Sunday, March 29, 2015

What Is The Influencing Spirit?

"I speak the things which I have seen with My Father..." 
Jesus, John 8:38

During a recent time of prayer I saw an image of a person overtaken with bitterness and resentment. It was not a person I knew, but it was to show me how a root of bitterness, or any evil spirit, will try and spread. Bitterness is a root and roots try to grow and spread. They are continually trying to gain new ground and spread to new soil in search of nutrients and to establish a stronghold. What I saw was this root reaching like a hand to try and gain access into the heart of the person who was sitting next to the one with the bitterness. It was very subtle and the person was not aware that this root was trying to gain access. The Bible tells us that many can be defiled by a root of bitterness. It isn't content to just affect one person.

How can we be aware when things like this are trying to spread into our life? Most often they are spread through words--words that are spoken under the influence of these evil spirits. Just as words spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit will bring life, salvation, deliverance, healing and all of God's goodness, words spoken under an evil spirit's influence will bring death and destruction through deception. It must use deception because no one willingly agrees to bring evil on themselves. When we take offense, fault-find, are critical or condemning, we are allowing a root to enter. When we compare, compete, become arrogant, jealous or look for pity instead of deliverance, we are allowing a root to enter. It may look innocent, it may look harmless, it may even look religious or have a form of godliness, but the question to ask is, "What spirit is the influencing spirit?"

We must embrace the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Spirit. It's not through knowledge that we see this type of spiritual thing going on. This type of discernment doesn't come through knowledge, even a knowledge of the Word. It comes from a pure heart. It comes through our spirit being saturated with the Holy Spirit. Our hearts longing for His heart, wanting to be free from sin, pride and our own efforts to justify ourselves.

Where two or more are gathered in the name of the Lord, He is in the midst. There is power in our unity and agreement with the Holy Spirit and each other. It's like an electrical current flows back and forth between the people in a way that can't happen with one person alone. The devil knows this, and tries to spread his stuff too. We must resist the spirit of bitterness, resentment, self-pity, and all of that, and yield instead to the Holy Spirit.

Then comes the test--the proving of our faith. When we sincerely, from our heart, want to yield to the Spirit of God above all else, that's great! When we say that is our desire, those words are pleasing to His ears. However, they do not contain any power or authority until they are proven. They are of no use until tested. Just like a water line must have all of the joints secured and then tested to see if it can handle the pressure of the water flowing through, there comes a time of testing to see if we will hold up, and to what extent. This is a good thing, not a bad thing, because the Lord helps us pass the test!

When a person near you wants to extend their bitter roots into the soil of your heart, you must prove that you will walk in the ways of the Lord even when it's difficult. This testing proves that you will remain faithful to the Lord and thereby allows His power and authority to flow through you in a greater way. This doesn't mean you become suspicious of others, or become prideful, thinking you have more discernment than they do. No, the way of the Holy Spirit, is the way of love. The way to judge what spirit is influencing you at any given moment, is to measure it by the yardstick of God's love.

Jesus said the pure in heart will see God. What is in our heart is what will guide our eyes, our thoughts and our words. Don't go looking for the evil influences around you, you'll find them, and if you focus on them you'll end up getting wrapped up in that. Instead, look for the Spirit of God and His glory which fills the earth. Look to see what your heavenly Father is doing. When Jesus was here on earth, He said He always did that which He saw the Father doing. He kept His eyes on Him. We need to be doing the same, and the Holy Spirit will alert us to danger when necessary.

Hebrews 12:15, Luke 9:55, James 3, Matthew 12:37, Acts 10:38, 2 Timothy 3:5, 1 Corinthians 8:1, John 14:16-17, Matthew 5:8, 1 John 4:4, Matthew 18:20, James 1:12, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, 1 Corinthians 3:3, John 8:38, Isaiah 6:3

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