Archive for May, 2011

Do you have a religious spirit?

May 30, 2011

Something happened to me the past two weeks that has shifted everything about my life. My husband has even asked me every day if I am alright. And I would say, yes. Then about the 10th time I said…  I think I know why you are wondering if I’m alright… it’ because something has changed about me he’s not used to.  I have finally entered into the peace and rest of God. My husband never saw this before, he’s watching me enjoy life-like never before. I’m actually sitting in the backyard watching the birds. I’m actually watching a movie without doing 20 other things at the same time. There isn’t a busy nervousness about me any more. My mind isn’t rushing and filled with thoughts of “what I need to do!” I have to truly say that I have entered into His rest! And in His rest there is no drivenness.

What took place was this. I was having a conversation with my husband and he said something to me, I frankly can’t remember what he said, but something inside me jumped. I could feel something rising to the surface, not anger, just something not comfortable. I wanted to scream, run, but I knew it wasn’t me. It was something in me that was coming up and I know from ministry, that it has to go. Not knowing what it was, we just kept talking to see if we could talk it out. So I told it to GO!. My husband agreed with me. Then what happened next was no short of a miracle. I got quiet inside. Whatever was there, was truly gone. And once it left I was able to name it! It was a “religious spirit.”

So what is a religious spirit? If you feel like you aren’t doing enough “spiritual” things in your life, if you feel guilty for not being perfect, if you just feel bad all the time, if you have a hard time resting, if you are driven to be loved, if you feel pushed and manipulated by others, if you are hard on yourself because you keep messing up, if you have a hard time forgiven yourself, if you have a hard time believing God loves you just the way you are, if you are competitive with others and even yourself, if you have any jealousies of other’s successes…  then you have a religious spirit.  See, these were ALL me. And how tormenting is that?? Well, I can say that these things are now gone! Completely!!!  I even tried to make myself FEEL guilty for working on my yard… well I couldn’t.

See the Lord told me that I am now just being. I am not being driven to do anything! Now I have a choice, because of what I want to do by following His lead, not to “do” to get something from others. See, faith leads, fear pushes… and with that spirit went the spirit of fear that pushed me. Pushed me to try to be loved and accepted by others. Well, that is gone too. In my ministry, I teach on love and forgiveness. I have been doing that one message for the past 14 years… and I do get a lot out of those teachings myself. So God had been working on me all along, So when this spirit was identified in its true form, and it left, the love that I had been seeking from God came to light! I felt it more, I saw it more clearly. That its okay to enjoy the fruit of my labors.

I’ve been in ministry for 18 years, and the last 5 years full-time. There was NO time for me to take care of my home, family or friends. I was consumed with writing, ministry, etc. That consumption was not godly! I am to be consumed only with God and His love for me, so that I have it to give to others. Not in a bunch of works. Now, those things were good, but with a religious spirit behind some of it, was very tormenting and exhausting. So now I can write a book because I want to write the book, for the glory of God! Now I can teach a class, not to be loved and admired, but for the glory of God. A religious spirit wants us to take the glory from God… we don’t say it out loud, but we sure would like to be appreciated and thanked… that is a religious spirit! As a matter of fact, I understand now why we are to “do things in secret” for others, it’s so that “we” won’t be tempted to want the glory!

Let’s just say it like it is and be honest with ourselves. As a minister of almost 20 years now… God is still cleaning the edges, purging the dross… I won’t be complete until He calls me home. And so know that we all have areas God is working on. This was mine. And now I am free from it.

Since that day I have been able to re-stain my deck, make a bird sanctuary, clean my house, etc… that I haven’t really done much before because it wasn’t “spiritual” enough. I remember saying that to my husband and he asked, “spiritual enough for who??” Hmm….  That really made me think! See, I was fooling myself… because those things are just as important as teaching the Word. Because I need to also be a good steward of what He has given me. And I wasn’t. Since that religious spirit is gone, I can actually enjoy cleaning my house, watching an old movie, making cookies, visiting friends, seeing my family, without GUILT! If you  have any guilt whatsoever… it’s from a religious spirit.

If you want help in this area to get free… call on God. Ask Him to show you if you have a religious spirit…or if you have any of these signs as I did, then tell it to Go… yes, you can do it! Then thank God for freeing you – by faith, AND for Him loving you. Drink in His love at that point to replace where that spirit left so you are ever filled… We need to be ever filled with God so that there is no room for it to return, and we have what we need to live our lives victoriously.

“… He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul…”  Let’s make this a life-style… by entering into His rest and care, we are trusting Him with our lives, our family, our ministry. We please Him by trusting Him… and with that trust we can “be.” What has He truly required of us? To love and believe and receive. Let’s keep the gospel simple.. shall we?

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If my mouth is full, nothing else can fit!

May 28, 2011

I came across Psalm 34 a bit differently than ever before. The first two verses was enough to knock me into submission! It says, “I will bless the Lord at ALL times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord, the Humble shall hear, thereof, and be glad.”

Let’s take this literally. If my mouth is filled with the Lord at all times, there is no room for bad talking, no room for gossip, complaining, worry or fear. And not only that, there is no room for FOOD to fit! I think this a good antidote for gluttony… keep our mouths filled with the Lord by blessing and outpouring, so that there is no room for “in-pouring.” So the next time you go to the fridge…  “outpour” and perhaps “inpour” won’t take place! (smile)

It’s easy when we simply follow the Lord

May 15, 2011

As usual, my husband and I were talking about following the Lord. I was telling him how it’s so much easier to follow than to lead. And it’s easy when we truly “believe” God. Then we won’t hesitate or ask questions. We can even enjoy the excitement of the unknown, because we know God knows…  I talked for about a half hour on the subject, and then my husband asked me a question.  “Do you know why it’s easy to Follow?” And here it comes, one of his one-liners, and he said, “Because you don’t have to keep up!”

I had to think on that one for a minute but then realized he was right! If we are leading, there are people coming up behind us and even pushing us at times. But if we are following, we can simply take our time. And then my husband said, “And He will wait.” Hmmm… I like that. When a shepherd leads his flock, he doesn’t get behind them and start pushing if they lag, he waits. If he sees one wonder off too far, he does go and get them, but if they are following no matter how slow… he leaves them to follow.

So again, my husband hit it on the head. And it has been easy lately to just believe God and do what He says. There is a peace inside when we do that. Instead of doubting, fearing, and kicking and screaming all the way. I did that for years myself, but no more. The only way a person can truly believe God is to “receive” all He has done for us. One of those things is His love. We have to not only know He loves us, but receive that perfect love for us in our hearts. That does seem to take people time, but when you can finally do that… that is where perfect peace is. And when we are in perfect peace, nothing can ruffle our feathers.

I had just returned from a trip to Alaska, and it was “eventful!” The trip there was smooth sailing, but the flight home was an adventure. The morning I was leaving I heard the Holy Ghost say, “Today, you will go on adventure, but you will come out okay, and you’ll get home safely.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as the day went on, I held onto this. I even shared it with others around me that I had it on good authority that we were all going to be okay. See, our plane in midair began having problems that the pilot had to return us to the airport in Anchorage. There was some malfunction in the pressure and he couldn’t fly over 10,000 feet. I just said in my heart… no fear at all. And perfect peace remained. I was able to comfort one sitting next to me with the words I heard that morning.

Well, 12 hours later… landed in Sacramento. I was still at peace, and I was at peace the whole trip. Lots of other things happened along the way that I could have lost my peace about, but I didn’t. Why? Because I trusted God, I believed what He told me. And even if I wasn’t going to make it home, I was actually not afraid of that either. I just said, “If you do let this plan crash, please don’t let it hurt!”

But, God kept brought me home safely, and now back sharing with you! What a time it was, and I still look forward to more times with the Lord as he “leads” me into all truth, freedom and peace.