What is the Religious Spirit? 

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! (Mark 7:9 ESV)

The religious spirit is an attitude in God’s people to elevate God’s laws, the practices based on these laws, and their religious wants and needs above their relationship with God. This spirit is a subtle but ferocious enemy of God’s purposes in our lives and His Church.

First, the spirit in religious spirit is not a spirit being or entity such as a demon. No, there is no demon in the Bible called the religious spirit! This spirit is an attitude, a disposition, a tendency, or a manner of living. Furthermore, note that it is amongst God’s people. There is a religious spirit in the world, but that is not our focus here; we are not concerned about false religions. This spirit is a problem for God’s children like you and me—it is one of the prime works of the flesh.

The religious spirit embraces God’s laws, creates routines or traditions out of them, and meets the religious needs and wants of the people, while God either has no say or becomes unimportant. For example, we can have a beautiful religious service, whereas God had nothing to do with it; He might not even be allowed to say what He wants. Or the religious spirit can cause a minister, like a Senior pastor or Bishop, to prioritize preserving their ministry rather than doing what God wants.

It is unfeasible to list all the expressions of this spirit in our lives. However, this is the sum: it is a form of Christianity without God. It makes us alive to rules, traditions, or religious laws while dead to God’s will or purposes.  Beware of this subtle and deadly enemy.

Meditate

What is the religious spirit in your own words?

Apply the Word

As a product of the flesh, the religious tendency is present in all of us—it is only a matter of how we mortify it and allow the Spirit to rule our lives. Be spiritual, not merely religious.

Pray

Ask the Father to help you escape the tentacles of the religious spirit.

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