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INTRODUCTION

Have you ever heard the story about the farmer who told his wife one morning that he was going to plough the southern side of his farm ?He got off to an early start so he could oil the tractor . He needed more oil, so he went to the shop to get it. On the way to the shop, he noticed his cows weren’t fed . So he proceeded to the cattle feed , where he found some sacks of feed. The sacks reminded him that his potatoes were sprouting. When he started for the potato pit , he passed the woodpile and remembered that his daughter wanted wood in the house. As he picked up a few sticks , an ailing goat passed by. He dropped the wood and reached for the goat. When evening arrived , the frustrated farmer had not even gotten to the tractor, let alone the field!

How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation? You intended to do something you knew was important, but were distracted and never accomplished what you set out to do.

Or perhaps you can think of something that you have always wanted to do but can never find time for.

By the same question, are you aware of something that you do often that is a waste of time ?

If you are a normal person, you answered “Yes” to both questions and thought of something specific in each case. Isn’t it strange that we can want to do one thing for a long time and never get to it, and yet at the same time we freely admit that we are wasting time on other activities ?

THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO LEARN TO MANAGE OURSELVES.

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 10

SPIRIT OF RELIGION

When we mention the word spirit, various connotations come to mind. For some, they will think of demons, exorcism, and power struggle. Others will brush it off as fake, an overreaction, and not worth a second thought. Neither of these extremes is healthy, helpful, or Biblical.

Throughout scripture, we see the reality that there are spiritual beings. God, Himself is Spirit (John 4:24). There are angels, and there are demons. These angels have met with humans since the Old Testament and during the New Testament. Furthermore, Jesus and His disciples consistently cast out demons.

The Apostle Paul explains, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

We think of witchcraft as a demonically infested sin and it is most certainly that, however, it is important to note that witchcraft begins not as a sin of the spirit but as a sin of the flesh and religion is very appealing to our flesh. A religious spirit is the “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6) of which the Lord warned His disciples to beware.

When a religious spirit is influencing us we replace religious activity for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In fact, the religious spirit is Satan’s answer for the Holy Spirit.  The religious spirit so closely mimics the Holy Spirit that many sincere believers think the Holy Spirit is leading them when in fact it is really a religious spirit.

Religion allows us to stay in control therefore it feels safe to our flesh because it tells us what to do externally and when we do it, our conscience is deceived by feelings of doing right. This replaces the inner peace of the Holy Spirit that comes from being in right relationship with the Lord. We become focused on doing instead of being Spirit led; doing replaces our relationship with God, we no longer are abiding in Christ nor can we walk in love. The ultimate goal of the religious spirit is to cut us off from a real and vital relationship with the Lord Himself.

Religion allures us with the false promise that we can be spiritual, but in the end it leaves you tired and burned out.  Anytime I start giving in to the temptation of being in control and playing it safe it is not long before my spiritual life and ministry start feeling stagnant, lifeless and burdensome.  I am deceived into thinking that the things of the Spirit are heavy and intense and I start acting and ministering from heaviness instead of the heavenly. I stop serving the Lord with gladness (Deut 28:47).

One of the ways we overcome the religious spirit is to make our flesh our slaves (1 Cor 9:27) and that includes our minds.  It has been said that the mind is a great servant, but a terrible master. If we allow our minds to rule us, a religious spirit will influence us.

What Jesus Had to Say About It ?

While living on earth, Jesus addressed crowds that included the general population, Pharisees and teachers of the Law. During His famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5-7, He corrects several misunderstandings. Mainly, this involves the statement, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

Jesus desires righteousness that goes down deep to the heart. He wants righteousness to begin inward and reflect outward. Good actions and abstaining from sin are the fruit of a purified heart that is holy to the Lord. Keyword: it is the fruit. Meaning, good deeds, and actions are the results of the tree of life being cultivated within an individual.

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 9

DEMONS

The majority of Christians today are totally ignorant of the nature of evil spirits (demons), and many would prefer that they were not even mentioned. They choose to ignore this portion of God’s ministry because they are fearful of things beyond their understanding. The result of this ignorance is that multitudes live in needless torment. One of the deadliest misrepresentations of the truth of God is that a Christian should not be concerned with thoughts that a demon could be their problem. This is taught within many churches and gives the devil a “field day” to bring fear, mental torment, jealousy, hatred, lust, pride, self-pity, addiction, gluttony and many other forms of bondage, oppression, and defilement.

CAN A CHRISTIAN HAVE A DEMON?

One of Satan’s clever devices is to cause division among Christians over just such a subject, for then he is allowed to work freely on both sides. One side refuses to believe that a Christian can have a demon, while the other side sees demons in everything. Both sides are extreme, but if we look to God’s Word we can find balance. To answer the question, “Can a Christian have a demon?,” we need to understand the two main causes of a Christian’s problems.

The first problem is what Paul calls the “flesh” in Romans 8:5-8: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The “flesh” is defined here as the “carnal mind” and it is spoken of as enmity with God. The carnal mind is in the soul of man. After a Christian experiences the “new birth,” he is a new creature; however, he finds he still has the problem of walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit. His mind has not been renewed yet by the Word of God, so unless he reckons the “old man” dead when tempted, he fails God and gives in to his “flesh.” To maintain a walk in the Spirit one must totally dedicate his life to God and continually choose the path of God. The “flesh” of man is under Satan’s dominion as it is part of the old Adamic nature. The “flesh” and the “world” are under Satan’s influence, so when we sin we have yielded to an attack by Satan in an indirect way. Romans 6:16: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves, servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.” The way to get rid of the devil in these instances is to submit to the Lord and resist Satan so that he will flee (James 4:7). We are to crucify the flesh and choose God’s way in the situation. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).

BATTLING WITH DEMONS

The Lord is revealing the devices of Satan so that Christians can learn to battle the real enemy as he attacks their lives, instead of battling one another. The main thing we need to do is to take authority over Satan, casting him out of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Satan is a robber and a thief, and he delights in destroying God’s children. God wants us to grow up, stop acting like children by fighting with one another, and fight the real enemy, Satan. We need to lay down our lives for our mates and loved ones and be aggressive in prayer against the wiles of the enemy. He will flee when commanded to do so in the name of Jesus.

If the attack is from without, carried on by Satan’s suggestions, temptations and influences, we still fight him the same way we would if he has gained access and entered the body with dominating control. We call on God with a humble heart and submit our entire lives to Him, and then aggressively resist the devil, commanding him to leave in the name of Jesus. We should speak this command out loud. We need to realize also there are certain conditions one must meet in order to gain permanent deliverance from demon bondage. We first must be a child of God to receive help. If you are not “born again,” simply invite Jesus to come into your heart and save your soul. Accept God’s Word that says He loves you and wants to give you abundant life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To receive this abundant life you must repent and turn from your sins and accept God’s provision of the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the only way to cleanse you. Sin has separated you from God, and receiving Christ restores you to fellowship with Him and you become a part of the family of God. “But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…” (John 1:12).

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 8

SPIRIT OF FEAR

You might feel terror when faced with a deadly threat. You may feel anxious about getting on stage to speak. These are natural feelings.

But you also might be controlled by a spirit of fear.

The term “spirit of fear” comes from 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. Sometimes, this fear can be difficult to recognize, and might manifest in different ways than one might expect.

A spirit of fear comes from not being able to put our trust completely in God. The Holy Spirit is not timid, but full of power. When we are in right relationship with God, there is no need for fear, because God has given us His Spirit. The Bible reminds us over and over again not to fear; some estimate that this directive is included as many as 365 times, but it is certainly over a hundred. However, it is foolishness to fear anything other than God, for He is greater than all things.

3 Signs You Are Being Controlled by a Spirit of Fear

1. Feeling Unloved by God : This might not seem like a symptom of fear. However, this may be the most important indicator that you are suffering from a spirit of fear. The enemy would like nothing better than for us to hide from God, believing He does not love us. When we’re feeling unloved by God, instead of hiding from Him, we must run to Him and cling even more tightly.

2. Difficulty Engaging in Relationships :

This does not apply just to romantic relationships, though they are included. At times, we may have difficulty connecting with friends, family, peers, or coworkers. 

This is for many reasons: fear of rejection, fear of being hurt, fear of being responsible for someone else, or of having to give something up for others, fear of becoming dependent. It can be difficult to love if we’ve been hurt before. However, it is far easier when we realize that the most important relationship in our lives is our relationship with God, not with others. If He is our priority, if we lean on Him, then even if humans fail, as we all do, we will have the steady foundation of God’s love to stand on.

3. Worry and Indecision in Making Choices :

Have you ever been paralyzed by a decision? What is the right course to take? What will happen if you make the wrong choice?

It can be immobilizing as we contemplate what could happen if we make a mistake. However, often, the fear inside of us makes the consequences or problem seem much more earth-shattering than they truly are. Instead, we must trust that no matter what happens, even if we make the wrong choice, God is still holding on to us. He is always with us, no matter what path we take.

What Can We Do to Fight off Fear?

On our own, we should fear. We have no control over the world. We don’t control the weather, our health, other people, or anything else, as much as we may try to prepare for every possibility. However, God does have full control. He also knows exactly what is going to happen. The only way to fight fear is to put our trust in Him.

As imperfect humans, we will never fully conquer our fears. However, in the journey, we have so much to learn about our Lord, and such room to grow in love and faith.

Two Kingdoms: The Kingdom of Darkness Defeated

Here is a truth I have come to know.  God created the world as His Kingdom, and all was very good. But Satan rebelled, desiring worship that only God deserved. He set up his own kingdom, at war with God’s kingdom of light. The first man and woman, deceived by Satan, chose to rebel also. Since then, all of us have joined that rebellion against our rightful king.

Satan’s kingdom is the kingdom of darkness. He deceives people, saying, “You don’t have to serve me, just serve yourself!” Yet as we serve ourselves, we end up destroying all that is good, even all true pleasure. That is Satan’s goal.

God’s kingdom of light has overcome the kingdom of darkness. For God sent Jesus to earth to live as man should live. Jesus then died on a cross, suffering to pay the penalty we deserve for our rebellion. But God raised Him from the dead, showing that Jesus has authority even over death and the kingdom of darkness. Jesus will reign forever and ever.

God commands all men to turn from their rebellion against Him. He invites all of us to leave the kingdom of darkness and to become citizens of the Kingdom of light. We must turn from our selfish ways and acknowledge that Jesus is our rightful King. We must let Him tell us what to do. By God’s mercy on account of the cross, we can receive His forgiveness and escape from the kingdom of darkness, gaining love, joy, and peace in the Kingdom of light forever.

We live in this little bubble called life for 70 to 80 years. When it pops, we join whichever king we served for all eternity. Which king are you serving?

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 7

BEELZEBUB

Beelzebub means “lord of the flies.” In Hebrew and Jewish literature, the name is translated to mean “lord of dung” or “lord of filth.” Images of Beelzebub portray him as a fly or flying insect. Scholars have learned that the image of the fly as Beelzebub derives from either the thought that he is a sun god that brings the flies, or he is the god invoked to drive flies away from the sacrifice.

We should also note that Beelzebub is the Greek form of the word Baal-zebub. There are strong connections to Baal worship in conjunction with the worship of Beelzebub. Baal was a Canaanite fertility god in the Old Testament. The term zebub means “exalted dwelling.” When we put those two terms together, we have the name prince of demons.

In Matthew 12:22 Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. As a result, “all the people were astonished and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard this, they denied that this could be a work of God, but instead declared: ‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons’” (Matthew 12:23-24).

It is remarkable that the Pharisees reacted to this incredible miracle by Jesus in the very opposite way of that of the multitude, who realized that Jesus was from God. In fact, it was an admission by the Pharisees that Jesus worked miracles or performed deeds beyond the reach of any unaided human power, but they attributed this power to Beelzebub instead of God. Actually, they should have known better: the devil cannot do works of pure goodness. However, in their self-absorbed pride, these Pharisees knew that, if the teachings of Jesus should prevail among the people, their influence over them was at an end. So, the miracle they did not deny, but instead attributed it to an infernal power, “Beelzebub the prince of the demons.”

Beelzebub was believed to be someone that could perform exorcisms. This deity had control of all the devilish behavior in the world. It could even possess people itself. Today, we lean toward the thought that Beelzebub is another name for Satan and has all the powers of Satan.  

The name Beelzebub is just one of the many names for Satan. It is the name of the one that delivers mayhem to the world we live in. Christians should be aware of this name, but not worry about Satan’s power. Satan will always be working to separate humanity from the God that created it. Our focus should be on the fact that our God is victorious and as His children, we are safe from Beelzebub’s efforts to separate us from God.

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 6

THE SPIRIT OF POVERTY

The poverty spirit has one agenda: to pull you down and convince you that you’re a failure.

The Bible teaches about poverty and its effects on people. To write or speak
about a spirit of poverty does not fall into the arena of prosperity teaching. A
spirit of poverty has nothing to do with how much anyone owns, what they eat or
wear. A spirit of poverty can oppress, and not infrequently does, wealthy people.
Many people below the “poverty level” are not oppressed by this spirit. It has
nothing to do with wealth or lack of it. It is related to greed and fear of loss.

A poverty spirit is a paradigm or viewpoint through which you see your life. It’s similar to wearing glasses and viewing the world through the “perspective” of the lenses perched on your nose.

The lens of a poverty spirit distorts and colors what we’re seeing until we begin to look at our lives through lack, decrease, or limitation. The poverty spirit crops up in different ways. Many people think there’s a limited amount of money in the world, but I would say that’s a poverty spirit, because money isn’t actually real. Sure, we use money and nations publish currencies, but at its root, money is the idea of value—and value has no limit. When we’re peering through the lens of poverty, we start to think we can win only if someone else loses. If I win, you lose. If I lose, you win. This is called a zero-sum gain.

Merely recognizing the poverty spirit in our lives is not enough. We need to remove it like a weed and plant in its place the spirit of truth, which comes from God’s Word.

Read the Bible carefully. Collect verses and deposit them deep in your heart in the very place where a paradigm of lack used to exist. Here are a few biblical examples of the truth about who you are as a beloved child of God:

  • You are more than enough.
  • God deeply loves you.
  • All things are possible in Christ Jesus. 

We get to operate according to the truth of God and not according to the lies of a poverty spirit.

Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and ask Him how you can build a habit of identifying and removing lies in your thinking.

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 5

THE TOBIAH SPIRIT

What are Tobiahs?  Actually, Tobiah isn’t a matter of what, but of whom.  He’s a person from the book of Nehemiah.  Nehemiah had come to rebuild the fallen Jerusalem. 

The Bible records,

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire.  Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”  I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.”  So they began this good work (Nehemiah 2:17-18).

However, not everyone was thrilled about fixing up Jerusalem.  Some people were quite vocal against the project,

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us.  “What is this you are doing?”  They asked.  “Are you rebelling against the king?” (Nehemiah 2:19)

To be sure, if there is an enemy character or villain in Nehemiah, it’s Sanballat.  Tobiah, rather, was Sanballat’s friend (and his sidekick).  Whenever Sanballat makes his comments, usually Tobiah is behind him going “Yeah boss!  Yeah!”  For example, after Sanballat trashed the rebuilding just a few lines up, we find Tobiah right there with him: “Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, ‘What they are building- even if a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their walls of stones!’” (Nehemiah 4:3).  Therefore, because of his association with Sanballat, Tobiah worked against Nehemiah throughout the rebuilding process.  However, much later, when Nehemiah was finishing up his reforms in Jerusalem, he found out that Tobiah had moved into and was living in the Temple of all places!  History (as recorded by Nehemiah himself) tells us, (Nehemiah 13:4-5).

Tobiah wasn’t destructive, but he wasn’t helpful to Nehemiah either.  So what was Tobiah?  He was a gateway into worse things.  Remember, Tobiah was a friend of Sanballat, the true villain of the book of Nehemiah.  So your hobby, friend, habit, or interest may not have been bad by the world’s standards, but because of its association with worldly things, it certainly wasn’t helping your spiritual walk.

For us, Tobiahs can sneak in while we’re not paying attention.  This is why Paul writes to the young pastor Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16).  By being careful about how you live, you can keep an eye out for potential problems.  Tobiahs are sneaky, so you need to be alert.  Maybe an old friend messaged you, or a random Google search revived an old interest- such things weren’t problems before you became a Christian.  However, now that you have Jesus, these sort of things might be snares in your walk with Christ if not managed properly.

So read your Bible daily and see if the Holy Spirit points out anything you might want to work on.  At the same time, pray…a lot.  Actually, according to the Bible you should be praying all the time.  It is written, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  By keeping a constant dialogue with God going, you’ll be receptive to when he tries to warn you and wants to speak to you.  By reading the Word and praying, the Lord will help you keep Tobiah out of your temple.

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 4

THE ORPHAN SPIRIT

MOST PEOPLE ARE UNAWARE OF THIS DEBILITATING SPIRIT AND ITS AFFECT ON THEIR EMOTIONAL STABILITY AND RELATIONSHIPS.

Many Christians today do not know that they are already oppressed by what is called and “orphan spirit.” Since sin has separated us from God, we have all at one time became spiritual orphans, taken away from and unable to know our true Father in heaven.

Thus, sin made us all orphans. Thankfully, the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, showing us who the Father really is. Whoever knows the Lord Jesus Christ gets to know the Father, for He is the exact representation of the Father who, sadly, all the world cannot know without Jesus.

An orphan spirit attaches to a person who has experienced extreme rejection in their life. It creates separation, worry, anxiety, and fear. Once this spirit enters into a person it becomes a stronghold in their mind and remains there until a new foundational truth of the Word of God is formed. If this mental fortress is not corrected and torn down by the individual who accepts it, it will continue on to the next generation until someone stands in the gap and says no more.

I personally experienced so much emotional turmoil from this false religious thinking caused by the enemy. Wanting freedom for myself and family is what kept me searching for the truth.

I have some questions for you to ask yourself… If you answer yes to several of these questions, you have gained a greater understanding of the grip this spirit has in your heart, your mind, will, and emotions.

Do I make choices out of insecurities? Am I jealous of other people’s success? Do I try to earn God’s love with works? Do I self-protect by drawing inward? Do I feel unworthy, not good enough? Do I feel avoid and try to fulfill it with work, physical appearance, self- gratification, narcissistic behavior, or self- indulgent behavior. Are you driven to success and have the mindset you will succeed at all cost? Do you use people to fulfill your goals? Do you repel your children or your spiritual children? Do you struggle with anger and fits of rage? Do other people in your family struggle with anger and rage?

This could be a generational curse. Do you always compete with others? Do you lack self-esteem? Do you see your identity in possessions, physical appearance, activities or work? Do you strive for perfection? Do you primarily identify yourself through your career, title, material possessions, your physical appearance, sports activities or pleasures? Do you place the value of your identity in these lies and deceptions of the enemy?

I know I did for the majority of my life. As you become aware and begin to recognize the attributes and limits the enemy has placed on you, I pray that you refuse to allow this spirit access to your mind by taking every ungodly thought captive.

Well, much of what I read and hear about ’the orphan spirit’ is centered around behaviour and thinking that is opposite to maturity in ‘Sonship’ –  which is grounded in the truth that indeed, in Christ we are all children of God. And this is no small thing, I agree. But isn’t the movement into the full stature of who we are in Christ a lifelong spiritual journey? Does it really necessitate ‘orphan spirit’ terminology? I think Thomas Keating said it well: “…the conviction (that God is absent), that we bring with us from early childhood and apply to everyday life, gets stronger as we grow up, unless we are touched by the Gospel and begin the spiritual journey. This (spiritual) journey is a process of dismantling the monumental illusion that God is distant or absent.” [Book: Fruits & Gifts of the Spirit].

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 3

SPIRIT OF DIVINATION

Divination is “the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.”

The term “divination” originates from Latin divinare “to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy” related to divinus, divine, or “to be inspired by a god.” Divination is the effort to obtain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process, or ritual. To engage in divination is to reveal mysterious knowledge by supernatural practices. It is correlated with the occult and involves fortune-telling or soothsaying, as it used to be called.

Divination in any manner is sin, as a corrupted seeking of spiritual knowledge. The practicing of divination will deceive you and separate you from the wisdom of God. Christians should avoid all endeavors related to divination, including fortune-telling, astrology, witchcraft, tarot cards, and spell-casting. The spirit realm is real, but it is not harmless. As taught by Scripture, spirits that are not the Holy Spirit or angelic beings are malevolent spirits.

One of the most interesting and controversial facts in Saint Paul’s Secondary Mission, took place at Philippi in Macedonia where Paul exorcised a demon-possessed slave girl. The story follows after Paul and Silas work on evangelizing and the first converts to Christianity.

“As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

First of all, we need to clarify that the words of the slave girl were not an epiphany be the Holy Spirit. We already know that Prophecy is one of the charismas of the Holy Spirit as is discernment of spirits and mighty deeds (deliverance/exorcism) (1Cor 12:10). Satan has a counterfeit gift for every true gift of the Spirit. This slave girl had a counterfeit demonic gift at work and Paul presumably felt this spiritual discernment. When Paul performs the exorcism, he certainly did not cast out the Holy Spirit from the girl, nor deprive her of any true gifting of the Holy Spirit.

Moreover, the words of the slave girl were ambiguous. As Craig Keener explains: “Most High God” is ambiguous, a common designation for God in Jewish texts but also occurs in pagan sources for Zeus or for the Jewish God with whom pagans sometimes identified Zeus. Magical texts show that pagans respected this supreme God, often identified with the Jewish God, as the most powerful. The spirit ambiguously reduces the missionaries’ deity to a chief role in polytheism.” Eventually, while Jews, proselytes, and God-fearers would have recognized “the Most High God” as YHWH, the average Greek might not. They might think the girl was saying that Paul and the rest were representatives of Zeus. Paul could not let that confusion go unaddressed and this is the fountain of his annoyance.

Christians need not dread the spirits connected to divination; neither are Christians to inquire knowledge from them. True, benevolent wisdom comes from God as said in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

EXPOSING THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS – 2

PART 1 : https://johnranjit.wordpress.com/2021/09/10/exposing-the-kingdom-of-darkness-1/

The Spirit Of Heaviness (Depression)

Have you ever experienced the spirit of heaviness? Have you ever sought desperately to feel God’s presence, but kept falling short? Christians throughout history can relate to this sentiment. Believers know the feeling of yearning to be in the presence of God, but still feeling alone. We are also familiar with the desire of wanting to do right, but continuously failing. Jesus knew this about humanity which is why He said the following.

“Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

As someone who has suffered from depression myself, I can tell you this is no joke. Unfortunately, many people will never know that depression is caused by a demonic spirit. Therefore, they will have no choice but to fight it with worldly means. However, it wasn’t until I became born again that I was able to kick depression to the curb.

A direct mentioning of the spirit of heaviness can be found in the Book of Isaiah, authored by Isaiah the prophet. In chapter 61 we receive an admission from him that the spirit of God is upon him (Isaiah 61:1). The reason the Holy Spirit resides in Isaiah is because of his task as a prophet, to interpret and share the word of God He receives. Over the course of the chapter, he shares the outcome of this good word, which amounts to many blessings for God’s children. Some of these blessings include exchanging misfortunes in life for better circumstances. One of these contrasts includes the spirit of heaviness being exchanged for a garment of praise.

The act of praising God is one that brings us closer to God. While the spirit of heaviness disconnects, praise connects. This verse and chapter help us to better understand the meaning of a spirit of heaviness. The other comparisons in this chapter reflect hardship and adversity experienced by God’s people. This suffering may produce tears, isolation, and sin. The spirit of heaviness can be characterized as any intense negative feeling that challenges our faith and what we know about God. Heaviness may result from our own habitual sins like addiction, lying, and gossip, or could also occur from the loss of a job, even a loved one. To feel heavy is to be burdened, and to be burdened is to not carry the light and easy yoke of Jesus (Matthew 11:30).

The Bible encourages us to pray without ceasing because God is always listening. Let’s keep that in mind as we go about living life. Whatever cause we have for the heaviness in our minds and hearts, if we can hold out and continue to seek God, the spirit of heaviness will be exchanged for a garment of praise. Our tears will be replaced with shouts of joy (Psalm 126:5). All that was wrong will one day be made right. This is what scripture says, now we just have to trust the Lord to fulfill.