So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.John 8:36 ESV
There is an invisible prison that keeps people captive in sinful lives, lives that fail to measure up to the standard of God. It’s called religion.
Religion is man’s attempt to become righteous by observing and keeping rules of thought and behavior. No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to keep the rules all the time. When you fail, you feel like a failure. When you’re successful, you look down on others who don’t follow your same religion. This is self-righteousness and it is sin.
The devil has tricked us into thinking that somehow we can outsmart God and we don’t need Him to be successful in this life and the life to come. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that we’re all sinners. We all fail to live up to God’s standard of selflessly loving everyone impartially all of the time. God’s standard is agape love. If you love God and your neighbor as yourself, you are fulfilling the Law.
There is one core truth that everyone should know. It’s called the Gospel, or the Good News. In a world of constant bad news, there is one truth that you can build your entire life on and never have to worry about bad news again. That sounds good, right?
The truth is that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jews and the Gentiles. Jesus is our Savior. Believe that and confess it. Try it. Say, “Jesus is my Savior. I am free from the penalty and power of sin.”
Feels pretty good, right? When you understand who Jesus is, what He has done and who He is transforming you into, life becomes a walk of faith. You no longer live for yourself or your own ideas of what life should be like. You become a new creation. A human filled with the Spirit of the Living God.
Life is meant to be lived by the Spirit. Religion is opposed to the Spirit. Religious spirits are actually demons that influence people to work an antichrist agenda.
How do you know if you’ve got a religious spirit? You use the teachings in the Bible to judge and condemn others. Instead of building up others in love, you try to tear them down to make yourself look better. Everyone knows, you never look good trying to make someone else look bad. It just shows you’re insecure.
Demons run in packs. If you open the door to sin in your life, you’ll quickly be in a crowded house. Where there’s a religious spirit, you’ll often also find critical spirits, lying spirits, spirits of hate, murder, destruction and pride. The Pharisees were under the control of such demons. They murdered the innocent to protect their positions and lifestyles.
In today’s world, the same activity is happening. There is a genuine move of the Holy Spirit occurring but those who profit from religion are trying to kill it. Thanks be to God, that nothing can stop God’s will from being accomplished.
A key to discerning the spirits is to know that love builds up. Read 1 Corinthians 13 again to remind yourself of what love looks like. God wants us to love each other. There are some bad actors out there that will try to convince you otherwise. Avoid such people.
Jesus came so that we would have freedom from religion. The Pharisees weighed people down with religious rules that they themselves did not follow. They were hypocrites. God hates hypocrisy.
Following Jesus really is a joy. If someone claims to follow Him, yet is manifesting bitter fruit you have to wonder if they might be deceived.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
A yoke ties two beasts of burden together so they can plow together. Jesus is saying it’s not hard to walk with Him and the load we’re carrying isn’t heavy.
Walking with Jesus means walking in love. Our burden is to share the Gospel with everyone. It’s the Good News that sets everyone free. It’s the most important message in all of Creation. God has entrusted us with that message and goes wherever we go to share it. When we do, Jesus will work miracles, signs and wonders to confirm His Word.
It’s time to lay your burdens down. Lay down the lies, the false teachings, the idols and the strongholds in our imagination. It’s time to step out of the prison of your own mind. Receive the Kingdom by faith. Walk in victory and overcome every obstacle through undying faith in Jesus Christ.
Ask God today what lies you believed and were acting on. Confess them as deception. Ask God today what truth you need to know to live in freedom. Confess it as truth.
God is on your side. He’s always been for you, even when you were against Him. His grace and mercy and patience never fail. Extend that same thing to everyone you come into contact with. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.