The meanest, foulest, most ruthless demonic spirit you will ever confront is the spirit of religion because it attempts to replace the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian or church. While many demonic spirits operate through the occult and witchcraft, this one works boldly and daringly in the church on a daily basis. The spirit of religion is sent to resist godly change in any form, including the moving of the Holy Spirit in revival.
When the Holy Spirit pours Himself out upon a church or region, the religious spirit will rise up through the critics of revival to try and stop God from moving. I have firsthand experience with the spirit of religion; it tried to kill revival in my church even before it started.
It was a midweek prayer meeting I will never forget. The people of my church were crying out to God for revival; the desperation for revival was palpably heard in the prayers of the people in that room. One of the people in attendance, a gentleman who regularly attended my church, interrupted our revival pleas with a pronouncement.
"I hate to be a wet blanket," he loudly proclaimed, "but there will be no revival!"
And then he added: "To pray for revival is to pray against the church!"
He said a few more things before he ended his attempt to squelch any future revival, and my heart sank. I loved this brother in the Lord, and certainly didn't want to embarrass him, but knew I had to publicly correct this demonic decree which was publicly stated.
I stood up in the middle of the prayer meeting, looked the man in the eyes, and respectfully but firmly proclaimed, "You are out of order. There will be revival!"
To gain a greater understanding of how the spirit of religion operates, and find out the rest of this story, listen to this week's Fire Starter podcast.
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