Sam. 16:7
We find excuses to criticize other walks with God. We condemn people based on the way they look. Some churches are only Hispanic, others African-American. Some churches banish people that look like they are from the streets, or teenagers that carry tattoos, or men that carry piercings. If they have a cigarette in their hands, we despise them and we don’t love them. Only the spirit of God can change them. It is God’s job to change them and it is our job to love them. If we live religiously, we will condemn them. The spirit of religion condemns and forces us to change, while the spirit of God convicts and inspires us to change.
2. Trying to earn God’s love and salvation. Eph 2:8
This involves doing rules and regulations to be in right-standing with God. Many Christians are still tied to tradition, the Ten Commandments, and The Law of the Old Testament. We don’t have to earn salvation anymore because it was given to us by grace. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…– Eph 2:8
3. Replacing inner holiness with an outward appearance.
In other words, we abide by the law and try to act holy in public to conceal our inner sinful nature. We live by the law to demonstrate that we are holy, but deep down there is anger, bitterness, and resentment. If we abide by the law, we will open the door for sinful desires to emerge. Rom. 7:7-25
4. Closest Christian relationships are based on ministerial activities.
Outside of that, there is no fellowship or relationship. There is no desire to learn from our leaders, pastors, or authorities outside of the church. We only see them in church and Bible Study and nothing “extra-curricular.”
5. Position and titles are more desirable than God. Your Christian lifestyle becomes your identity, and not Christ Himself.
If we have become religious, we desire to become a pastor, a leader, or to have a title in the church more than to have a relationship with God.
If we don’t realize these profiles in our lives, we inflict damage to ourselves and those around us. Everyone at one point has dealt with religious spirits. As a matter of fact, every day we lose religious habits. However, if we do not accept these behaviors and commence with such attitudes, here are some consequences that can result:
Consequences of Religion
- Religion makes you immature.
The most immature people that I have met are the religious people; with this I am not talking about religions, such as Muslims or Jews; I am talking about the body of Christ, itself. Christians can get uptight with their beliefs and it becomes disgusting to the eyes of the world. That is why the world doesn’t want to become a Christian
- Hating people and judging them by cover.
It will cause people to flee from you. Religion will make you become someone that no one wants to be around. Religious people have a strict code as to what is sin and not, and will not bypass that.
- Religion is the reason why many people fail in the real world.
Religious people cannot make friends in the workplace or get along with students at school. In their mind, everyone is a sinner and is going to hell if they don’t repent. Jesus became like a sinner to get to the sinner. He had fellowship with sinners and snatched them to eternal life. This doesn’t mean that we will go back to sinning, but while we fellowship we can preach to them and minister God. To communion means to find common ground with a person.
- Religion will bring curses to our lives.
The majority of people that deal with religion are people that have relatives or past-backgrounds with idolatry. We must renounce to idolatry and make a decision to live by the spirit of God.
- Religious people have a wondering spirit.
They are the first to leave if things don’t go their way in the church. They have a spirit of skepticism and question everything around them. They question the pastor, the leaders, the worship band, the message, and everything about a church. If they find a flaw, they move to another church. They are not rooted or committed to anything because religion always sees the flaws in people.
- Religion destroys families.
Religion almost destroyed my family. I would serve in the church and spend less time with my family. I couldn’t talk to them because I was too spiritual and I thought they were sinners. Every time we had a conversation, I would bring guilt, condemnation, and fear to them. Thankfully, God restored me.
- Religious people (NOT “will lose”) have lost the fire of God.
Their excuse for not being passionate is found by criticizing other people. If they cannot speak in tongues, or pray, or heal a person, or win a soul, they will find ways to back-up their spiritual dryness. Most of them turn to the scriptures.